“Before moving to New York in 2017, I didn’t really have a sense of direction, I just needed a new location due to the extreme situation of my country,” says Igor Bastidas. At the time, the illustrator and animator’s home country of Venezuela was facing a political and economic crisis that is still ongoing, and which has resulted in a mass exodus of roughly five million people over the last few years.
Based on the recommendation of a number of friends already living in the city, Bastidas’ move to Brooklyn proved to be a transformative one for his career. Since 2017, his quirky and colourful aesthetic has caught the attention of the likes of Apple, Nike and The New York Times.
The city has also had a big personal impact on Bastidas; so much so that, shortly after the move, he decided to create a monthly animation celebrating all of its unique quirks. This ended up turning into a year-long project featuring “12 apples to tell a story of New York from a personal and surreal perspective,” he says.
More recently, Bastidas has turned his side project into a fully fledged short film. Simply titled The Big Apple, it applies his trademark bold shapes and bright colours to a rotating series of scenes, and also features ambient sound design courtesy of David Kamp.
The film is a charming and thought provoking reminder of both the unique and shared experiences that can take place in our communities, whether that is the rise of movements like #MeToo, or the simple joys of late-night junk food.