Where are you located: Toronto, Canada
ArtMarketDirect gallery URL:
I used to be afraid of the dark. Complete darkness was to me this situation where everything that is harmless could be transformed into the total opposite. That has changed and now I enjoy it and kind of excites a bit. But the thing that still gives me the goosebumps and makes me want to run away from are certain social practices and interactions. Talking in front of a big crowd or having to interact with complete strangers. As an introvert I am not fearful of it but more hesitant to social gatherings. However I’ve learned to switch on the extrovert in me and I actually enjoy being social once in a while.
What’s your favourite colour and why?:
I’m inclined to dark colours. Black and dark tones of red, blue, browns and greys. I like how deep they can be and how they can convey intense moods and feelings. I’m attracted to the dark side of things, specially in art: paintings, books, movies and TV series, where there is a message that is somber, ominous even. It seems pretty obvious but i like colours that transmit directly those feelings. However, I am also very attracted to white, a colour I find ambiguous. It expands and shrinks at the same time. Many times working with black ink on white paper I don;t feel the need to ad colour. I find that single combination dramatic enough.
Do you live with any family and or pets?:
When I was growing up there were always pets at home; dogs, chickens, rabbits. Then for years nothing, until I moved in with my partner, two years ago. He owns two dogs. They are very active and needy but fun at the same time. We got used to each other very easily but I still enjoy the moments when I am alone at home and don’t need to attend them. But when they are here I can’t help to engage and play with them. Walking them to the park and let them run is always entertaining.
Tell us a little about your full-time job and/or education?:
A couple of years ago, after receiving an BFA in Drawing and Painting, I decided to take a break from a full time job as Art director for a communications company. I wanted to focus on art making. The first year that was all I did. I was very productive, drawing night and day, putting up my work in different places, submitting them to galleries and so on. Right now I see that I’m getting an style and a theme that I feel very comfortable with. I am also back at doing graphic design, this time as a freelancer, which allows to work from home and keep adding pieces to my portfolio.
If you weren't an artist what would you be doing instead?:
My younger self dreamed of becoming a writer. I wanted to produce novels, move scripts, operas and plays. But thinking of another activity not artistic I’ll be happy being a monk. There is something about leaving all material possessions behind, living quietly inside a monastery. A world of silence and meditation. I would still do something artistic like embellishing books by hand. But I will need wi-fi, access to social media and my movie collection.
What moment in your career are you most proud of?:
I’m proud of have been chosen to participate in various local exhibitions and events that highlight the creativity of the LGBTQ+ community. As a member of a group that constantly fights for equality in this world, for freedom and tolerance, I’m happy to contribute with my art to a bigger cause. Society at large is still learning about things like acceptance, to understand that with privilege also comes responsibility, that we need all to respect and love, and that’s a message that is attached to my art practice.
Getting Down To Business
There’s a lot of artwork on the market these days, how do you differentiate yours from the rest?:
In terms of technique, my work is very detailed oriented, and for that reason whoever owns one of my pieces will find always something new, something hidden or that was a plain sight but until then concealed. Sometimes my topics and characters are not easy to decipher at first glance but once the viewers open up to them, the artwork will take them to dreamy, mythological and spiritual places, I hope.
What is the most challenging part about being an artist in todays market?:
There is something very exciting about living in an period of time where artists have many ways to show their work. We all have the opportunity to reach out, to share and to connect with markets we never dreamed of before. But for that same reason the competition is substantial. There are millions of amazing portfolios on the internet, and they all have their own niche and followers. But the audience is also very giving and sometimes the most popular art is not the best. Because of it I think galleries are more selective.
For you what is the best part about creating art in the way you do?:
The best part to me is when I am holding a tool in my hand and I use it to make lines on a piece of paper. Such basic thing can be the most enjoyable and rewarding. For years I worked exclusively using a mouse and a keyboard so going back to a handmade process is so intense. I’ve learned to be prepare for mistakes and now I wait for that moment when I know I won’t be able to go back to a clean surface. Every line is unique and also every mistake is part of the final product.
Visual art is often love/hate. How do you handle negative feedback?:
I’m very good at handling negative feedback. I understand that what I do is not for everybody, in terms of style and subject matter. There are moments when I myself hate my own pieces and so I’ve learned to handle my own private negative feedback. Keeping open mind, humility and a doses of humour are good helpers. The part that still irritates me is the lack of respect for the time and effort all artists put in their work. I’ve heard people negotiating lower prices for incredible well done pieces. Sincerely I think that is more harmful that an honest critique or a feedback, positive or negative.
What do you feel when something is sold? Why?:
The idea that someone decided to own a thing that I made brings me pure satisfaction. I always wondered how and why they connected to that specific piece; what do they see it and how do they feel about integrating that artwork into their every day life. Many times I’ve people buying an artwork that they are going to give as a present to a loved one. The idea that a person decides to buy something that I’ve made to give it to someone else still blows my mind. I appreciate immensely every person that gives value to my artwork and art in general.
What is your creative process like?:
Most of my ideas comes from books I read. I am interested in many subjects, specially Word History, Social Sciences and Theories, Astronomy, Alchemy, the development of language, religion, culture. While I am reading I start visualizing ideas. The dimensions of the paper has a big impact on my state of mind, and so on the drawing. There are moments when the application of colour happens while I am still drawing, and moments when I need to finalize it before it. I know the exact moment when the piece is done and I am already thinking of a title. There are situations when I need to disconnect completely from that piece and that process, so as soon as is done I put it away. I’ll need a few days, sometimes weeks, to go back to it and see it with fresh eyes.
What’s the best art tip you’ve ever received which you would be willing to share?:
Once an Art teacher told me that one difficult thing is to find one’s own style; that many artists struggle with that part for many years. He told me that I was lucky because it was kind of easy for me to find my own style. He advised to go with it and just trust my process. That gave me a lot of confidence and after that things starting to go smoothly for me.
How has your style changed over the years?:
For a long time I couldn’t picture my drawings in colour. I started by adding red and gold, sometimes a dark blue, creating layers and accentuating the geometric shapes that generally surround my characters. I was working with Alchemy symbols, so those tones were totally appropiate. Then it came a moment when I decided to step out of my comfort zone and started experimenting with colour. At first it was a bit overwhelming. Now I am fully comfortable playing with colours and shades. I see it as an evolution of my own style, even though I can still visualize pieces that work well with just the basic red and gold.
Tell us about any experimenting you are doing lately?:
Lately I’ve started to create pieces inspired by other artist’s artworks, specially photographers. I get in touch with other artists whose work I come across on Instagram, tumblr and Facebook, for instance. I look at their portfolios and when I feel a connection with one of them I ask them permission to create a piece inspired by it. So far I have encountered very receptive people. I like to work with the human figure, so many of these collaborative pieces are portraits taken by them or of them. It gives a different meaning to my process because the initial idea is not mine, however I feel very close to it that I know the final piece will also talk about me and things I like.
Do you have any upcoming events we should know about?:
The only art spaces I’ve been showing my art lately are online. I’ve become more active on social media. Connecting this way with artists and new audiences is my priority at the moment. So far I’ve been feature in various online magazines and I also started selling pieces oversees. Another project in mind is to reach out to publications where I can contribute with illustrations in a regular bases; perhaps later on I would love to initiate a collaboration with fashion and fabric designers, to create wearable pieces with my art imprinted on them. I have more ideas like that dancing inside my brain, so I am excited about the future.
” I’ve learned to be prepare for mistakes and now I wait for that moment when I know I won’t be able to go back to a clean surface. Every line is unique and also every mistake is part of the final product.”