Peace, love, life, and culture shift with Adobe Stock artist Gerardo Rojas Juárez

Two people sitting on a bench.

Image Source: Adobe Stock / Gerardo Rojas Juárez.

Gerardo Rojas Juárez has lived all his life in the city of Lima, Peru, but as he puts it, “My roots belong to nature.” Beginning in a childhood surrounded by generations of loving family, Juárez made field trips with his parents’ camera, capturing images that fired his imagination.

“Since I was a child, I was always very interested in drawing and painting — they were my main doors to the art world,” he says. “That allowed me to let my imagination grow and grow, and I think that now is what allows me to keep growing. I allow myself to keep imagining. I allow myself to continue being that happy child in the fields.”

Now, the 23-year-old Juárez spends his time as a photographer, illustrator, and videographer, portraying situations that reflect love, nature, friendship, children, and self-image. With such a diverse range of creative outputs, Juárez also has a wide range of creative inspirations.

“From the drawing and painting, my inspiration comes from the Renaissance art where the light and the gestures were part of the painting,” he says. “Part of my inspiration also comes from the photographs that my father used to take at every family reunion. From there I kept the same hobby, only now it is full-time.” But Juárez also cites life itself as his greatest source of inspiration, and he simulates and uses natural lighting to give his imagery drama and emphasis.

Developing his craft through college courses, industry experience, and artistic experimentation

Juárez took his childhood love of image-making to college, where he studied Communications and Advertising at La Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas. There, photography courses helped him build greater technical knowledge and taught him how to work in a team. He later started working in advertising as a graphic designer, where he was able to experiment a lot more with branding and illustration.

“I am very grateful to my profession, because in some way I was able to perfect the creative process that I had to take to create a picture,” he says. “From there I started experimenting with advertising and fashion photography.” But nowadays, Juárez’s heart leads him to make “a more honest photography that speaks to the soul — a photograph that seeks to portray a reality full of life and emotions that evoke feelings.” He became familiar with Adobe and started making photographs for Adobe Stock.

“I like to intervene in my photos and turn them into a new piece, because sometimes I feel that photography needs a complement so that my idea can take more shape,” he says. “I experiment with abstract shapes and sometimes typographies that play with the composition of the photograph.” But Juárez’s message always touches on his core concepts of love, imagination, and life.

Two people looking at each other lovingly.

Image Source: Adobe Stock / Gerardo Rojas Juárez.

Using creative inspiration, careful planning, and a collaborative spirit

His creative practice is a balance between the honest impulses and inspiration of the moment and the planning techniques he learned in college to help structure shoots. His pre-game work includes reviewing reference materials, scouting, and considering lighting. Juárez seeks to create harmony between colors and elements for complementary compositions, and he favors warm colors to emulate the environments touched by sunlight. He also has a hand in styling his models.

“If it is a directed session with a brand, I do styling in collaboration with the brand,” he says. “But if it is a personal session, I work together with the client and decide based on what the client really needs to show and what they need to feel more comfortable.”

Two people laying on a bed, person holding fabric and a measuring tape.

Image Source: (from left): Adobe Stock / Gerardo Rojas Juárez, Adobe Stock / Gerardo Rojas Juárez.

Moving away from fear and into the light

For the Adobe Stock Artist Development Fund, Juárez produced a collection of original illustrations, videos, and photographs representing the LGTBQ+ community to which he proudly belongs. This is especially important to him, as his native Peru is a conservative country that’s still taking its first steps toward openly acknowledging, protecting, and including queer culture and people in the mainstream.

“I grew up surrounded by many stereotypes and homophobic and transphobic misrepresentations,” Juárez says. “Seeing that lack of knowledge made me realize that if I had a tool to tell stories and present a person, it was the perfect time to do it with those who never had the opportunity to do it in the past. In Peruvian culture, after many years, the community has been treated in a derogatory and aggressive way, fostered by the misinformation provided by the media through comedy shows that encouraged negative stereotypes. Therefore, I was motivated to have the opportunity to create massive stock content to make visible different expressions and ways of living.”

The brave and beautiful efforts made by Juárez and other like-minded creative spirits are already beginning to make a difference in the culture. This is a real accomplishment for such a young artist at the beginning of what promises to be a long and impactful career.

“I have been able to collaborate with different pro-LGTBQ+ brands that have the same vision of providing support,” says Juárez. “Thanks to the new proliferation of different content and inclusion, there is already a new generation that expresses itself without fear.”

Explore Gerardo Rojas Juárez’s portfolio on Adobe Stock, and check out the Adobe Stock Advocates program to see calls for content, explore creative briefs, and submit your work.