Hjalmar Jesus Gibeli Gomez: Meet Eugenia Mello, Artist in Residence for Life Happens – Life Happens
Life Happens: How did you get started as an artist?
Eugenia Mello: I studied graphic design at university in Buenos Aires, and I really liked graphic design, but I felt like it was missing something for me. So I went into illustration additionally, and I realized that what I liked about illustration was what I felt had been missing: expressing something. Eventually, I applied for my master’s program in illustration.
LH: How would you describe your artistic voice in your own words?
Eugenia: I started to find one extreme end of a string, a theme, and I started pulling that string. In the beginning, I started drawing dancers, and I didn’t really know what it meant. I was told that I should draw what I knew, and that’s what came out.
I started studying dance, I went to a lot of dance shows, and I started getting the sense that there is actually a really beautiful parallel between drawing and choreography. Without words, they could say emotions very clearly, and that really resonated with me. I started finding how I wanted to speak, discovering what I sound like.
The biggest theme was motion. What is my filter through which I see things? I look at things through motion. Motion is a way of saying “alive.” Motion is life. What I liked about being chosen for this particular project was that it was another way of expressing this idea of motion. Sometimes it doesn’t need to be any more complex than that. This character is in motion—then it’s alive.
LH: How did you come to the final work of art for this project? What was the process like?
Eugenia: You know, it’s not a niche you think about—life insurance—when you think about potential clients. But when I spoke to Life Happens, I really liked this idea that actually, it’s a celebration of life. That is exactly what I feel like my work is about. There’s an intrinsically optimistic energy that I wanted to translate.
LH: What were you hoping to convey with your illustrations for Life Happens?
Eugenia: I wanted to create characters that weren’t exclusionary. That’s part of the responsibility of making images: You’re creating worlds. It’s about a group of families that coexist together; they’re having joy in a very regular day. The color yellow is joy to me, it’s the color of the sun. When I see it, it feels like a day that you don’t want to end… those summer days that are just perfect and you think, “I wish this day would last for a very long time.”
LH: What did you learn about life insurance? Have any of your views about life insurance changed since working on the project?
Eugenia: Life insurance is like a bit of a net, holding those families together. And that’s something you can count on. That’s what I tried to say in this image. Growing up, I think I only heard of life insurance in movies. I never put too much thought into it, but I think that’s because when you’re young, you’re just living. As you get older, you can put into focus how much life means to you. As the stakes get higher and your net of people gets bigger… that’s when life insurance really starts to make sense.
You can follow Eugenia on Instagram at @eumiel. To order Eugenia’s artwork shown above as a print for your home or office, click here. You can select your own dimensions and the print will be shipped straight to your address.