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Catalina Vásquez, filmmaker and illustrator

Catalina Vásquez, filmmaker and illustrator

Published by Leonardo Calcagno

Who are you?

I’m Catalina Vásquez I´m a filmmaker and illustrator from Medellín, Colombia. I love fashion, bright colors and to discover the story and symbolism behind any image.

Your current job:

I see myself as a storyteller and a mixed media artist.

I work with animation, comic, editorial illustration, cloth/textile design, and film production. With some university friends, I founded an animation studio called DODO Animation, where we write and produce our own animated films. Right now, I am working on a clothing line with my printed illustrations, called FRIKI. I hope to release a new collection this summer.

Besides my personal projects, I work from home as a freelance Illustrator for digital and printed media.

In which city are you located?

I live in a small town called Santa Elena, located high on the mountainside and half hour from Medellin, the second largest city in Colombia.

A word to define what kind of worker you are:


What tools are essential to your life (app, software, etc..)

My laptop, my iPad pro, a pen, a notebook, and the INTERNET. In terms of apps, I work with Procreate and Adobe CC.

What does your office space look like?

I have a studio in the wood house where I live. In the room, you find a desk, a library, and big windows. I love how natural light illuminates the place.

Normally I travel a lot during the year so I try to keep my workstation portable, one day I can be working on a plane, or in a café, or in my living room. I like flexibility so.

What kind of music do you listen to when you are working?

It depends on my anemic state and it varies a lot, but usually, I listen to shoegaze, dream pop, electronic, old school reggaeton or podcasts. There´s one that I love called Radio Ambulante about stories of Latin American people across the globe.

Do you have a way to organize your day to maximize your work?

I think doing to do lists before going bed and waking up early is a great way of getting clarity and finding a good starting point.

What tips would you give to improve Productivity?

Before I start working I try to do a lot of research, that helps me to understand better the global idea and what I´m looking for. When I do that I work faster because I have the picture in my mind of what I want.

Also, I try to close my social networks while I´m working, I prefer to stay focused on what I´m doing at the moment.

You’re better than your colleagues to:

I try not to compare myself with others, but I like the fact of being multidisciplinary and the holistic approach of design, art, and communication I tend to.

What is the best advice anyone has given you?

Each thing has its moment and each moment its opportunity.

What is your best tip for saving time?

Waking up early.

What is your routine start and end of the day?

I wake up early, read emails in my bed, stretch, and do my breakfast after I go to the studio and write down all the things I have to do.

I think I´m more productive during the day. So I prefer to finish the biggest projects before 4.00 pm.

Aside from your computer and your phone, what gadget can you not you go without?

A notebook and a pen.

Medellín city guide x Catalina Vásquez

Café: Cambria Café.

Is a small cozy café that I frequent a lot with my friends. It has a beautiful -French lookalike- decoration and the pastry is delicious.

Restaurant: Zorba.

The best thin-crust pizza in town

Shopping: Vía primavera and Via Provenza in El Poblado.

There´s a lot of local brands restaurants, cafes and galleries, each one offering something unique.


I love to go to the small stores in my neighborhood when I can find fresh and organic vegetables always, cultivated by local farmers.