Meet KFW's Fiesta Medal Artist
KFW's Artist Uncovered
Once a year, the city of San Antonio collectively fills the streets with music and cultural celebrations. Fiesta has been a city-wide tradition to honor the memory of the heroes of the Alamo and the battle of San Jacinto.
This occasion is when chicken on a stick, flower crowns, and the Fiesta Flambeau parade becomes the highlight of the spring season. Joining in on the celebration, KFW has pridefully designed fun Fiesta Medals for the past six years. Although canceled in 2020, we are excited to celebrate Fiesta this June for KFW's fifteenth anniversary! Our colorful, unique, and detailed Fiesta Medal designs can be credited to the creative mind of KFW's Marketing Specialist, Silvana Occhiuzzi.
About the Artist
Silvana joined KFW in 2016 as the receptionist and quickly climbed the marketing ladder into her current position, where she can incorporate her talented design eye. Silvana provides insight into her journey and inspiration with the creation of the KFW Fiesta Medals.
How was your experience designing your first medal at KFW?
Back in 2017, I designed my first fiesta medal and it was complicated because I had never designed one before, and there were a lot of requirements in working with the manufacturer. The linework had to be a certain width, colors were limited, it couldn’t be too detailed, etc. There’s only so much you can fit on a 2” to 3” piece of metal. There was definitely a learning curve. I also found that designing medals takes some time. I spend a lot of time gathering inspiration from my Hispanic Culture and drawing out different ideas.
What's your favorite part about designing medals?
My favorite part is seeing the actual medal all shiny and finished!
Which KFW medals did you design?
I designed the medals for 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, and now the 2021 fiesta medal. Every year, I draw inspiration from motifs and patterns surrounding Fiesta, San Antonio’s cultural heritage, and my own background and base my designs on these.
It's All About the Details
From draft to product, take a look into 2017-2021’s KFW Fiesta Medals while learning more about Silvana's creative process.
Growing up in San Antonio, I was always enamored with papel picado. These colorful and intricately cut pieces paper lining the streets of downtown San Antonio made everything seem more vibrant and alive. Coming up with this design and seeing it come to life was so rewarding because it was a mess for so long. It turned out nice!
This idea was derived from childhood birthday parties. The best part of my birthdays growing up involved a piñata, a stick, and a blindfold. And, of course, the candy that came immediately after. I really wanted to bring the piñata to life and create a sense of movement and dynamicity. It was challenging but a lot of fun.
This year, I had decided to have more fun with a simplified design and neon colors. These were very cool because all three colors were glow-in-the-dark! This medal encompassed Fiesta’s fun nightlife scene, which reminded me of KFW’s annual Fiesta parties because lots of people attend, and there are drinks, live music, and dancing. It’s so much fun. As an employee, it’s a great event to participate in, too, because we all come together to help set up, we’re there volunteering at the event and having fun, and then we help clean up the following day. It’s really a company-wide effort.
These are my personal favorites! They're based on the guayabera shirts and puebla dresses which many San Antonion's don around Fiesta season. I love the intricate and colorful designs on puebla dresses. Because of COVID-19 we had to cancel our Fiesta Party last year, but we were still able to give away these combination medals to our clients and bring back a little of the spirit of Fiesta!
This one is special because this year we’re celebrating our 15th anniversary! I had a lot of fun designing it because I didn't use any reference images. I just knew I wanted lots of color and flowers. I took an intuitive approach and simply started drawing, and this was the result!