Ana Duje

A culture-hungry Argentinian traveller, illustrator and (marginal) cat hoarder: meet Ana

Tell us a little about yourself, where you live and a bit about your life at this moment in time?
I'm from a small town in the province of Córdoba, Argentina. I moved to Barcelona in 2016, then lived in Asia (Hong Kong, mainly) in 2018-2019. I'm now back in Barcelona and living with my partner, we have two cats named Tokyo and Mila. I love traveling (who doesn't!), so you might find me somewhere else soon :)

How long have you been an artist for? Was it something you always wanted to do?
I've been a graphic designer (including a bit of illustration) for about 10 years, a freelance illustrator for 5 years, and I think I've only started considering myself an "artist" since 2020 or something like that.

If you weren’t an artist, what would you do instead?
Realistically, probably an interior designer... But dreaming is for free, so I could also say a filmmaker or musician :)

What’s happening in your near future?
Personally, a lot of changes in my life (that I'll keep for myself for now!). Professionally, I'm looking at getting representation from an agency, which I've never done before and I think is a logical/necessary step for my career (maybe by the time this is published, I will have already found one!).

What has been your career highlight so far?
I think that answer changes depending on what you're taking as a parameter (client size? project type? money? opportunity to get exposure? etc), but I would probably say (even though it's not the biggest client I've had) that the Spring Campaign I made for Lotte Duty Free in South Korea was one of the moments when I felt the most proud of myself. I got to go there and see my work in shopping malls, was the first time that I had my work displayed in a physical medium, and it gave my art a little recognition in Asia, which opened the door for other collaborations with bigger clients.

“The day I moved abroad for the first time...The most scared I've ever been, but at the same time the strongest, most accomplished, happiest I've ever felt.”

What is a work tool you couldn’t live without?
Hands down, Adobe Illustrator. It's an extension of my brain!

Outside of work, who inspires you a lot?
Honestly, people from my personal life. Decisions I see in people's everyday lives that show me that humans are stronger that we think.

What do you do when you have artist’s block?  
All the answers are on my Instagram Reels "Things to do on a creative block" Part 1 and 2 (plugging the Insta because why not? 😂)

What is your favourite book or movie? Or both!
I've always found it very hard to answer these "what's your favourite...something" questions, because it all depends on what you're looking at, right?Some movies are really good in production design, some of them have amazing scripts, some have great plot twists....But I could say Donnie Darko and Enter the Void are up there in the top.Regarding books, same answer hahaha! But what I'm into lately is Malcolm Gladwell's books.

Where's your favourite place in the world? Why?
The wonderful, magical city of Tokyo. I even named my cat after it, so imagine how big a fan I am of Japan. And this is all I'm gonna say about it, because if you get me started on Japan....I could be writing for hours!T

Tell us a memory you carry with you everywhere:
The day I moved abroad for the first time <3 On my own, with borrowed money, first time outside my country...The most scared I've ever been, but at the same time the strongest, most accomplished, happiest I've ever felt.

“Illustration Chats has broadened my perspective on things and given me the opportunity to meet really cool artists.”

What do you do to relax and have fun away from your work?
I'm lucky enough to live in Barcelona, where you can walk to the beach. Otherwise, I'd say watch movies or series, travel when possible, meet friends..

Do you have any interesting projects or exhibitions coming up?
Right now I'm taking advantage of the quiet summer to focus a lot on my own personal evolution as an artist, and plan things around my online shop, possible exhibitions, etc. But for now nothing is confirmed. The one concrete thing I actually have achieved this summer and I'm really happy about is Illustration Chats, which has broadened my perspective on things and given me the opportunity to meet really cool artists.

Finally, who is your favourite artist and why?: I feel like, as an illustrator, I HAVE to say Malika Favre. Of course there are many, many artists I love, but she's the first one that I noticed and admired :)