Colores y Cariño: How Iris Quiroga Creates New Spaces Through Art

August 9, 2023
mouse illustration
Illustration by Iris Quiroga

Art is one way that people can express themselves in ways words cannot. However, As a children’s book illustrator, Iris Quiroga (English and Comparative Literature coordinator) has found a way to express her stories in multimedia forms. 

With colores y cariño (or color and affection), Quiroga creates bright images that express her bicultural upbringing. In a surrealist art style, Quiroga’s pieces depict logical and fantastical elements that go beyond most of our imaginations. 

When it comes to the inspiration behind it all, Quiroga said, “I find it most interesting when diverse textures, colors, and materials all combine to tell stories with nuance and humor.” Her mixed mediums and collage art style represent Quiroga’s own experiences growing up as a Colombian American and the struggle to find a place where she felt she fully belonged. 

Through her medium, Quiroga provides blended perspectives for children and others while simultaneously supplying a place of belonging and similarity for other biracial and multicultural people. 

And, Quiroga gets to help others pursue the same field. Quiroga is a coordinator in the Department of English and Comparative Literature. She has also had the opportunity to guest lecture for Childhood English classes where she was able to detail her process and her creative endeavors, and furthermore inspire others at San Diego State University on how they can also succeed in art careers and create their own stories themselves. 

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