Kiyary; mestiza artist who currently resides in Asturias, Spain

Kiyary Do is a mestiza artist and illustrator with native Peruvian, Spanish, English, and Irish ancestry. She grew up in the United States and now resides in Asturias, Spain. Kiyary’s deep passion for learning took her all over the world, from studying architectural design and sculpture in the US, graphic design and 3D animation in Peru, to fine arts in Madrid, and illustration in Asturias. Kiyary has also taken several online courses; making oil painting, portraiture, and landscape her creative playground.

Art for her is not only about aesthetics but a powerful voice to address social issues such as identity, human connection, and the environment, which are recurring themes in her exhibitions. Besides working on various illustration and painting projects, Kiyary founded an art club for illustrators in Asturias, fostering weekly meetings, projects, and exhibitions. When not painting in her studio with her feline companion, Kiyary can be found capturing life through alla prima painting, whether among the mountains or inside cozy cafes in the city. 

Let's dig further....

When did you start illustrating?

As many artists and illustrators i bet, I was the kid who was almost born with a pencil, who started drawing and never stopped. I started illustrating as such at a very young age, I created my own comic with my best friend when i was 14 years old, and I did some other work here and there around my teens. But professionally I started getting paid commissions for commercial illustrations and books when I was on first year of my Fine Arts studies, that’s over 12 years ago.

Who has been the most supportive in your illustration career, perhaps your teacher, family, friends?

When I decided to take a chance on Illustration while being a fine artist I think the biggest support came from my own believe in myself, in that I could actually succeed; but this trust on myself, this confidence, only happens thanks to the constant moral support I have received from my parents and my best friend Amy, since a young age, they have always believed in my capabilities, and they have always thought I could do great things. In the last years I have also been blessed to have found a supportive partner, and a few more close friends who have encouraged me to take the leap into finding an agent.

I created, along another illustrator friend, a group in Asturias, an illustrators club: Ilustrando Asturias, and in this group we share ideas, support, advise, tips, news, job opportunities, etc. The artistic path is usually very solitary, and the profession in itself requires not only a lot of hard work but a lot of time in the studio by yourself, having a group like this does create a safe and supportive environment, where doubts can be cleared out and where people won’t feel so alone.

Did you always think art was something that was going to be a major part of your life?

Actually I never thought Art could not be anything else but. I always saw it and see it as The major part of my life. Although my parents do not work in the art world, they have always encouraged creativity and problem solving at home; Art answers to that, real good art proposes questions and makes us wonder with its answers.

What is your favourite subject matter to illustrate?

Nature, and the connection of humanity to the natural world, and cats!

How would you describe your style?

I would describe my style as realistic impressionism, on a more illustrative note, a vibrant and strong palette, full of details and contrasts.

What is your favourite collaboration to date?

I had the wonderful opportunity to collaborate with a fellow colleague, who in this opportunity did the design job for a podcast about passionate women with the most interesting successful stories in Asturias, my job was to make more than 25 illustrated portraits with the podcasts colours. The team at the podcast was just wonderful to work with, and the stories are inspiring.

What interested you about being represented by Illo Agency?

Definitely their slogan was the first thing that caught my attention, “Individual. Distinct. Diverse. Global”, and then the plethora of illustrators they have under their wing, I talked to some of them to ask their experience with the agency before requesting representation, which had wonderful feedback. It was not a random choice.

Do you have a favourite author, film director, or designer?

I have two favourite authors, my text based author is John Berger, the art critic and novelist, my favourite book of his is On drawing and Why look at animals? My other favourite author would be Shaun Tan, who is an artist and an illustrator, but also a writer. I love his illustration work and his paintings, but his book The Arrival is a visual narration of immigration, I have a special connection with that story as it touches two personal experiences of immigration: my whole family migration to the US and my own migration to Spain. My favourite film director is Steven Spielberg, definitely Jurassic Park is my favourite movie of all time, I watch it sometimes as a background sound while I am working. I know it by heart but it's the music and the camera shots that really get me. My second one is Indiana Jones, I link both movies to wonderful childhood memories with my parents.

Are you working on any personal projects you can share with us?

I am working on a few personal projects that I would like for them to come to light. What I can share is one illustrated picture book on survival skills which I am writing and illustrating, and one really personal, a dialectic for an exhibition in a gallery in Asturias next year around spring.

Do you listen to podcasts? If so, do you have a favourite?

No, I do not listen to podcasts but this year I have been listening and watching the videos from Schoolism, I am strong believer that we can always better ourselves by constant learning. There are also some very useful youtube channels that are wonderful source of knowledge. James Gurney’s is an example.

If you’d like more info, please contact: [email protected]

At illo agency, we pride ourselves in representing a collation of global illustrators, distinctly diverse in creativity and uniquely celebrated by like-minded clients across a range of commercial markets.