Cristóbal Bravo is a professional graphic designer and independent artist from Vichuquén, Región de Maule. We recently had the opportunity to interview Bravo and learn more about his work and mission!
His love for birds began one day during a nature photoshoot in Laguna Torca, when he saw a pair of Siete-Colores caring for two chicks. Bravo dedicates 100% of his effort as an independent artist to illustrating birds. He uses watercolor and pencil to capture the essence of each bird. His love of painting began during high school, when he would create portraits and landscapes with oil paints, and he taught himself watercolor technique and hosted his first gallery showing on August 31, 2016, featuring birds he has spotted in the Laguna Torca National Reserve.
His mission? Bravo wants to promote awareness and care for the plethora of species in his community through art: “to be able to teach children and adults about the variety of birds we have, and how important they are to us.” In May, he hosted a presentation of his photographs and paintings for children, hoping the next generation will treat the sight and sound of birds as “a gift.” His dream is that people will protect and appreciate the beauty of birds, rather than hunt them or harm the environment.
Not only is Bravo successful in his own artistic achievements, but also in positive interactions with an audience. He says he is proud “when I see the faces of children and interested people,” or when he sees looks of surprise “when I tell them about the variety of birds they can find in their community, and Chile.”
Bravo has put aside his career as a graphic designer in order to dedicate all his energy to bird-related artwork. “I always ask myself why I do it,” he muses. “I do it because I am passionate about it, because I believe the world of birds is a grand one, and I would like to continue learning and teaching. Even though it’s a stretch to make a living, it makes me happy.”
He is the first in his region to professionally photograph and illustrate birds. His community has already learned a lot: with the help of products featuring his artwork, like magnets, booklets, and postcards, easier identification is possible. In addition to gallery showings, Bravo has also started offering birding tours.
Education is central to our mission here at Celebrate Urban Birds, and we are inspired by the work Bravo carries out in his community. Cristóbal, thank you for sharing your art and story with us, and good luck!
You can follow Cristóbal and learn more about his work on Instagram @torcailustracion or on Facebook.com/torcailustracion.