Cleonique Hilsaca Interview – 50 States (Georgia)

April, 2017
Reading Time
4.5 mins
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Image © The Interviewee

Cleonique Hilsaca – “no matter where I go, Georgia is where I feel at home.”

This week the Creative Chair is in Atlanta, Georgia, where we’re talking to illustrator Cleonique Hilsaca for the fifth instalment of our special 50 States series.

Cleonique is a talented illustrator and print designer. Her portfolio demonstrates a range of vibrant and organic visual styles, which you can see more of on Behance and her website.

Bad Gifts

Tell us a little bit more about yourself and what you do

My name is Cleonique Hilsaca, and I’m an illustrator from Tegucigalpa, Honduras. I have lived in Georgia for almost a decade now, most of it spent in Savannah. I came to the United States when I was 18 to study at the Savannah College of Art and Design where I received my B.F.A. in Illustration with a minor in Graphic Design. After graduating, I worked creating mostly editorial illustration and licensing artwork for a variety of products like tee designs, greeting cards and paper goods. I’m currently focusing on personal projects besides client work. I’m represented by Illozoo Agency and Wild Apple Licensing.


How has your state influenced the work that you do?

Besides attending an amazing and inspiring college at one of the most beautiful towns I’ve ever been in, I’ve been lucky enough to have influenced myself by the local art community in the cities of Savannah, Atlanta and Athens, all of them here in Georgia. I’ve been a part of many local projects such as murals, festivals and workshops. I also had my own studio at Sulfur Studios in Savannah, where I was surrounded by artists and was constantly a part of exhibitions and events. I’ve also been greatly inspired by the local artists and studios I’ve met that create products such as zines, paper goods, plushies, illustrated pottery and printmaking.

The 70th 366 Award goes to Cleonique Hilsaca for her outstanding creative work.

Sulfur Studios by Cleonique Hilsaca
One of my favourite events, Fluke Athens, the mini zine and comic convention, is an event I attend yearly which pushes me to create new zines and to enjoy being a part of a growing zine community.

Daily Drawing by Cleonique Hilsaca

I am not a city person, especially having lived in a mountain most of my life in Honduras, and Georgia is a great middle between an industrial environment and the woods. The southern charm is something I also miss when travelling north and no matter where I go, Georgia is where I feel at home.

Of your own work, what is your favourite project and why?

My favourite recent project is my contribution to the 36 Days of Type, an annual event where artists from all over the world design and illustrate all the letters in the alphabet as well as all the numbers. I was only able to finish the alphabet, but it was an amazing learning experience. It’s made me more comfortable with illustrating type, and I hope to incorporate more of it in my future work.

“Every time I finish one book, and I open a new one, it’s like an old chapter of me ends and another begins”

36 Days of Type

My other favourite project, that people can only see so much of, is my sketchbook, which is my pride and joy just because it’s work I create for myself. Every time I finish one book, and I open a new one, it’s like an old chapter of me ends and another begins.

Sketch Book

And finally, if you died and got reincarnated as a song, what would that song be?

“Forever Lost” by God is an Astronaut

Forever Lost"
Forever Lost (2005)
God is an Astronaut
Play on Apple Music
Play on Spotify
Play on YouTube
What began as a fun question to end an interview, has now become a wonderfully eclectic collaborative playlist by 161 people (and counting).
Georgia with Cleonique Hilsaca
Our Forest