For Gigi Villaverde, a career in graphic design and illustration started with a need for self-expression. As a child, she loved painting and drawing the things around her. As she got older, that love grew into wanting to create pieces of design that would be beautiful and functional for other people as well as herself. She decided to study graphic design, but her love for patterns came after signing up for a course in stamping technique. Her curiosity for how an illustration could be repeated indefinitely and applied to any surface, made her realise that making people happy by embellishing everyday items with illustration was her true calling.
Gigi names Laura Varsky, an Argentine designer and illustrator, Moniquilla, a Spanish illustrator and Elizabeth Olwen, a Canadian designer and illustrator, as her artistic influences. She admires the strong personalities they express through their work and likes to do the same by using her Argentinian culture and Italian/Spanish ancestry. She finds inspiration everywhere, from the tile patterns in the Buenos Aires subway, to the small garden of flowers her husband looks after. She believes that everything is a source of inspiration which allows her to reinterpret reality and transform it into patterns.
She has a special place in her heart for all her Designer Bums illustrations, but her absolute favourite is “Always Come Back” because of its history. After travelling to Calafate in the south of Argentina, Gigi discovered a local legend. The legend begins that an old woman was forced to stay behind when her tribe migrated to escape the cold. When the cold set in, it seemed as though the old woman was about to perish, but a gust of wind turned her into a beautiful thorny bush with scented yellow flowers. When summer arrived, the delicate flowers became berries, and before the autumn, they began to ripen, taking on an exotic colour and exquisite flavour. Animals that would once migrate began to stay behind to taste the fruit, and animals that had already begun their journey returned for the same reason. The tribe began to take the fruit with them and spread its seeds throughout the region adopting the legend of “the one who eats Calafate [berries], always returns”. Her “Always Come Back” print was inspired by the plant, flowers and berries of Calafate, as well as the ferns and red foxes of the forest.
Gigi loves that Designer Bums is a committed brand, not only to their customers by offering quality products, designs and exclusivity, but also for its commitment to the environment. She says that Designer Bums provides more than just products, but an eco-friendly lifestyle that will help parents do their bit to preserve the environment for generations to come. In her free time, she enjoys walks with her husbands and spending time with her family. She is currently learning to speak Italian to become closer to her grandparents, who came to Argentina from Italy. Her origins are significant to her, and she is enjoying learning more about her heritage as she progresses.
Gigi created the 'Wild Things' print (below) as part of our 2019, Wandering Earth Collection. It is available in a cloth nappy, play mat, xl wet bag, change mat and smocks.