For many artists, the digital sphere has been a necessary tool in reaching larger audiences and sidestepping possible gatekeeping from institutions. Instagram, with its emphasis on all things visual, has been particularly helpful.
Since the 2018 rollout of a feature that allows users to share other peoples’ posts in their Instagram stories, profiles on the social media platform have become reminiscent of the blogs on LiveJournal or Tumblr, with personal posts placed between music suggestions and images meant to boost an imagined aesthetic. Queued after videos from, say, a hike or a meal, you may catch the work of an unknown artist your old friend or little cousin admires — and find that, after visiting the artist’s profile, you admire them, too.
ALL ARTS has always been a platform meant to bolster the work of artists through a supportive community that transcends genre, and the ALL ARTS Instagram is no different. Every week, we feature posts from creators in the digital space on our Instagram stories. And now, with the aim to foster our arts community, we’re talking with a new artist every week in our new series: Artists of Instagram.
Meet Dilianny Espinoza (@dilianny_espinoza), a 27-year-old architect and visual artist based in New York City.
Espinoza received her degree in Architecture in Venezuela in 2015. She relocated to NYC a year later and was moved by the culture she “found in every corner.”
“It led me to create a personal project called ‘Visual Art Explorer,’ with which I expressed all my creative strength,” she said. “My beginnings were digital collages, and as time went by, I [experimented with other] types of illustrations until I found the style that you can see today in my creations.”
We spoke to the artist about her pieces, her inspirations and what art means to her.
What does art mean to you? How does it fit into your story?
Art is happiness, even if it sounds corny. It is the best way I have to express what I feel and what I think. I get an idea out of my head and represent it, play, and create elements until I have that feeling of harmony that the work is completed. Seeing the final result and knowing that it is my creation is a feeling that fills me.
How would you describe the type of art you create?
My style is influenced mainly by two movements: Pop Art, because I follow some characteristics such as bold colors and flat design [and] I like to work with themes and elements of popular culture, and Surrealism, because I always try to include that touch of dreamlike fantasy, both in the illustrations and in my writing.
How has social media and the digital sphere helped you in your artistic career?
Social networks have been fundamental in my artistic career. In fact, when I started creating my first works, I used to post them on my personal Instagram account. After seeing the response of people and noticing that they liked my art, I decided to create an artistic account, and there I started to publish them independently. My account grew as I published; this allowed me to reach a larger audience and opened doors for some of my projects, including the workshop I collaborated on with Apple.
How has the current global climate affected your art?
More than affected, it has made me rethink some things, like organizing how to get where I want to go and make the most of my time. Of course, the pandemic has also brought some anxiety in other aspects, but I think it has happened to all of us in recent months.
How do you find inspiration?
Sometimes when I’m walking in the city; maybe in an interesting conversation; reading a curious word in some place, or just on the internet — almost anything can inspire my brain to create these visual twists! Meanwhile, I will tell [viewers] the micro-stories behind the subjects [in the captions]. I love these flash fictions because they have the ability to hint at or imply a larger story.
What other artists inspire you?
Two of my favorite artists are Malika Favre and M.C. Escher.
Anything you’d like to add?
Showing you the inimitable perspectives of everyday life, mixing surrealism with pop art — that’s my goal!
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
Top Image: Courtesy of Dilianny Espinoza