Love is hidden everywhere believes renowned artist and illustrator Veronica Ettedgui. She has a traveler’s eye, always searching for new things. But what Veronica Ettedgui is looking for in big cities, small towns, far away places and everyday life are unexpected typographies, specifically the four letters needed to spell LOVE. She is a Venezuelan-based graphic designer whose illustrations and photographic works have been exhibited throughout South America and the United States. For some time now she has been exploring a new world, LOVE: A Typography Challenge. It’s a fun project in which she is armed only with her camera and her desire to find the perfect picture. Ettedgui has earned quite a following, numerous exhibitions, proposals for future shows and an international award.
“The first time I realized I was taking LOVE seriously was when I got an email from a California-based design magazine, Communication Arts, saying: ‘You are a winner’. It explained that I had been awarded their Annual Typography contest among 1,740 entries. One hundred and forty two had been selected, but only four in my category! The good news didn’t stop there: ‘Your work will be published in our magazine’s January 2016 issue and a month from now you’ll get your Award of Excellence trophy’. I almost cried of happiness and surprise. Well… not almost, I did cry”, says Ettedgui.
Ettedgui has an upcoming LOVE exhibition in Miami opening on September 15, 2016 at Artisan Kitchen and Bar in Key Biscayne, featuring a unique exhibition of 13 photographs on plexiglass from Ettedgui’s magical works spelling the word LOVE with bits and pieces of the artist’s favorite things. “Explore artist & illustrator Veronica Ettedgui’s ‘Love’ project that expresses the fleeting love of the small details we see in life through typographic portraits” -AIGA / Los Angeles. Also enjoy Veronica Ettedgui’s Book: Things I Love, a collection of 77 Loves and 77 Short love stories written by Toti Vollmer.
The project became a transcendental game in which she paired two of her passions, typography and photography. It all started with a few iPhone pics and from there it transformed into an interesting project for people around the world. She believes that love is a universal theme and is happy to have found her own way to mix and mash her favorite things in meaningful art products. “Finding objects that transform into letters was a fascinating discovery that soon became a challenge: Where is that hidden ‘E’ on a bike? Regarding photography, I only have the basic training I got from Graphic Design School, but I’ve always been fascinated by it. I am looking for an aesthetic in which the letter, color and light are my allies. I barely use Photoshop for sizing or contrast, but don’t manipulate images or use filters. It’s a pretty virgin, raw work,” she says as she giggles.
Communication Arts Magazine: Veronica Ettedgui Feature
LOVE is an intimate project for Veronica, she looks for those wonderful four letters in things that she truly enjoys. The process brings a realization of the enormous amount of things, places and actions that the artist and illustrator actually loves, adding a unique flavor to life. "If, like myself, you suffer the hardships of making a living in Venezuela right now. Making an inventory of our blessings is an exercise we seldom do and it’s also a straight road to appreciation and gratefulness. Through my art I am paying homage to life’s little good things and inviting people to start their own inventories of happiness.”
In her journey, taking pictures among traffic lights, bicycles, ice cream bars, guitars, sculptures and arepas, the graphic designer comments on how she has discovered new ways to approach people, places, and cultures. “When you reach someone asking permission to take pictures of their working space or an object they have just because you like it, you always get a yes for an answer. A barber dressed us both up to take selfies and posted them on Instagram! Another guy thought I was going to mug him or something because he saw me laying on the street for 15 minutes trying to get the perfect letters out of his Mini Cooper. I had to negotiate with a tattoo artist so I could walk behind a huge sign that read “Employees Only” … And at the end neither of those photos worked! This is really fun, can’t complain. More so because I’ve had the opportunity to travel after I started this LOVE thing -one of my favorite things on Earth. So trying to summarize the charm of Perú, Madrid, Berlin or NY in four letters with the right flavor was a huge challenge. Focusing my camera on what makes each place special gained me a lot of awareness.”
Credit: direct quotes from 'LOVE: Hidden everywhere' interview with Venezuelan/Colombian journalist Monica Urbina