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Sebastian Curi and Koto: Venmo

Work / Illustration

Sebastian Curi’s recent work for Venmo celebrates friendship in all its diverse forms

It’s been a little over a year since we last wrote about Argentinian illustrator and animator Sebastian Curi – and what a year it’s been for him. He’s completed murals for eyewear brand Warby Parker, created illustrations that have been featured in Apple stores around the world, been commissioned by the New Yorker, and even contributed to It’s Nice That’s illustrated guide to the Women’s World Cup. Most of this came as a result of his decision to go full-time freelance and, while he’s learned lots about working independently and professionally, the biggest lesson has been about living a healthy lifestyle in order balance life and work.

“Working in a studio can demand so much time and energy from you,” Sebastian tells us. “At one point, I was struggling with some back and neck problems mixed with a lot of stress, so I decided to make adjustments to my routine. I started running and practising yoga. Every day I stop at lunch to cook with my wife. And I work fewer hours!” While work is obviously still a huge passion for him, this new sense of balance means he can actually enjoy it – while enjoying the downtime too.

One week after going freelance, “Koto”: https://koto.studio/ contacted Sebastian to create 50 illustrations for Venmo, a payment service owned by Paypal in which users can send and receive money via an app. “They were looking to create an illustration voice that could feel unique and bold, something fun and very colourful,” Sebastian explains. As an illustrator whose work is full of energy and spirited characters, each set against bold one-colour backgrounds and adorning colourful outfits, Sebastian was clearly the perfect choice for the commission.

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Sebastian Curi and Koto: Venmo

The series of drawings will feature across marketing materials and products, and have already begun to be rolled out. With images of friends sharing dinner, swapping gifts, going to the cinema and driving around town, they bring to life the experiences that Venmo facilitates, embodying the diverse and colourful spirit of the brand. Sebastian writes on his Behance: “Bold colours, strong lines and high contrast compositions create a fun visual statement that cuts through the noise of branding in today’s era. The number of illustrations intend to show variety and diversity through the arc of scenes and characters. The entirety of the graphic system celebrates friendships in all their forms and empowers connections without losing a consistent look and a clear visual style.”

With big commissions such as these now his bread and butter, and newly relocated in Barcelona, Sebastian is an exciting illustrator to be following. Alongside this kind of work, he’s learned how best to deal with contracts, NDAs and how to budget work – with a little help from friends Justyna Stasik and Martina Paukova – but one of the biggest things he’s taken away from this year, he tells us, is: “This year, I started working with different people and that took me to unexpected results. To collaborate with people and see how the work improves is rewarding for me. I want to work with more people and see if my work changes even more. I love how it becomes something different from what I first thought.”

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Sebastian Curi and Koto: Venmo

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Sebastian Curi and Koto: Venmo

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Sebastian Curi and Koto: Venmo

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Sebastian Curi and Koto: Venmo

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Sebastian Curi and Koto: Venmo

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Sebastian Curi and Koto: Venmo

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Sebastian Curi and Koto: Venmo

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Sebastian Curi and Koto: Venmo

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Sebastian Curi and Koto: Venmo

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Sebastian Curi and Koto: Venmo