Looking at Mara’s artwork is almost like watching a movie: each one of her drawings tell us a different story, often made out of roads, cactus, motels, animals and a carefree life. This Spanish artist is mixing together her passion and love for fashion with her unique skill of drawing, creating bohemian art pieces that are getting really popular on the web and social medias. Thani is a simple girl with a pure and strong passion and she is not afraid of saying that “a girl is a gun”. We saw her past work for Free People and her last collaboration with #AbsolutNights in Barcelona, and this is just the beginning for her.
I’ve seen some of your illustrations inspired by the Gucci collection S/S 2016 and then I learned you studied fashion design in Tenerife. How does your fashion taste and background influence your art work?
I’ve always been interested in fashion, I consider it an art, a way to express yourself, that’s why I try to mix the aesthetic and illustration in my pictures, it’s like a plus. I think it is great because I was able to put together two of my biggest passions and I don’t need to do without one of them. In the near future I’d like to have clothing brand and keep on evolving as an artist.
Most of your drawings have this 70s vibe and retro feeling: cactus, motels, roads…Everything conveys to a super wild and carefree atmosphere. Where is all of this coming from?
I’ve liked music and the atmosphere of the 70s since I was a kid. I’ve had this feeling all my life, the 70s are the decade I feel closer to. My parents played music and videos of Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Deep Purple since I was very young. I grew up in this funny world, free and colourful, and it is great as a reference for illustration because of its eccentricity.
You have exposed your art in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. How come we haven’t seen your work in Spain?
Haha yes, I work a lot for people outside Spain, this is something important. The truth is that I am very busy and exhibitions take a lot of time and dedication. I made some exhibitions in Spain but they were all collective. In the near future I’d like to do something like that, people is asking me to do it and I think it is a way to being able to interact more with people that like what I do.
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The main focus of your illustrations is always confident women with strong personalities. Who do you take inspiration from?
I am attracted by strong people, I think we are all stronger than we think we are, and this is great. I draw mostly women, maybe because I can see myself reflected in them, but lately I also draw men. I try not to treat men and women differently, as long as the subject inspires me and is special to me in some way. It’s great that some people have this kind of gift to inspire others.
You have made a collaboration with the American brand Free People, tell us a little about it. How did your work change when you had to deal with a brand request? Was it a positive experience?
Working with Free People was a great experience. I just started drawing in a more serious way, I think I had been using Instagram for only two months and when I had the opportunity to work with one of my favourite brands it was a big change for my career and I was able to get in touch with a lot of interesting people. Their team was wonderful and they let me work with total freedom – so I just have good words for them.
Do you always choose a photo to begin the illustration or do you just let your pencils flow by instinct?
It depends on the situation. I don’t always use a full picture – sometimes I use a small part of it. I see something that inspires me and then I mix it, depending on the needs of the particular drawing. I usually have a clear idea of what I want to do and this is a method that always works for me.
It’s hard to find information about you besides your own Instagram, Twitter and Facebook page. Even so you have now reached 91k followers on Instagram. How important are social medias for you? Why has your work become so popular all of a sudden?
Yes, I’ve read that they write about me as a mysterious girl and maybe it is because in social networks you can only find the part of my life that I decide to show. I am a simple person who expresses herself through painting and pictures, and I am the first one being surprised about all the followers and people interested in my work – and I am thankful for that. I don’t think that there is a secret method to do that, I just enjoy what I do and don’t set limits to myself as an artist, I guess people notice that and they like it. Social networks have a positive effect on me as an artist, I think they are a good platform for people from other places to discover my work.
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