words Zarah Cheng
All images are from Andrea's portfolio.
Where are you from?
I'm from Majorca, Spain.
If you were to describe your paintings to someone who was blindfolded, what would you say?
"Imagine some unknown person in front of you. She (because most of the time it's a she) is a warm and beautiful woman. And she wants to tell you a story about emotions in the language of shapes and colors."
How did you get started with painting?
When I was 11 at school there was a girl who drew manga very well, so I wanted to try it out too. From that point, I couldn't stop, and three years later I started taking painting classes.
Most of your paintings are portraits. Who are the subjects in your work?
That unknown woman we talked about two questions ago. I like painting people I don't know because I use them to create a personal character and a story.
Some of your works include multimedia elements. What is the significance of these additions?
Studying Fashion Design influenced me to add some sewing and embroidery to some of my paintings to emphasize certain points of the artwork I consider interesting. Also, I recently started to add some oil pastels or pencils. I wanted to experiment a little bit with that to evolve the abstract part of the paintings I do with other mediums. It's still a work in progress.
You recently left your job to become an artist full-time, which is so inspiring! How has your journey been so far?
Thank you! In short: Like an amazing adventure! Wonderful and a little bit scary too. But I wouldn't change it for anything. Dedicating 24h a day to my artwork is the best choice I could have made. I feel I'm able to grow as an artist thanks to that. I've been to workshops, collaborative projects; I've also met a lot of amazing and inspiring artists and people that helped me along the way.
ith every new project I do or every new exhibition I go to, I feel more inspired. I'm absorbing a lot of new concepts that I wouldn't be able to if I still was working as a sales assistant. The best part of all this is to simply be able to paint every day, and see how my own artistic world grows and wants to tell more things. That's definitely the best.
You describe your paintings as a point where figurative and abstract art meet. How did you first discover and explore this style?
As I was learning how to draw and paint I ended up being very meticulous, so with every new artwork I added more detail. At some point I realized I had the ability to copy practically any image I saw, but I wasn't expressing anything. So I crossed the line from "learning to draw and paint" to "learning how to express yourself from it" and for that I thought about adding shapes and colors to help me tell what I wanted to and to free my hand from all the details.
As an artist currently working in Spain, a country that is immensely rich in history and culture, how has your environment influenced your growth as a painter?
Indeed, Spain has a great artistic culture with amazing painters. But I think I haven't fully used these resources yet. I need to go out more and visit more museums, but since I'm on an island it's a little bit harder. Anyway, here in Majorca we do have some amazing museums and galleries, so I go visit them. But I think the Internet is the biggest resource I use, so my influences come from there.
You recently worked with photographer Donald Gjoka on some commissions for Coeval Magazine. What was the collaborative process like, working with a photographer?
Donald contacted me some months ago to do this collaborative project. Seeing the great pictures he had I couldn't say no! So I chose the 4 photos that inspired me the most and from there I interpreted them my own way. It's been really great having the opportunity to paint using his photos as a reference. He's a great photographer that captures the beauty of the model in a very minimal way.
Who are you listening to right now?
I must say I'm very bad at music culture, but recently I looked for some new artists and I "discovered" Snow Patrol, AC/DC, Diana Krall, Woodkid, Keane... I also love Adele, No Room, Bon Jovi, Ella Fitzgerald, Dinah Washington and Mago de Oz. A mixture between rock, jazz and indie, we could say. I'm sure there are a lot of other great artists I forgot to mention!
What’s next for you?
This week I'm doing a workshop with 30 other artists about stop motion, directed by Santiago Morilla. By doing this workshop I try to get out of my comfort zone (paintings) and expand my vision to other artistic languages. Also, in November I'm having a solo exhibition so I'm totally immersed in that right now.
What creeps you out the most?
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