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Tatiana Arocha: Unabated Inspiration

Illustrator and designer Tatiana Arocha on creative planning, finding perpetual inspiration, and maintaining a contrarian's disposition.

Accomplished across a vast cross-section of disciplines — graphic design, illustration, photography and film-making — Tatiana Arocha‘s portfolio reflects a hunger for creative stimulation and communication. In addition to her innovative commercial works for the likes of Sundance, MTV and Wieden+Kennedy, her partnership with Alex Moulton has produced a slew of live-action films for a wide clientele, and her project, Servicio Ejecutivo allows artists sharing her passion for innovation exposure in its online gallery.

Juggling a large variety of projects can be overwhelming, even more so when one is disorganized. To combat any schedule-related anxiety, Arocha relies on a steady diet of list-making and following timelines. “Every Monday I spend about half of my morning visualizing what I want my week to be like and what I need to accomplish. I also do the same at the beginning of every month. Things always shift during the week so at the end of the day I go through my list and see what I moved to the side so I can reorganize my schedule, and I do the same at the end of the week. If I feel I’ve lost track I just wake up early and take advantage of the peaceful morning to regroup my thoughts. Also, I have a habit of cleaning my work space very thoroughly after I finish a project – it helps me feel complete and create a clean slate for the new projects.”

In recording all of her ideas, Arocha safeguards herself against creative roadblocks. “When a new thought or idea comes, I write it down or sketch it, then I give it a line in my list and calendar. Then I let it go until I’m done with whatever I’m working on. Sometimes if I get stuck or lose inspiration in what I’m doing, it helps me to switch gears and work on one of the new ideas. Then when I come back to the project that I had left I have new inspiration which enriches it and gives me a new vision. Every project benefits from the new ideas and they can feed each other really well. So I just follow my instincts and moods. A good walk at the park with my dog Lola always helps me stay on track and recover energy.”

You should never be complacent, thinking you’ve discovered your style.

Knowing that creativity cannot exist in a bubble, she is not only inspired by the work of others, but is committed to perpetuating that ideal. “Every time I discover or am introduced to someone really talented I get chills and I find myself reinvigorated to work on my art again. Every single artist I’ve shown in Servicio Ejecutivo has inspired my career and has taught me to believe in myself and just go for it, even if they weren’t aware of it. My hope is that I can transmit the same feeling to other emerging artists through my work and the work I showcase at Servicio Ejecutivo. [I also want to] continue working on my Rainforest Sanctuary series and help promote the protection of the forests of the world. What I really want to  accomplish is to have my art go beyond a simple commentary, and have it inspire and turn into real action that will effect change in people’s lives.”

Rebellion is almost a right of passage for many young creatives, especially regarding advice from authority figures. Arocha managed to, over the years, retain such advice and eventually put it to good use — allowing her both youthful defiance and mature appreciation. “I’ve spent all my life going against most of the advice offered me, from my mom and dad to my teachers and bosses. Now I find myself applying all those things they suggested to me over the years. I think that perhaps there’s some truth to conventional wisdom.”

Arocha’s formula for success is a combination of determination and self-confidence…and it seems to be working just fine. “Never wait for someone to discover you or give approval of your work. Always work on your ideas and develop them so they don’t just remain ideas. Be persistent – results don’t happen overnight and if you continue with your exploration things just get more fun. [You should] never be complacent, thinking you’ve discovered your style, just keep exploring all your life and you’ll surprise and impress yourself.”

Comments (1)
  • Normac

    Thanks, I needed That.

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