translated from Spanish: Illustrating against stereotypes: Ximeco and fashion design with abundant characters, imposing attitudes and no fear of occupying space

That models are tall, thin and white is a standard that has endured over time, with justifications such as «clothes look better»; after years of pressure and constant functions, the industry seems, apparently, to have listened to criticism and incorporate «more diversity», however, the proportion is so minimal that even people question whether it is actually heard or is only a way to calm criticism.
It is in this context that peruvian illustrator Ximena Collado, known as Ximeco Art, decided to rebel against stereotypes and draw characters that broke the rules. She defines him as characters who inhabit a bold world, or «in bold», as the characteristic style of lyrics used to stand out in texts, They are figures without fear of occupying space, with exaggerated details and colors, abundant shapes and imposing attitudes.
Credits: Illustrations by Ximena Collado @Ximeco.Art
The goal of his art is to «confront traditional fashion illustration while representing transgressive characters, designers and looks that deserve to be honored.» The inspiration came from her own experience, because, from her childhood, she always loved fashion, however, she felt that this affection was not reciprocal, because she could never be identified with the models of catalogues, catwalks, even in the same illustrations of fashion designers.
«When I started illustrating I realized that I could have a particular voice and turn around the fashionable drawings we’ve always seen, ultra-thin, long figures, almost always white-skinned or completely anonymous silhouettes. I created a style that completely faces that, with large, imposing characters, that overflow the square where they are tucked in, but without losing the style.»
In this sense, for Ximeco, her goal would not change even if she engaged in other items, «if I were a fashion designer I would have created a body-positive brand, if I were a photographer I would portray the diversity of the female bodies, but I think I was born an illustrator and this is where I put my flag», she narrates.
In this sense, the illustrator seeks to inspire those who see them to think of a world «upside down», what would happen if they presented us with this kind of «standard body» as something exaggeratedly large, rather than exaggeratedly small. «And this is not just a problem in fashion illustration (although it’s more evident here) but in illustration in general, in terms of diversity of sizes and colors, most artists’ portfolio doesn’t differ much from advertising campaigns, a vast majority of white, thin, cis and a few «splattered» characters that don’t belong to that standard, I try to get as far away from that as I can,» he says.
Credits: Illustrations by Ximena Collado @Ximeco.Art
The pandemic and quarantine have changed the projects that we all had scheduled, and in the case of the illustrator has been no exception, since her scheduled works were canceled, she has dedicated he he he/she to her drawings. «I’ve found it impossible to dedicate myself to a hobby like making banana bread or immersing myself in netflix, I spend most of my free time illustrating, planning projects for Ximeco or watching tiktok while I think I should work on my earrings,» she says.
Finally, he adds that «some artist friends or designers have told me that they «despair» the number of posts I make on Instagram with new creations, but I really can’t think of what else I might be doing with so much time available. During these months I have managed to experiment with similar materials and techniques (I had left to the pencil by the iPad), make collaborations with other artists and above all try how far I can stretch my style while still being recognizable and maintaining its essence».

Original source in Spanish

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