Before you Slitherin to bed, let us tell you a tale...
Under the dense rainforest canopy in the dead of night, a pink bellied black snake silently lurks. Its glowing pink eyes and striking pink belly contrast against the pitch dark. Its ominous presence is even more unsettling as it curls around the skulls and bones suspiciously scattered on the forest floor. This delightfully dark and menacing design is brought to you by Colombian artist, Juan Villamil.
The Knobby Nation was first introduced to Juan’s talent back in April 2022 with his steam punk twist on a unicorn battle, The Mane Event. To showcase the incredible artists we collaborate alongside, we interviewed Juan with a series of bad questions.
Okay so firstly, what did you have for dinner last night?
Last night I had the most amazing Philly cheese steak sandwich I’ve ever eaten, thanks for reminding me that!
Tell us a little bit about yourself, where are you from? Describe what you see out your window.
My name is Juan Villamil but many people know my work as “Juan Sin Miedo” which is the spanish for “Fearless John” (like the classic tale). I'm in my late twenties and I’m from Bogotá, Colombia. From my window I can see Chapinero in all its splendor, it is the neighborhood I live in which feels very urban with lots of graffiti and street art, classic/old houses and buildings, many alternative and creative people and a bit of insecurity as well.
How long have you been creating art for?
I think as many illustrators/creators I’ve been drawing and creating all my life. I was lucky enough to have many support from my family always and from about 2014 I’ve been doing this professionally.
How would you describe your style and where do you draw inspiration from?
Much of my inspiration comes from all the tv shows I was a fan as a kid, I spent lots and lots of hours drawing things from Dragon Ball to Rugrats and everything in between and that sticked until these days, eventually as I was growing up I became really interested in street art and tattoos and I think I started mixing those things into digital art and the result is what you could call my style.
How is designing underwear different from other mediums?
First of all, underwear is a medium I never thought I would be working on when I started doing this but I’m really glad I did. It’s just special, It’s about working on that personal, secret and intimate piece of clothing that is so cool you just want to show everyone around you, the piece that matches your mood and become your lucky undies. All that is what I kept in mind while making these.
What’s been your greatest achievement since you started?
One of my favorite things so far is the fact that my work has let me collaborate with people all around the globe which resonates with my work and my style, that my drawings are paying my bills and that lots of people support my work, all from my home in Chapinero! I think all of those are the greatest achievements of them all, I’m sure my younger self would be very proud.
When you aren’t illustrating, what are you doing?
Illustration, drawing and painting are a BIG part of my daily life, a huge one to the point that if it wasn’t what I do for a living a wouldn’t know what I’ll be doing with my life since I don’t have many other hobbies/activities, I’m not really into sports, not very good at playing instruments, etc. So basically when I’m not drawing/painting I’m just enjoying life next to my girlfriend, binge watching things, playing video games, eating junk food and from time to time traveling to new places.
If you were going to live on Mars, what’s the 1 item you would take with you?
If I’m available to charge it definitely it would be my Ipad. If electricity is limited then it would be my sketchbook.
What’s one piece of advice you’d give to an emerging artist?
I think that nowadays with all the saturation of images and videos we all get constantly from social media and the internet in general it isn’t enough to just do something cool and expect that everyone would be interested in it. Is really good to know where those images come from, what’s the inspiration behind, WHO IS THE PERSON that made it and why, your personal story and context is what can make your work stands out and make people aware of it instead of just being another image on the internet.
You can find more of Juan's work online: Juan Sin Miedo