Thursday, 20 September 2012

Interview: Natalia Hernández González

Piano Song by Natalia Hernández González

Last month we wrote about Natalia Hernández González, an up and coming, spooky Spanish artist, whose mixture of childlike and macabre make her pieces both fascinating to look at and slightly unsettling. This month, HSL has had the opportunity to interview Natalia and find out what inspires her work.

- Firstly, thank you for doing this interview. Please could you introduce yourself for those unfamiliar with your work?
My name is Natalia; I always liked drawing, painting... art in general. I studied Fine Arts, but during the degree I was not sure what I wanted to do. In the last course I discovered the illustration world, and I haven’t been able to escape since then, nor have I wanted to.
When I started painting I realized paintings like a cloth doll hanging from the neck. This doll appears in several other pieces. Obviously, or not so much, almost anyone liked this kind of art.
People ask me very often why I draw these things, and not cute others. Well, I consider that I do esthetically nice characters and scenes, but most of the times the background is dark and sinister. I love this contradiction; this is all, nothing more. I love it.

I created the Spooky Delight blog around two years ago. I update everything I do. I would like to work as an illustrator, and since then I’m drawing daily (more or less) to get it.

And because of people like all of you, I am really pleased to do it.

- When did you first realize you wanted to be an artist?
First of all, thank you for calling me an artist. At the moment I don’t consider myself as an artist, I simply love drawing, and I love my little creatures.
I always known I would like to work in something that I liked, and there is nothing I like more than this.
Also, I like drawing since I have memory.

- Are there any other artists whose work you particularly enjoy?
There are innumerable artist I admire: popular artists and others not so well-known, and from different disciplines, as Tim Burton, Mark Ryden, Roman Dirge, Gus Fink, Ray Caesar, Nicoletta Ceccoli, David Stoupakis, Chet Zar, and a very large etc.

- Have they been influential to your style?
Of course. Always has to be a start.
My beginnings were investigating those artists because I liked their work. My style is a consequence of investigating them but it is not in a deliberate way. I learn something from every one of them, it’s such  subliminal messages in my mind.

- What else inspires you when creating a piece?
My state of mind. I recognize that not always I can draw as I want, because I’m obligated to do more commercial things.
Drawing is my therapy to escape this suffocating world. I know that it’s not the correct way, but usually, when I draw only for me, I don’t think what I’m doing: without a sketch, I grab paper and pencil, or computer and tablet, and it simply appears.
In addition, I have a file with different pictures that I collect. When I’m blank I use to review this file to inspire me.

Balance by  Natalia Hernández González

- Some of your pieces, such as 'Balance' have a specific theme and message. Is it important for your audience to understand the meaning or are you happy if they simply enjoy the aesthetics?
No, it’s not important for me that everybody understands what I want to say. It’s funny when they give me their different points of view. ‘Balance’ is for a contest with a specific theme, but it’s not usually that way, only if it’s for a request or similar.

- If you had to describe your art in five words, which five words would you choose?
Sinister, childhood, cute, tragic, fun.

- A lot of your pieces are simultaneously creepy and cute. Is it difficult to maintain the balance between those elements?
It’s not really difficult; I do it without thinking about it. A trick is including strange or dark elements in an inappropriate scene.

 - Does the "creepy-cute artist" box ever confine what you create, or do you simply paint / draw whatever you're inspired to paint / draw, regardless of the label?
I never think about it. I only draw, I don’t care about labels, but I like to move through these two words: creepy and cute.

- As well as painting from your imagination, you take commissions from clients. Is it difficult to work around someone else's ideas, or is it fun to produce designs in styles that you might not have tried otherwise?
Both parts have enough weight. It’s difficult to work through the eyes of a customer, but it supposes a funny challenge. Sometimes, as you say, I discover or learn something new, and these little things ends in a big learning.

- What's the most interesting commission you've been given so far?
I worked on the illustration of a children's book, and I really liked the illustrations and the story. It wasn't as dark as others, but I’m very pleased with the results, I think they illustrate very well the most important moments and still keep the spooky style.

- Over the years, you've been using digital painting more frequently. Do you prefer it to "traditional" mediums (acrylics, watercolours etc.)?
I like painting with both mediums. Lately I draw with the digital way due to the small space that I have, but sometimes I need to change to watercolor or acrylic, I miss it. Sometimes I also need the fast results of the watercolor, or its organic shapes.

- How else has your style changed since you began professionally?
Modestly, I think that I have been improving over time technically, and the scenes are more subtle than before but more sinister too (especially the more personal work).

Offering by Natalia Hernández González

- What's the best thing about being a professional artist & designer?
The best is looking back and see what you have learned and improved. Those little things you learn while working, really show the difference with older work.

- And the worst?
I think the worst is the hard effort of sending the work, trying to show it to as many people as possible, and being rejected in some places.

- When you're not creating, how do you like to spend your free time?
When I’m not creating I’m sending e-mails with portfolios, with CVs, speaking with potential clients etc. But in my free time I like listening to music, going out with my friends, and taking care to my small pets: a white bunny and a black ferret.

- Lastly, could you give a message to any fans of your art?
I would like to thank everyone who sees and likes my pictures. The work comes really alive when there is other people that talk about it.

Many thanks to Natalia for the interview! 
You can check out more of her work on the websites below:


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