How did you get started doing what you do?
I’ve been drawing since I was a very small child. My mom still has the tiny drawing of a clown I made in the doctor’s office at age 2. I remember telling my school teacher I’d be an artist. But the way I’m doing it now is far from what I’d imagined myself to become. Life brought me here.
How would you describe your creative style?
Of course dark comes to mind. It’s also emotional, quite strong, and at the same time on the edge of falling apart. It resembles me.
What’s your inspiration?
Anything born within inspires me. I’ve built a strong spiritual core for myself in the last few years and it has become the gateway through which I process everything. I feel a deep connection with outer space and at the same time I’m anchored into the earth with this human body and forced to feel so much. All this pain is going into my work.
What is art to you?
It’s a space of freedom, a spillway for excess emotion and a means to guide humanity toward its purpose.
How do you keep motivated?
This same sense of purpose. I’m creating with the greater good in mind, making things in a heartfelt way. A lot of the time I don’t know what I’m doing, I just know I have to. I try to maintain myself in a space of ever-flowing creative energy. It’s hard because I am prone to self-doubt but I’m getting better at shaking it off my back.
How would you say your surroundings have influenced your work?
I’ve been living in Berlin for a year. I’m enjoying winters here, it’s quiet and invites introspection. I am quite reclusive so any excuse to stay home with my pencils is welcome.
What do you hope to accomplish with your work?
I am obsessed with the shadow side of everyone. I’ve learned to explore my darkness and heal from deeply rooted wounds. I am challenging myself to create work that triggers people’s shadow to come forth because I want to help them understand their suffering.
What do you want others to take away from your work?
The courage to explore themselves and face those demons. I want to make them feel a bit uncomfortable. I want my work to echo their darkness, and I want them to make it their’s.
What, if anything, would you tell your younger self?
Even though I’ve made a million bad decisions, I wouldn’t change a thing. I’d tell myself: “I know you feel like shit right now but this pain is going to be your fuel for the rest of your life, so hang in there, it’s about to get better.”
Any words of wisdom to aspiring artists who want to pursue a similar career?
Stay true to yourself, do your best work, choose your battles wisely, create your opportunities and never give up. It’s going to be hard but it’s worth it. Commit to your art like your life depends on it, because it does.
What are your thoughts on art school?
I’m self-taught and that’s how I know that school is not going to make you a good artist, life is. If you want your work to have depth, school is not going to teach you that. First you need to live, then, if you want, you can go to school and get those crazy feelings organized into something useful.
Have any future aspirations that you’d like to share?
I want to publish a collection of poetry, do more photography and exhibit internationally. I think I would also enjoy being part of an artist collective or a community.
What’s your process like?
First I channel an emotion into a visual. If there’s too many images in my head I turn it into a poem. But if I can fix an image, I let it sit there for a while and when I can’t hold it any longer I choose materials and start transferring it onto a surface. I like to draw from photographs too, I have a huge image bank in my computer for reference and inspiration. Eventually I want to use only my own pictures.
How could the art industry become better in your opinion?
It could be less greedy, but that’s a given. The art world terrifies me so I am looking for ways to become successful all the while avoiding the hypocrisy and the excess. I don’t want to give up on my romantic idea that simply doing your best work will get you there. Perhaps we can unite to create a new art world of our own.