Ana María Martínez Jaramillo: I Actually Love What I Do for a Living.

“Art is the expression of being.”

Featured Work: Illustrations for the “Wingspan” game and companion field guide.

Ana María Martínez Jaramillo is a Columbian artist and teacher whose gift for portraying the natural world led her to co-illustrate the popular bird-centric game, “Wingspan,” and a beautiful new companion book. Working in paintings, engravings and other approaches, her expressions range from high-color illustrations of avian plumage to a grayscale exploration of a tree’s sinewy anatomy, to a rusty silhouette of a horizon line. Below, learn more about her career, passions, gratitude, and belief in “perseverance and permanent pursuit” of one’s goals.

Other featured works:

5 Questions for the Artist:

  1. What is Art to you?

To me, art is the expression of being; feelings, emotions and criticisms — everything that transpires in the body — through symbols or codes such as letters, color, sound, and movement; among others, with a higher aesthetic character that awakens emotions for the viewer.

2. What did you make in the past, and why?

After finishing my degree, I worked in formal education with children and teenagers due to the economic difficulties in working solely as an artist. Recently thereafter, I began working with younger children in kindergarten as an Atelier. In this role, I would guide the kids through their initial development of the many human dimensions as expressed through the language of art. It was through these paths that I began my graduate degree in infant studies while working with the faculty of education at the University.

3. What are you making now, and why?

Currently, I’m a researcher and adjunct faculty at the University of Antioquia in the Education and Arts departments. I thoroughly enjoy this line of work as it aligns with my interests in academics and the construction of knowledge in both disciplines. I find my role as a teacher very fulfilling and greatly welcome the prospect to accompany my students through their academic career.

On the other hand, I’m also working as an illustrator for a board game about birds called, “Wingspan.” This wonderful opportunity presented itself very unexpectedly three years ago. I’m passionate about scientific drawings and art that portrays the subject in a realistic fashion and I’m therefore truly thankful to continue on this path through the many expansions of the game and illustrations that I’ve been fortunate to create, and continue to do at this very moment. This path has also led to another unforeseen event, and lifelong dream: the publishing of the book, by Harper Collins, featuring my art, “Celebrating Birds: An Interactive Field Guide Featuring Art from Wingspan.”

4. What are your hopes for the future?

I hope to continue working in these two fields: teaching at the University and freelance illustrations. I would like to participate in future editorial projects featuring my drawings and to learn more about other technical, conceptual and artistic avenues in this field to generate a graphical production in line with contemporary trends.

5. What else would you like to say?

I believe I’m in the minority in saying that I actually love what I do for a living. My commitment and passion towards my interests have taking me to this point, as well as the helping hand of several close friends and relatives, all of whom I truly thank. This path as an artist has not been an easy one, especially considering the cultural context of where I live. The biggest lesson I’ve learned is that perseverance and permanent pursuit will eventually lead to the realization of your goals.

Artist supplied bio:

Ana Maria Martínez Jaramillo is a Colombian artist, born and raised in Medellin. She completed her undergraduate studies in Fine Arts at the University of Antioquia, the same institution where she also earned a graduate degree in Infant Studies. Ana currently works as an adjunct professor and researcher at the University.

Her career as an artist has revolved around drawings, engravings and the development of varied techniques and formats through which she has expressed her passion for nature and the transformation of the landscape. These explorations have complemented her artistic development through courses focused on scientific illustrations and watercolor paintings. Her journey led her to being an illustrator for the highly acclaimed Wingspan board game, which continues to this day.

Ana Maria is passionate about her work and devoted to her profession. She truly loves what she does and hopes to continue on this path for the rest of her life.

Find Ana Maria Martínez Jaramillo on Instagram and Facebook.

Ask Artists also interviewed Natalia Rojase, the second illustrator of “Wingspan.”

Learn more about the Ask Artists interview series and submissions.

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