Meet the Latinx Artists Behind Instagram’s Campaign for Hispanic Heritage Month

Latinx Artists Instagram BeLatina Latinx
Photo courtesy of Instagram @diapachecoo

As a part of Hispanic Heritage Month, Instagram partnered with Latinx artists to design those amazing stickers that started to make an appearance on September 15th to use on your Instagram Stories and to produce content for their main account. 

In an effort to bring visibility to Latinx designs and cultural influences to a global audience, they teamed up with artists Camila Rosa, Dia Pacheco, Gabriela Alemán, and Valheria Rocha

Get to know the artists behind these incredible designs:

Camila Rosa is an illustrator and visual artist from Brazil. She started her life as an artist in 2010 with a female street art collective, and since then, her work can be found on the streets, in exhibitions, magazines, books, and several other media. 

Camila’s work translates women from an alternative perspective and seeks to approach political themes as a means for social change. She believes it’s important that her work can be used to support and educate people around the world.

CamixVx BeLatina Latinx
Photo courtesy of Instagram @camixvx

What was the inspiration behind the design?
The resilience of the Latin-American people, especially womxn! Our land is blessed with nature and many beautiful places, and even with our structural problems, we fight for a better future. We don’t give up. We don’t have the option to give up.

How does this campaign/partnership push your idea of representation forward?

I believe it’s very important for us to feel represented and to be able to see ourselves present in different ways. Representation is a way to change visual patterns and build a new reality. This campaign helps a lot in the process of understanding what being a Latinx means, and also shows the world how Latinx are diverse and rich in history. And also, that we Latinx people are not defined by a single stereotype.

Dia Pacheco is a graphic designer, illustrator, and freelance tattoo artist based in Mexico City. Her work is in constant evolution, and it feeds from Mexican folklore’s most iconic elements, including real-life situations, humor, stories, and personal tastes. 

How did your background, upbringing, and culture inform the final result? 

My hometown is Chihuahua, in the north of Mexico, and we’re four hours away from El Paso, Texas. A big part of my education, upbringing, and culture had a lot of influence from the United States since we were so close to the border, but I started to notice that there was a lack of connection to my roots; I didn’t feel represented. However, since my family is very nomadic, my parents made sure that my sister and I got to know and understand the diversity that enriches our identity and to carry that with pride. 

Eight years ago, I met my husband, who is Yucateco, and it was a part of Mexico I hadn’t explored, so he showed me a lot from that environment, the Mayans, and how exquisite their culture is; they don’t let their traditions die. 

These experiences, my family, my heritage, and my roots are what helped create the mood board for this.

Gabriela Alemán is an illustrator, visual artist, writer, and organizer born and raised in San Francisco’s Mission District. Her work consists of boldly colored graphics, resonating with the aesthetic of comics and pop art, and that highlight Latinx subjects and cultural iconography not found in most mainstream or Latinx art.

What inspired the main piece?

Folklore, fiestas patrias (national celebrations that happen during the week of independence in various Latinx countries), and comparsas (a group of dancers, musicians, on some occasions, some are groups of dancers playing instruments for parades and festivals like the Fiestas Patrias). I dance with a San Francisco based folklore group, Chavalos Danzas por Nicaragua. The group has really served as one of the few access points for me, as someone who is half Salvadorian and half Nicaraguan, to not only explore my Nicaraguan side but to have the insight to intentionally highlight folklore, a culturally generally appreciated practice within the Latin American diaspora. 

What do you hope people take away from your artwork?

That one of the biggest elements of pride and causes for celebration within the Latinx diaspora is our diversity. Since posting, I’ve received countless messages asking me if the center figure is of a girl or boy, and I’ve shared the piece is of a non-binary figure. Especially with COVID-19, protests, political turmoil, and calls to actions across Latin America right now, it can rightfully so be hard for many to be in a celebratory mood. And I found it important to use this opportunity to center, celebrate, and honor community members who traditionally and culturally, are not. 

Valheria Rocha is a Colombian artist/photographer specializing in fashion and portrait photography and collage art. She is inspired by her French bulldog, clementine, distinctive color palettes, theatricality, and a love for all things vintage and eclectic. She’s collaborated with brands such as Polaroid Originals, Converse, Puma, Hello Kitty, Warner Bros – and shot the album artwork for Taylor Swift’s Lover.

Gabriela Aleman BeLatina Latinx
Photo courtesy of Instagram @smugmorenita

What did the process for the collages look like?

I always like to be very intentional with my projects, so I like to do a lot of research on who I am making art about. I really try to dive into understanding who these people are, what colors they tend to like, or mean something to them, and what vibe their personality gives off. For this particular project, with the theme being “the Immigrant Experience,” I know that a very central theme is family. I took this as an opportunity to weave into this work some personal elements that are dear to my heart and my family. On June’s collage, the butterflies are the ones my Abuelo, who was an artist in Colombia, painted. I used colors that reminded me of stories in my past, and that felt true to the artists being featured. For example, in LeJuan’s collage, I tried to bring in the red and yellow from his new book (Definitely Hispanic); and for June’s, I used the yellow that is the color of her new book (Mara Kuya).

How did your background, upbringing, and culture influence the final result? 

I thought a lot about experiences I’ve had in my life that have been unique to being an immigrant, like Sunday morning grocery shopping at the Latin Mercado with my Mami. I would stealthily pick off the rainbow-colored tissue paper tassels that hang off the piñatas in the produce section. Gold accents to remind me of the brilliant nature of my culture and my community. Gold reminds me of resilience and value, both attributes I see in the Latinx culture. I like to distress my work, give it a “lived-in” feel. The scratches and the worn paper feel remind me of the exhaustion immigrants feel having to work ten times as hard as everyone else for half the recognition if that at all. That was very evident to me in my childhood, and especially I see it now. I want to celebrate our hard work, my Papi’s long days working out in the sun, and all the sweat and wear and tear on our bodies and on our hearts. We deserve to be celebrated, to be valued, to be seen.