I have been painting and drawing ever since I can remember. My father was an architect and he had beautiful ink drawings all over the house, I suppose that may have ignited the interest. I only started painting professionally about five years ago.
It has evolved a great deal. When I was studying architecture and graphic design my work was extremely contrived. It was at Central Saint Martins when I learned to loosen up, I learned to be more instinctive with painting, I loved working with inks back then. I actually learned how to paint portraits in 2006! Since then, there has been a visible progression from inky heavy paintings towards lighter and more colorful watercolors. I tend to challenge myself every time I start a new project and I have been training myself exploring realism balanced with expressionism.
I started illustrating for Alexander McQueen but I was part of a team, I hadn't yet decided to paint full time as an independent professional. When I was still working as a fashion designer I received my first professional commission and it was for Oysho. It was a summer playlist CD cover in collaboration with WWF (world wild life organization).
When working on a portrait you hope to transmit a feeling to the viewer, a glance can sometimes be more eloquent than words and that notion fascinates me. I love the variety of colors an individual eye can contain, a brown eye can have yellow, purple, pink, green. It's very exciting, it gives a painting a third dimension.
Instinctively, the first thing that attracts my attention to an image is definitely color. I feel I have an innate sense for hues and tones. Although to me, a great image is a marriage between colors and composition. I hadn't really thought about it but I do prioritize color over strokes maybe because I love to paint more than I love to draw.
I am an obsessive perfectionist and I set the bar very high every time I start a new project. But I have also a side which is very relaxed and improvised. I literally do a combination of both. It is important personally to be detailed oriented because sometimes I must represent a product in the most realistic way but it really is a matter of style. I love also the work of other illustrators who manage to resolve a painting in a few strokes with very little detail.
First of all I learned about the possibility of doing what I love to do the most for a living; it never occurred to me before that painting could be a full time job. I also realized I was more passionate about painting than I am about designing, even if I did do the five year Fashion Design degree. I used to dream of becoming a designer to be able to follow the steps of who where back then my favorite designers, but I then discovered I preferred wearing fashion than working as a fashion designer. You really need to be 100% passionate about it because it is an extremely demanding job. I found it very difficult but it was a very positive experience to have as it was very revealing.
I have such a random mix of music that I listen to, it can go from classical to punk to pop to salsa. It would be an interesting experiment to see whether the song actually makes me paint in a particular way. I shall test it and let you know!
That was amazing and mortifying at the same time since I had to paint it in 24 hours from a motel room in Los Angeles. I had no room for error and I had no room to paint either, so I actually painted it using the bed as a desk but it was an absolute dreamlike experience.
Every place has inspired and shaped the person I am today. It's impossible to pick just one place because each one of them has left a strong mark in my life. I lived in London for about six years and it was inspiring because I was a fashion student and Central Saint Martins used to be in Soho, so going to school every day was a great visual experience. I also feel Barcelona was an important city in my life, it's were I started painting for a living and where I met many amazing creative friends who have helped me along the way.
I am currently working on Faction, an exhibition that will take place in NYC next year, the date has not been fixed yet. It would be a dream to do a painted campaign for Miu Miu!