MARIA ISABEL BONILLA
Maria Isabel Bonilla was born in Cali, Colombia. This city is known for its lush tropical environment and a dynamic, vibrant Salsa music scene. Upon her high school graduation, she moved to Bogotá -Colombia’s capital- to pursue several degrees in fine art, design and illustration. In 2011 she moved to Billings to pursue yet another degree in Equestrian Studies and fell in love with Montana. She decided to stay to continue pursuing her two passions: art and horses.
She currently holds a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts and a Minor in Design from Los Andes University, as well as a Certificate in Illustration for Children’s Literature from Jorge Tadeo Lozano University. Finally, she also holds and a Magna Cum Laude Bachelor’s in Equestrian Studies from Rocky Mountain College. In 2017, she founded Blue Jaguar Art, her personal studio. She lives in Billings, Montana is now actively participating in local Art Shows and Exhibitions, which included her debut at the prestigious Yellowstone Art Museum Art Auction in March of 2018. She is currently working as a freelancing artist, graphic designer, illustrator and equestrienne.
I find joy in creating intricate, lavish images where explosive color, bold lines and seductive shimmer play an essential role in mesmerizing the viewer. My artwork is mainly influenced by an intense sense of nostalgia for my homeland. I find inspiration in diverse elements like pre Hispanic art, Salsa music, native flora and fauna and childhood memories. I consider my artwork “Tropical Surrealism with a hint of Salsa music” and favor a flashy, psychedelic aesthetic that combines traditional mediums like acrylics and watercolors with more unexpected materials like bones, glitter, sequins and gemstones. There is always an urge to evolve and experiment as well, for the life of the artist is permanently in flux.