For the third year running, SFR reached out to a local artist to commission the cover art for our Best of Santa Fe issue. And since local illustrator and painter Sienna Luna was at the top of our short list for some time, we were psyched she had the time and wherewithal to make it happen. Luna’s a designer by day and one of Santa Fe’s most promising young talents by night (and also day, really), and we just wanted the world to know.
Talk a little bit about the cover design in broad strokes. What are you going for with this illustration?
Basically, when we originally met, we talked about how [SFR] wanted to do something a little more different and more colorful; something that was a little more abstract than just what makes Santa Fe amazing. So I went with the idea that the thing I love most about Santa Fe is the nature, the lifestyle, the fact you have a giant beautiful sky above you and beautiful, abundant places to go. I wanted to connect the microscopic and macroscopic level.
How and why did you decide to include the elements that are in the piece?
The primary figure, I decided to make her skin a blue tint to go with no nationality, no specific allegiance to any particular place. I wanted her to exist within a bigger space than just Santa Fe. There are also wildflowers around her, which are a beautiful part about being in a place with a ton of biodiversity. The skulls in the trees, one is a crow, one is an owl, which are two birds you see a lot around New Mexico. The snakes turning into trees are a local snake, the bull snake, and it represents that same interconnectedness. The night sky breaks down into shapes you would see in a beehive and other sacred geometry; the more petal-shaped pieces are something you would maybe see in a piece of fruit, like the way the seeds are lodged in an apple. Her horns are from a local ram, like what you’d find in more rural areas of New Mexico—I tried to incorporate as much of the flora and fauna that’s local, the colors are maybe a little more bright.
When you’re not designing gorgeous covers, what else are you doing?
I’m about to republish my website (siennaluna.co) with a bunch of new work, and I’m represented by KEEP Contemporary, so I’ll have [the cover] piece up soon. I’ll be in a show at KEEP in October, which is a big series I’m working on right now that I’m really excited about it. It’s put together by an artist named Elizabeth Leggett, and it’s based around tarot decks and the imagery of tarot decks, but based on science fiction and horror. It’s been inspiring, because I didn’t really know anything about tarot before this project. The author I chose is Junji Ito, who is this graphic artist and writer, and the story of his I based mine on is called Uzumaki, and is basically about madness caused by these spirals.