Meet the Maker: Reina Castellanos

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My name is Reina and I am a Venezuelan illustrator living in Orlando. My work is influenced by my culture and experiences as an immigrant—seeking balance between absurdity and moments of quiet contemplation within the organized chaos of layered color and pattern. Currently I am exploring different applications of my illustrations on small, personal wares like coin pouches and embroideries. 

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1. What did you want to be when you were a child and why?

Performer. Artist. Philosopher. Homemaker. Comedian. Architect. Writer. Hacker. Singer. Astronaut. Poet. I am convinced to have grown into an amalgamation of all those things. Little Reina would be proud!

2. What is your favorite thing about your workspace?

My studio window faces the next door neighbor’s backyard and sometimes I am able to hear their band practice. In a weird way it has become very comforting listening to them while drawing or designing. When I notice they are rehearsing, I turn off any kind of distraction I may have around me and continue working alongside them into the evening.

3. What is a scent that defines your childhood and why?

The scent I remember most vividly from my childhood is jasmine. We had a huge shrub at the entrance of our house and, when it was blooming, you could smell it all around the neighborhood. 

4. Name a fear or professional challenge that keeps you up at night?

Prematurely telling myself why and how something will fail before taking a risk. No matter how hard I’ve worked to trust my intuition and respect my process, I still catch myself doing it regularly. I think it is the creative professional equivalent of the falling teeth nightmare.

5. What is your personal or professional motto?

DO. THE. THING.

6. What is something you tell yourself to build yourself up when you face adversity or criticism?

Tough love tends to get through me better than being kind to myself (I know, yikes!), so I imagine Kara Thrace from Battlestar Galactica sizing me up and saying, “Girl, you’ve been through worse!” It usually works and the negativity can roll off my back pretty easily with such a badass—albeit, fictional—person on my side.

7. Current fave junk food, restaurant, or treat?

I see an iced tea latte, I drink an iced tea latte. No exceptions.

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