Meet the Illustrator Behind Instagram’s Latinx Heritage Month Stickers

For the last couple of years, tech giant Instagram has celebrated various social and cultural movements through stickers– the fun, decorative tool millions use on Instagram stories to, well, tell their stories. This year, artist and illustrator Camila Rosa finds herself among the lucky artists whose work will be shared on the social network during Latinx Heritage Month. 

Rosa, who lives in São Paulo, created a sticker that exemplifies the “resilience” of Latin American people, especially womxn. The colorful sticker features a Black woman sporting a hot pink mane and gold hoops, starting fearlessly at whatever stands in front of her. The sticker perfectly showcases Rosa’s work, which she describes as “powerful, bold, and political.”

Emperifollá caught up with the Brazilian artist to talk more about her work, why she finds inspiration in Latin America, and evoking her heritage through art. 

1. Tell us a bit about your career, what inspired you to become a visual artist?

After high school, I went to design school. I then started working as a product designer at a company in my hometown designing trophies. But after 3 years, I started getting tired of it. So, I got into a street art collective (Coletivo Chá) with some friends. It was my first experience with real art. They were my major inspiration to decide to follow a career through art and illustration.  

I moved to São Paulo and started to work at a small illustration and design studio. After I left that job, I started doing freelance work and I started selling my work online. In 2016, I moved to New York to live for a year and it was there that everything changed in my life. In 2017, I moved back to Brazil and since then I’ve been working as a freelance illustrator to great clients in awesome projects.

2. How have platforms like Instagram helped you launch your career? What purpose do you think they serve for the overall Latinx artist community?

Instagram was an essential platform to launch and spread my work. It was through Instagram that most of my clients discovered me. Besides that, it’s an amazing way to know other artists and to create a community around art. There’s a lot of art profiles on IG that are responsible for spreading the work of a lot of Latinx artists and that is an amazing way to connect with each other.

3. What was your inspiration behind the sticker you created for Instagram this year?

The resilience of the Latin American people, especially womxn! Our land is blessed with nature and many beautiful places and even with our structural problems, we fight for a better future. We don’t give up. We don’t have the option to give up.

4. What do you hope people see in it or take from it?

I hope Latin American people feel represented by it and feel proud of who we are. I also hope that non-Latinx people enjoy this opportunity to know more about our culture, our history, and our differences. We Latinx people are really diverse and not just a stereotype.

Frances Solá-Santiago

Born in Puerto Rico, based in New York City. She is the editor-in-chief on Emperifollá. Her work has been published in The New York Times, Rolling Stone, NPR, Glamour Magazine, Numéro, Refinery29, Remezcla, and Bustle.

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