“Sometimes uncertainty can be a good thing”: Sebastian Curi discusses the remedial power of illustration
There’s nothing more therapeutic than putting pen to paper. Below, the LA-based illustrator tells us why.
- Ayla Angelos
- 14 February 2022
“It’s been quite a ride,” says Sebastian Curi of what’s changed since we last heard from him. Not only did he take the plunge as a freelancer, he also set up his studio, joined illustration agency Handsome Frank, then – with his textile designer wife Macarena Luzi – moved to LA, Vancouver, Barcelona, Buenos Aires and back to LA again, which is where they currently reside. Keeping busy would be an understatement for this creative, but he’s glad that they’ve both finally settled down amongst the chaos, even if they were forced to do so by the pandemic. “I had to change my whole animation career because of a bad work-life balance, and I don’t want to make that mistake again,” he tells It’s Nice That.
In more recent years, Sebastian’s been undertaking a more business-focused approach to his illustrative projects – learning about schedules, contracts, license of use and general industry knowhow. All of which has helped his work evolve, meaning he’s more geared up (and selective) about taking on projects that fit his ethos and tone of voice. “I draw things that are joyful, simple and usually colourful,” he adds. There’s no better description, really, for Sebastian’s work is utterly charming in its bouncy compositions and vibrant colour palettes. “I like to work on projects that are loud and create meaning from a place of emotion. I resonate with that kind of stuff.”
Sebastian is never one for a rigid routine. He works intuitively and with style, creating bountiful scenes and characters that prance about happily in his joyful universes. In one recent example, a collaboration with Buenos Aires-based pyjama brand Carzoglio, Sebastian plays around with the themes of sleep, morning time, daydreaming and breakfast. It’s one of his favourites for the fact that it took him by surprise, resulting in a photographic image plastered in flora, squiggles, eggs, puddles and bacon rashers. Sebastian is the model and the team have taken pictures of him in the local neighbourhood, sporting the brand’s pyjamas and a sleepy looking face. “At the time, we were very close to the flower market so there are a ton of flowers and plant drawings on this series,” he notes. “I focused on different things, one is about breakfast and waking up really hungry.” Meanwhile, there are also the less obvious elements like dreaming about emails or being swamped with work.
In Lockdown Series, an ongoing project that unsurprisingly initiated over lockdown, Sebastian toys around with the limits of the body. He’s also incorporated a playful mix of textures, brushes and abstract shapes into the equation, where contorted bodies are paired with unmissable colour combinations. “I remember the uncertainty of the time and how small my life became; waking up, looking at my cell phone, getting a coffee, staying at home and maybe cycling around the neighbourhood,” he says. “All these habits became little ideas on my sketches and ended up here.” This series – and all of his works, for that matter – shows the power of creativity when it comes to mental health and inspiration. “Sometimes uncertainty can be a good thing,” he concludes. “I didn’t know what I was going to do with these drawings, and looking back I can say that this series feels exciting and fun because of that doubt.”
Sebastian Curi: Carzoglio (Copyright © Sebastian Curi, 2021)
About the Author
Ayla is currently covering Jenny as It’s Nice That’s online editor. She has spent nearly a decade as a journalist, and covers a range of topics including photography, art and graphic design. Feel free to contact Ayla with any stories or new creative projects.