Work inspiration with Laura Varsky

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Laura Varsky

Graphic designer / illustrator from Argentina
@lau_varskyLaura Varsky Illustration

I’m Laura Varsky, a graphic designer who works on illustration rather than design. I was born and grew up in the outskirts of Buenos Aires, Argentina, where I still live. 

How did you get started in illustration? What is a turning point in your professional career? 

I started working on illustration 10 years ago, when I decided to take classes to restart the manual work I had left aside. I began to share my drawings in the social networks and felt flattered and motivated by the reaction of the people there. 

But it wasn’t until a couple of years after, when I had a crisis on my career as a designer that I reconsidered what I really wanted to do. I used to feel happy designing records & CD sleeves, but somehow I’d lost the impulse to do it. I found myself creating visual languages for others, but what I really wanted to do was to create my own language, so illustration became a strong tool to achieve this. It was a challenge to reject good design projects at that time, but I’m very glad to have done it at the right moment. 

I still work as a designer sometimes, but only on the projects I feel inspired by. My focus, though, is set on illustration.  

What is your ideal work environment? Do you prefer to work at studio all day long or mix a few activities?

I used to work at home / at my studio for long hours, but not regularly. I used to have breaks to go and meet friends, to attend workshops or just to go for walk. This is what I love about being a freelance: you can choose what your timetable will be, day by day. 

Nowadays, being a mother of two small children, I just work whenever I can. 

Where does your work inspiration come from? (Do you believe in 'inspiration' at all)?

I was once asked which things inspire me. I said: “The movement of the water, the sight of old iron bars, my cat sleeping, any cat playing, the Bodoni font, unfastened yarn, the floor tiles of a gallery, a random close up on a van Gogh, the first page of an old book, a forest in autumn, a ballet choreography, an unfortunate blot of ink…” That is, inspiration comes from the things we feel sensitive to. After this light breeze of perceptions, there it comes: the hard task to illustrate them. 

Where are your favorite art places in your city or outside?

The Faculty of Architecture, Design & Town Planning at the Buenos Aires UBA (Universidad Nacional de Buenos Aires). This is the place where I studied. I could say this building is a kind of factory of ideas, projects and dreams to be fulfilled. I’m not sure if I could say it’s an art place, but I always definitely felt more inspired there than in any good museum.