Muse Spotlight
June 26, 2024

Vannia Palacio

Creative Nomad | Artist | Illustrator

To embrace collaboration and dialogue — artistic growth — is to be aligned with the guiding principle of Authorne.

Beginning in 2024, Rachel Bu cultivated a relationship with the talented illustrator, animator, and digital designer Vannia Palacio to bring Authorne’s motifs, and their inner stories, to life. Palacio’s poetic, surrealistic illustrations have cast life into stories behind Authorne’s iconic Cicada motif, the playful snapshot of child’s-play celebrating the Chinese NewYear, and the paisley teddy bear that introduced Authorne’s recent activation with ETRO.

 “I am thrilled that Rachel's path intersected with my own, allowing us to collaborate on these creations and celebrate her motifs together. As I carve a new path, not just as an illustrator but as an animator, I've found it to be both challenging and immensely rewarding.”  

“The Cicada motif holds a special place for me, mainly because I had the opportunity to develop the idea alongside Rachel over time. It felt like I grew alongside the project, witnessing its transformation into something entirely unique, which is a beautiful coincidence because that kind of growth is exactly what the Cicada Motif is about. Through this process, I've come to appreciate Authorne's ethos and methodology, particularly their iconoclastic approach to motifs.”

“Authorne's visual vocabulary is captivating because it embodies its own dialectic, where each motif represents a harmonious synthesis of two seemingly clashing symbols.

"For example, while creating the animation for this Chinese New Year, I learned about the Lion Dance tradition and then understood how Rachel, by incorporating the western lion as a welcomed guest, allowed the story for an allusion to the “Heed the Guardians” motif, creating a rich tapestry of symbolism and tradition.”

Despite having spent recent years in Ecuador, Palacio considers herself an artistic nomad, following creative impulses and finding inspiration from cross-continental travels.

“For me, home is wherever I can find a pencil and paper."

"While I don’t go to extremes, I have honed the art of downsizing my bags to bring only the essentials for my work.”

“Currently, I'm in the process of transitioning back to Europe. I'm looking to establish a base in Portugal, in the fishermen’s town of Ericeira, known as the surfing capital of Europe. I'm drawn to Ericeira's small seaside town lifestyle because of the calmness it offers, which contrasts with the instability back in my beautiful country, Ecuador. It serves as an escape and contributes to my peace of mind. Additionally, Ericeira is close to Lisbon, providing the option for a city life escape when needed.”

On being a digital nomad, Palacio describes: “To me, it represents the modernization of the concept of the “citizen of the world,” a title I've always identified with as an Ecuadorian who studied Fine Arts abroad in Spain. However, more importantly, it's a state of mind. While some people travel extensively without opening their minds, true nomadism embraces both exploration and open-mindedness.

How might one create a sense of home — an anchoring force — amidst seismic life change? “The activity of drawing is what is most important to me. I’ve set up my life to make sure drawing stays at the center of it all. It feels like its own being, my best friend."

"When I’m drawing, I dive into my inner world.”

“I would say my principles are:

1. Keeping my independence so I can always have creative freedom. 2. My well-being, as good art can only come from feeling good. Like David Lynch says, the “starving artist” trope is nothing but a hoax. And lastly 3. A combination of discipline and intuition: I trust my gut to lead me in the right direction, but I’m also disciplined enough to respect the process. Sometimes that means starting over from scratch to get it just right.”

Palacio’s practice takes on a distinct and beautiful aesthetic, combining storytelling and illustration in the medium of animation. “Animation feels like a natural extension of illustration, something I've been drawn to since childhood.It offers me the opportunity to be a storyteller in my own right, managing every aspect of a narrative, akin to a "poor man’s film." This allows me, as an introvert, to be my own movie studio for these short but worth-telling stories.”

“Illustration is a distinct discipline originally conceived for publishing. It is meant to visually reinforce the meaning of a given text and provide a more rounded understanding for the viewer than words alone could offer. I've always been fascinated by visual elements, like the images in children’s books and the album covers from my parents’ vinyl collection. I remember spending hours captivated by the artwork on the "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" album, studying every detail, and being mesmerized by my children’s books even before I knew how to read."

"When I discovered that I could make a living doing this, I knew I had to pursue it.”

In concluding her Encounters, Palacio shares several points of inspiration that guide her practice.

 “I adore Margaret Kilgallen; she might have been the reasonI had the courage to choose Art as a life journey. Raymond Pettibon's intentional drawing stroke has always fascinated me. Peter Blake, the brilliant artist behind the Beatles' iconic album I mentioned earlier, is another figure whose life and work I've delved into and admired deeply.

 “What I strive for above all is authenticity. This quality is evident in all the artists I admire—they each possess their own voice, unapologetically. And they all possess incredible draftsmanship. While I acknowledge that I might be dismissed as a purist, I firmly believe that drawing is the most important of all the arts to master first.”

 Follow Vannia Palacio on Instagram and stay tuned for new animations developed in collaboration with Authorne.

Written By:
Rachel Bu
Photography By: