Mexico-based textile artist Victoria Villasana applies colorful embroidery designs to vintage black and white photographs of cultural icons. Inspired by world culture and the human spirit, Villasana explores “how people relate to each other in a fragmented, post-digital world.”

From feminist heroins such as Frida Kahlo to world-adored musicians such as David Bowie, Villasana’s chosen imagery depicts who she calls “true visionaries,” meaning “people who realize their inner power to change things.” Throughout her works, rainbow colored stitches—in geometric and polka dot patterns—are used to highlight the subject’s clothing, jewelry, and eyes. Villasana’s aim is to “keep the message of these visionaries in our minds and hearts.”

Villasana often works beyond the confines of her studio. She takes to the streets where she creates yarn bombings, and pastes posters and stickers which incorporate textile details. While living in London, her “cross-cultural imagery” earned her recognition in the local street art scene where she collaborated with a number of street artists. “I love how the natural environment can change the piece by moving the yarn in different directions,” she says. Since moving back to Mexico, she continues to collaborate with street artists, in addition to her studio-based embroidery.

Villasana often uses embroidery to highlight inspiring quotes, such as David Bowie’s “we can be heroes.”

Keep up to date with Victoria Villasana’s colorful work on Instagram.