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Nerea Ayala Castellanos, a recent Bachelor of Fine Arts in Digital Art and Animation graduate from DigiPen, has unveiled her first acrylic art exhibition at Casa Torre Santurtzi. This exhibition, “Music, Flowers, and Love”, featuring 25 stunning drawings, marks a milestone in her artistic career. It is open to the public from May 24 until June 13.

Nerea Ayala Castellanos posing beside a poster describing her art project.

Nerea’s passion for art began long before her formal education. From a young age, she found solace and expression through drawing by hand, a practice that laid the foundation for her future endeavors. This early love for art guided her to pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts at DigiPen, where she honed her skills and developed a unique artistic voice.

“Music, Flowers, and Love” 

Each piece in Ayala’s exhibition is deeply personal and meticulously crafted, with every drawing based on a song or album that holds significance for her. “I wanted each drawing to tell its own story and evoke the emotions that the music inspired in me,” she shared. This unique approach not only showcases her technical prowess but also offers a glimpse into the emotions and stories that inspire her work. The exhibition is a visual symphony, where music and art intertwine to create a multisensory experience for the viewer. Each of the pieces have a QR code associated with it where you can listen to the music.

  • Abstract painting with vertical pink and green strokes
  • Painting resembling a woman portrait on a stone wall.
  • Abstract painting with dark background and swirling shapes in various colors
  • Painting of a pond with water lilies, reminiscent of Monet's style
  • Abstract painting with red and pink swirling shapes on a stone wall
  • Abstract painting with floral elements on a blue background.
  • Painting resembling a woman portrait on a stone wall.
  • Abstract painting with purple and blue swirling shapes on a stone wall

“Under the mentorship of Pili at Artelan Portugalete, my talent blossomed further. Pili’s guidance was instrumental in shaping my approach to art, allowing me to experiment with different techniques and styles,” she explains. This mentorship provided me with the confidence and skills necessary to transition from traditional hand-drawn art to the more complex medium of acrylics.

DigiPen Europe-Bilbao Games and Films

Player swings a spear at three skeleton enemies with sharp beaks

Wolf Spear

One of Ayala’s notable projects is her work on the 2D video game, WolfSpear. In this project, she was responsible for the backgrounds, props, and cleanup, as well as serving as the producer.

A woman sculpting in a room, focused and passionate about her work, shaping clay into a masterpiece.


Ayala embarked on a solo venture with the 3D film SAFO. In this project, she was involved in every aspect of the development, from detailed 3D modeling to animation. This solo project provided her with the opportunity to delve into the complexities of 3D artistry, honing her skills in modeling, texturing, and rendering. Her work on SAFO demonstrates her ability to create lifelike characters and environments, adding depth and realism to the film.

A young girl stands in an esplanade at night, holding a rocket in her hand

Goodbye Kepler

The capstone project Ayala contributed to is the 3D film Goodbye Kepler. This project further showcased her versatility and expertise in 3D art. In Goodbye Kepler they all did a bit of everything, but she was instrumental in backgrounds, textures, and lighting.

DigiPen Europe-Bilbao hosts a diverse community of art students, each bringing their unique artistic inspiration. While some are passionate about drawing comics, others focus on 3D sculpting or tech-inspired art. These varied backgrounds contribute to the rich and evolving art culture at DigiPen. Nerea Ayala entered with a deep interest in acrylics, culminating in her first exhibition, which we hope is the first of many.

Ask and Chat

What would you highlight from your time at DigiPen?

“Participating in such cool projects with my peers and learning the entire process of creating a short film or video game to gain a broad perspective of how the industry works has been amazing. Being able to learn a bit of everything while also specializing in what you enjoy the most.”

Is there a particular class or project you’d like to spotlight?

“I really enjoyed the animation classes with Asier Azkarraga and the ones with Mikel Rueda. If I had to choose one project, it would be Goodbye Kepler. I thoroughly enjoyed the process and the team.”