It’s hard not to smile when looking at Ana Leovy Perez’s paintings. Through bold caricatures and colors, the Mexican artista has created vibrant worlds that explore her views on internal and external beauty. Upon looking at Ana’s work, you will notice that the people in her paintings are diverse – ranging in all shapes, skin-tones and sizes – harmoniously coexisting in the bright and wondrous worlds she has created for them. By challenging the conventional ideal of the human form through her paintings, Ana is sending a message to the world that diversity is something to be embraced and celebrated, opposed to being something that can divide us.

Earning her degree in graphic design from one of the most prestigious universities in Mexico, Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City, Ana later transitioned into gouache and acrylic painting because she was drawn to the versatility of both mediums. She explains that “the use of color and most of the brush strokes are very spontaneous even when there is a lot of detail involved.” Her paintings are inspired by the experiences she encounters in her everyday life – fashion, culture, dreams – giving her work a surrealist quality and unleashing the creativity of her unconscious mind while being highly relatable at the same time. She summarizes her work as “painting things I think, things I see, and things I think I see.”

A recurring theme throughout Ana’s paintings is the presence of strong and vivacious female characters, many of whom are based on real-life women who have served as great sources of inspiration to Ana, including writer Clarissa Pinkola, illustrator Carla Fuentes and designers Mara Hoffman and Johanna Ortiz.

The young artist already has a number of impressive commissions under her belt, creating custom designs for the likes of Teen Vogue, The Guardian and Justina Blakeney. Although her favorite recent commission was creating the album art for singer Charlie Burg’s latest single “Channel Orange in Your Living Room”. This was Ana’s first collaboration with a musician and an avenue of her creativity that she has always wanted to explore.

But perhaps our favorite recent work of Ana’s is her large-scale piece entitled Celebration, which was inspired by the dawn of the new decade marked by her 30th birthday this year. The festive nature of the piece is irresistible, transporting onlookers to better times, and reminding us of the things we have to be grateful for in life. “Of course, with the current events we are living through, it is hard to stay positive, but what I like about this piece is that even in dark times I look at it and I feel happy. In the end, a good party, dancing, kissing and laughing with loved ones is something to look forward to.