A Classic Mexican Card Game Is Getting A Makeover That’s All About Women Empowerment
For many Latinos, Lotería represents more than just a card game played at family parties and holiday gatherings. From it’s iconic card imagery – like la sirena y el borracho – to it’s impact on Latino representation, it has become a staple in the Latino household. It holds a special place in our hearts when it comes to bringing families and friends together. Yet for Ilse Valfré, an LA-based designer, the century-old game needed a face lift when it came to representing our experiences in 2018. That’s why Valfré has introduced her own version of Lotería with a female empowering take.
Ilse Valfré’s version of Lotería cards feature female characters and objects with female pronouns.
Valfré grew up in Mexico and one of her earliest memories there is winning a game of Lotería in kindergarten where the prize was a lollipop. It was small moments like this that stuck throughout her artistic career and paved the way for this release. The inspiration for the redesign came from a special place very dear to Valfré: her fans.
“They started asking for it as soon as I introduced the first Valfré Loteria artwork which was “La Sirena,” Valfré said. “I wanted to make sure to keep the original characteristics that we all know and love, while adding a little bit of me.”
The re-designed Lotería game had been a long time coming for Valfré who wanted to incorporate women-empowerment into Latino culture.
Valfré is most known for her illustrated designs, which started off on her Tumblr blog and quickly gained a huge following. According to Valfré, her work represents a very “creative and wild-at-heart” look that doesn’t limit itself to one style. She has designed everything from dresses to greeting cards that represent woman-empowerment.
By updating the classic game, with her own designed female characters in place of the original designs, Valfré has given the beloved game a refreshed and millennial look. Cards like La Sirena are modeled after some of her previous work (cheeky, wide-eyed, hand-drawn doll characters) that many of her fans are accustomed to seeing.
This version of Lotería has a unique twist to it that feels new but still pays tribute to the original.
Her version of Lotería features 56 cards while the original game comes with 54 cards. She added original cards like “el dry shampoo,” and “la space babe.” The reason for adding two extra cards came from her design team that couldn’t get rid of the two extra designs because they “loved them so much.”
According to Valfré, re-designing work like this includes being able to mix humor into something everyone already loves.
“A little nostalgia mixed with humor,” Valfré explains about her version of Lotería. “I wanted to make sure to keep the original characteristics that we all know and love, while adding a little bit of me. You have to be able to laugh at yourself, through trial and tribulations.”
Valfré says the response to the Lotería re-design has been “overwhelmingly positive” and appreciates the support she has gotten from fellow Latinos. She says creating work like this comes from a special place in her heart and hopes Latinos can appreciate her special take on this traditional card game.
“I was born and raised in Mexico and in our culture, color and humor are everywhere. This definitely came into play while building the brand and I enjoy incorporating that humor into my work,” Valfré said. “Using color throughout my artwork is just another way to share the vibrancy of my Latino culture, which I think is something that just comes naturally.”
You can purchase the Valfré Lotería game on her website, but only for a limited-edition release with 500 games available.