Illustration • Inspiration The Inner Landscapes of Victor Mosquera

The Colombian artist creates psychedelic dreamscapes infused with mysticism—with the goal of making people happy. 

Victor Mosquera is sending you good vibes.

“My entire goal is to bring joy to people,” says the Colombian artist. “If there’s someone tired, coming back from work on the bus, scrolling through Instagram, and they see something from me, hopefully it will make their day better.”

Mosquera’s psychedelic style is inspired by the music he loves, including a lifelong obsession with Pink Floyd and a passion for ambient electronica. It’s also the product his own search for meaning and joy after finding himself far from home, doing what he thought was his life’s dream, and yet deeply unhappy.

“I initially got into making art on the computer because I didn’t have the money to afford a lot of traditional tools,” says Mosquera. “It was way cheaper for me to get a computer with Photoshop than to spend money on 10 years of art materials.”

“Where I come from in Colombia, it’s not easy to get money from art,” says Mosquera. “I realized early on, if I wanted to have a career to support myself and support my family, I needed to do something with art. The safest way I saw was doing concept design for games and movies.”

He devoted himself to learning the craft using an old computer and a copy of Adobe Photoshop. Years later, when a major video game developer offered him a job creating concept art in Toronto, Canada, he took it.

One of the many posters Mosquera has created for Odesza and the Foreign Family Collective.

“Those first couple years were so hard,” he says of his new life in Canada. “I didn’t speak English very well at all. I had never experienced snow or a real winter. There’s barely any sun there. I had no family, no friends, no anything.” 

To make matters worse, the job itself turned out to be a bad fit. “I was never a video game guy,” he admits. “I was in the industry because of the art, but I don’t really play video games at all. I started to feel depressed and stressed out that I was making stuff for someone else all the time—something that wasn’t my cup of tea.”

Mosquera began channeling that unhappiness into a search for his own style. With all of the people he loved now more than 4,000 miles away, he had time to ponder questions of life and death, and what lay beyond the physical realm. He’d come home from work, eat, and then start on his own projects, posting the finished pieces to social media. Slowly, he began to get clients who wanted him for his personal style.

“That was the first time I thought, ‘Oh, there’s something else here,’” he says.

Leaving the security of a well-paying job to pursue your own art isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s the stuff fever dreams are made of.

Even once he’d made the decision to quit, it took Mosquera two weeks to build up the nerve to give his notice. “I couldn’t sleep at all, thinking about it,” he says. “I was super spoiled at my company; I had security and benefits. I didn’t know if the interest in my work would continue or dry up.”

In the end, the leap of faith paid off. Today, Mosquera is part of Foreign Family Collective, a record label and creative outlet run by music duo Odesza, for which he creates concert posters and branding. He has also worked with a variety of other musicians, including Dirty Heads, G Jones, Seven Lions, Slushii, and MitiS, creating artwork for album releases and visuals for live shows. Earlier this year, he was part of the team that created visuals for Kid Cudi’s Coachella performance featuring Kanye West.  

Mosquera has created album and poster art for a long list of performers, including La Dispute, Dirty Heads, and Slushii.    

Mosquera credits the community he’s found on social media with setting him in the right direction. “It used to be really hard to connect with galleries and international artists,” he says. “Now I can show my work to thousands of people. I may not know anyone around me, but I can always find artists whose work I like and reach out or get advice—from everywhere. Some have even become friends that I’ve now met in person and collaborated with. It’s like there’s this community around you that has your back.”

You can see more of Mosquera’s work on his website and on Instagram

You may also like