Aina Bestard

“I like creating beauty to make people happy”

The illustrator and designer Aina Bestard (Palma, 1981) decided to quit her work with multinationals like Camper, Women’s Secret or Vialis to devote herself to publishing books. More than 250,000 copies of her What’s hidden? series have been sold, translated into 15 languages.

“I once did an Ikigai, a Japanese test designed to identify your purpose in life. It turned out that mine was to generate beauty to make people happy. I like it because I know that deep down, I want to excite people with images, and for those images to give rise to curiosity or exaltation of beauty”. The words of Aina Bestard.

What do you feel about the fact that your What’s hidden? series has reached such stunning sales figures and been translated into 15 languages?

It’s very stimulating to see one of your products go so far, and observe the reaction of the readers in different countries. For example, in Poland they are on the sixth edition already.

In Poland?

Yes. I have a very special relationship with that country. As a child I would spend a month in Krakow every summer. My mother, who’s an artist, began to collaborate with the Biennale Warszawa and my father, an anthropologist, did a research project. Popular Polish art has so many details – patterns, floral and plant motifs, characteristics I have used in my books.

What led you to quit renowned companies like Camper, Women’secret or Vialis, and embark on the adventure of dedicating yourself to illustration in the world of publishing?

It was a natural process. In those companies, I used to do drawings and patterns, and little by little, I was drawn to the field of illustration. At one point I thought I was good at drawing and would be able to do my own pictures. So I called a publisher’s and that was how I started down this path.

What creative seed was there in your childhood, in your case?

As a child, instead of playing, I would draw. Drawing was always very important in my family. For my grandfather, who was an interior decorator, this was a way of keeping himself active, the way he expressed himself and made himself understood. Whenever I saw my grandfather, the first thing he would do was ask me what I had drawn that day.

What is your workspace like, what sort of atmosphere do you need?

In my case, the bucolic image of the illustrator who draws peacefully in her studio listening to classical music is false. I draw with the radio on or watching reality shows on TV. I need a lot of noise. If there is silence, I don’t do anything, I’m very chaotic.

And what is your creative process like?

First of all, I like to visualize the idea, to have the initial conversations and get the first input – this is the most adrenaline-filled time. Then I sit down in my studio and do pencil drawings. Each illustration takes me between 40 and 50 hours, and afterwards I add the colours on the computer.

As well as the What’s hidden? series and Amazing Animal Babies, you have just published your book Lost Landscapes. What are you trying to transmit with them?

I don’t want people to stop at first impressions, but to look beyond appearances, take notice of their surroundings and examine people, things and situations further.

What images have made the most impression on you?

All of the Renaissance ones, especially Botticcelli’s Venus – when I saw it, I wrote a poem about it. And also a Hell by Hans Memling that I saw in the city of Gdansk, although that one made a bad impression, because it scared me so much.

You grew up in Barcelona, until you decided to come back to Mallorca to discover your roots at the age of 25. Did you feel a need to return to the island?

Yes, I needed to discover and connect with the place where I was born. For a while I lived in a house in Pina which belonged to my paternal grandfather. Leaving Barcelona and coming to Mallorca made me [...]


Read this article in full in IN PALMA 65. And if you like, subscribe to IN PALMA for 1 year and get the next 4 issues of the magazine delivered to your home.

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