I had the awesome opportunity to interview our upcoming artist, Tatiana Suarez!
ML: Tell us a bit about yourself; what are you into, what do you like to do outside of painting, any other jobs on the side?
TS: I've been lucky enough to focus full time on my painting for the last couple of years. When I'm not painting, my side jobs include freelance design and illustration work. As for what I do for fun, currently I enjoy watching movies. Spending time hanging out with loved ones. Chatting over some drinks. On rooftops. While playing dominoes. Yep.
ML: Why painting as opposed to any other fine art medium?
TS: It's just the medium I was introduced to really early on, and I just stuck with it. Painting and drawing also runs in the family. Plus it's fun and messy.
ML: Were you always into visual arts, or did you start some where else and end up finding out this is what you really wanted to do?
TS: As a kid, I wanted to grow up to be either an artist for Disney, or a vet. Art class was the only class since elementary that I looked forward to attending. It was my only ' A+' class, haha. I never went to art school, but my parents always had me enlisted in after school cartooning and painting classes. In college I stopped painting and focused more on graphic design. It wasn't until after a couple of years of working in advertising, that I decided to once again focus on developing my paintings. All in all, it was a decision I'm really glad I made.
ML: Where does your imagery stem from?
TS: Ladies, fashion, movies, life experiences, cultures & heritage, folklore, critters, colors, shapes...
ML: You include an odd assortment of creatures to accompany your figures, any particular reason why you choose the 'pets' that you do?
TS: I just really love animals, especially the unusual ones that others might find creepy. I’ve played momma to plenty of exotic pets growing up…from chameleons to sugar gliders.
ML: Is there a dialogue behind your work; are there subtle narratives to be understood?
TS: Most of my work to date has been simply portraits, just focusing on the women, their emotions, and adorning them. I keep them mysterious. They are meant to be enjoyed by the viewer, and adapt to their own narrative.
ML: If you could characterize this body of work on the fly, which personal descriptions immediately come to mind?
TS: Curvy, colorful, seductive. I like to picture drums thumping in the background, heh.
ML: What other genres of art are you attracted to outside of your own style of work?
TS: Cartooning, animation, illustration, digital art...
ML: Do you draw inspiration from any other artists, past or present?
TS: Of course! Oof, there’s way too many for me to name. Here are a few from the top of my head: Gil Elvgren, Alphonse Mucha, James Jean, Audrey Kawasaki, Chet Zar, Dave Cooper, Rockin’ Jelly Bean, Lori Early, Fafi, Nouar Boldy. Just a few names that help make my mind tick.
ML: Overall, what is your take on the New Brow scene in contemporary art?
TS: It’s great! * thumbs up * Just an awesome opportunity to explore, experiment, challenge and create some honest, true to heart, attention-grabbing art.
ML: As an emerging artist, what do you think is the biggest challenge in the contemporary art world right now?
TS: It's like anything else? So many people doing the same thing as you. Be original. Try and stand out.
ML: As artists, we all experience the evolution of our work; What do you see yourself doing next?
TS: Yes, always evolving and learning! I’m not too sure yet on what the future holds. I plan on exploring my work, perhaps composing some more narrative, and personal pieces. I want to continue painting on walls and have also been curious on playing with some 3d stuff, we’ll see!
ML: What do you like most about your work, and what you do?
TS: The entire process is always a ride I enjoy. I go through so many changes and detours with my pieces, plenty of shape and color shifting. When the piece finally starts coming together and I feel in control…it’s really a great feeling. I’m just so lucky to be able to do what I love.
ML: What has been your greatest achievement so far as an independent artist?
TS: Oh man, greatest achievement so far has been the opportunity to show over seas! Seeing my name on art blogs I've always followed, painting on a wall…
ML: What are you looking forward to most about coming back and showing in D.C., any exciting things you’re going be getting into (well, besides hanging out with us. haha) ?
TS: Well I just look forward to being in DC again, I was only there for a short period of time. Meeting new people of course. Honestly, I really haven’t had a chance to plan anything out yet, it’s been hectic!
ML: Any shout-outs, words of advice, or general nonsense you'd care to share with our readers?
TS: I would like to give a shout out to my friends and family for all of the support. The awesome boyfriend for his patience, thanks for putting up with my crazy, freak-out moments in preparation for the show.
Some words of advice: Keep loving what you do and be dedicated. Some general nonsense: Boop.
Also featured in RVA Magazine!
Be sure to check out her show this month, Saturday July 17th 6p-Midnight!