The Unique Creative Style of Juan Sebastián Valencia
For an artist to find their voice, they must explore the depths of their craft to find a style that truly represents their inner core. Some artists choose to focus on one singular part of their craft and they succeed through determination and hard work, whereas some choose a slightly different path: The ones who celebrate the singularity of their craft because it is just as adaptable and creative as it is by itself.
Juan Sebastian Valencia has a tough time describing himself; he is a writer, director, producer, editor, he wears many hats and takes on many roles to produce something unique.
Juan Sebastian says “Directing a movie is not the same as directing a theatre play nor is writing a play is the same as writing a novel. But these are all possibilities when you consider yourself a storyteller.”
When the word leaves his mouth, Juan Sebastian forgets about being careful using the correct grammar or words, as English is not his main language. Instead, his eyes brighten as he adjusts in his seat, sitting more comfortable.
The many stories whether it be in theater, film, television or new media that affected the creativity of Juan Sebastian Valencia might seem unrecognizable, but that’s when an artist finds their style, and Juan Sebastian found his.
Born in Cali – Colombia, Juan Sebastian Valencia is the son of an entrepreneur and a handcraft artist, a unique combination that is not taken for granted. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Filmmaking, which has taken his craft to a whole new level.
Juan Sebastian says “I was doing all of the producing tasks in my first movie and even though I was offered a producing credit, it felt too much to be credited as the writer, director and the editor of my first movie at the age of 23. So I didn’t take it”.
But the reality is he was not bragging, he was the writer, director and editor of Poker, his first feature film that got distributed by United International Pictures and sold in countries such as Colombia, Argentina, Spain, and the USA among others.
It’s been ten years since Juan Sebastián debuted on the big screen, since then he has published four books, directed documentaries, TV shows, short films, social media content and commercials for well-known brands like Huggies, Dabalash, Cromos, Md Glam Beverly Hills among others.
What is a unique style and how can someone be recognized with such variety of work? When you ask Juan Sebastian about his style, his answer is an invitation to check his work. He talks about the poetry in the world and how they translate into images that move. He describes it as “romantic fantasy with a mix of Colombian magical realism”
By examining his work from his movies and books, there are recurring themes clearly visible in most of the stories, if not in all. Death is a theme he explores in his movie Poker and two of his latest books, The Eco if a half whisper sound and Circus Show The Emperor Circus (title translated from the Spanish version).
A theme of idealistic love is seen in all of his projects from Praga, to the eco of a half whisper sound to Magico, one of his latest short films that was selected in more than 10 film festivals with 300.000 views in YouTube since the author shared it on the platform winter of 2020.
“The amount of support given to Magico gave me a lot of inspiration and as a result I created Imperfect People that was released exclusively on YouTube” says Juan Sebastián.
Imperfect People is Juan Sebastian’s latest web series, where his versatility as a creator, writer, director, editor, producer and even director of photography is visible. Juan Sebastián stories have a method of using production design that supports the character’s theme, as seen on Magico.
Music is another big part of his stories, using scores composed exclusively for his projects and interpreted by the Colombian symphonic orchestra as it can be heard in Poker. He knows film is a mix of sounds and visuals, and his scores uphold every emotion he creates with the camera.
Maybe it’s the themes of his stories, or his romanticism that can sometimes be bordering on melodrama, the lessons he tries to learn and teach with every story along with the colorful environments he creates tells the journey of a dreamer, and Juan Sebastián Valencia knows everything about being one.