We had the good fortune of connecting with Adriana “Siamés” Escalante and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Adriana “Siamés”, what principle do you value most?
To me, the most important thing is to stay true to myself and to do work that I love. As an illustrator is always a possibility to do low-quality-fast-delivery artwork to get more jobs, but for me, the quality on my artwork is always important. I would rather lose a job offer than to deliver something that is not up to my standards because, at the end of the day, I will end up with something I cannot show in my portfolio and that I didn’t love creating. The process of creating work, getting too involved, loving every step of conceiving something from the concept, to the drafts, the color tests, etc, it’s what makes my life have a meaning and to make me absolutely adore what I do. Illustration is something that I cherish and I would never risk the possibility of hating it.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am an illustrator born in Mérida, Mexico, a beautiful place to live and be raised, but not the best place to pursue an artistic career. When I went to college there was a weird conception amongst adults that arts where not a decent way to make a living, so it was not a career my family would have supported. I ended up going to Graphic Design school and that’s where I got to know more about the world of illustration and fell in love with it. Being the very stubborn person that I am, I made it my life goal to make a living off drawing and my dream always was to illustrate children’s books. I think I have been fortunate enough to have made some in my career and also to have had the opportunity to also do gallery exhibitons amongst people I admire. I cannot say it has been an easy path, because you really have to push yourself to be better to have someone notice your potential, but I am fortunate to live in a moment of time where, thanks to the internet platforms, it is possible to live somewhere remote and have people all over the world seeing your work. It’s definitely something that has helped my career a lot. With all these years of experimenting I have learned that I am not a person who can stand still and focus on one thing for the rest of her life. I love illustrating, but I really love EVERYTHING about it. So much that I love drawing for books, merchandise, art exhibitions, commercial work and most recently, I have learned how to draw on people’s skins so I am expanding my experience to tattoos as well. I love being flexible and adapting to different audiences and mediums; I don’t exactly know where that will take me, but at least I am in a place where I am happy with my life and that I live off doing the thing I love the most.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I am all about food, so my best plan would probably revolve around that, haha. I live in Mexico City now, so I would take my friend every day to my favorite bakeries and breakfast places for a nice comfy breakfast and a good talk. Then probably a new fun place everyday for art seeing, relaxing and walking like the independent art galleries, the art fairs, museums and the national parks. Maybe one day of sight seeing to pyramids since we’re fortunate to have those close by. Then, dinner every day at a different restaurant or a bar with the most delicious cocktails. Also, of course, a weekend away at one of the lovely magical towns just outside the city to explore and enjoy the beauty of our country.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would not be where I am if it wasn’t for all the people online that follow and support my work, share it and cheer me up to keep going. To all the people, galleries, businesses & editorials who have trusted me to work with them. Also, to my fellow illustrator friends who always help me and give me advice and with whom I can exchange points of view and learn from.
Other: Tattoos on instagram @siamestattoos Online store & merch brand on Instagram and Facebook @siamesescalantestore