When did you start embroidering and drawing?
I probably started drawing by the time I started talking. Both my parents are artists and my mom used to work from home. We lived in a very small apartment so there was a lot of drawing and crafting done with my mom. Drawing and sketching mean so many things to me, it is an escape, a refuge and it is therapeutic too.
With embroidery I started only recently, maybe two years ago. In one of those endless summer days I found a hoop and tried it out. Embroidery is just as intuitive as drawing.
How do you find the balance between the vision you have and the mediums you are using?
I find it fascinating how much my work can change depending on the medium. I won't achieve the same style with a liner than with a pencil, a brush or an oil pastel, and I try to get the most out of that. So my process changes according to what I'm making.
I don't know how much of a vision there is before I start... I mean I usually know if I'm going to be making a composition or if there's only going to be one figure occupying the space, but other than that I just start and once I start, I have to work with what's appearing in front of me.
I usually first sketch with pens a lot and then try to figure out a way to translate that work into objects. planning my embroideries is the only time when I use pencil and actually erase and correct bits until i get the cleanest design. not only because it takes much longer to finish a piece but also because I feel I need to give the embroidered line the importance it deserves. I try to use the least amount of lines necessary.
What inspired your style of work?
I think having studied textile design clearly influenced the kind of work I make. I almost never think of paintings; it's always wall hangings, Rugs, clothing, objects. I still feel much comfortable being called a designer, but I understand my work is something in the middle.
Where do you get inspiration from? Are there any particular designers, artists, photographers, painters, drawers you look up to their works?
There are loads actually. Whenever I find someone new whose work I like, I feel both excited/inspired and anxious and devastated at the same time. It's definitely a feeling inside, like a passion, a burn.
I'm clearly inspired by Picasso, Cocteau, Matisse, Chillida, Schiele, The Bauhaus, Art Deco and modernism. I also love ancient civilizations and history. Humor and sexuality.
Japanese match boxes and Tibetan rugs. Old books and museums. Vintage erotica.
I go to the library a lot and of course I do a lot of search online. Second hand bookstores usually provide a starting point for something new. And new materials. Trying new materials forces me to produce new work out of my comfort zone.
How long does it take to create a piece? What is the process being it?
Well, large embroidered canvases can take from a couple of days to a month, but I try to keep it between two and four days for a big piece. And a few hours for clothing.
There are a lot of planning involved and steps required in my quilted or embroidered pieces but close to none in my drawings and collages.
Would you say that there is a main thread connecting all your artworks and if so, which is it?
It might sound silly, but I'm the one in the middle. My work is a reflection of what lives in my head to a level that it's almost like a journal, a diary. There's a lot of sex and gender issues and nude women. There are traces of artists I love, of cultures I read about, of stories I hear or songs I listen to. Myths I love or characters I admire. there're hints of my desires, and registers of my moods and surroundings.
A lot of times I work because I need to, I have to, I have no other option. Like an itch I need to scratch. I need to get it out of me. So I would say it's pretty narcissistic in a way...
But theme wise I would like to think there's a bit of humor, gender portrayals and sexuality.
What kind of conversations would you like your pieces to spark?
If they can encourage a conversation about sex and the need to get rid of established gender conceptions, beauty standards and/or lifestyle expectations, that would be amazing.