Hello Dear Giovanna Viola. Thank you for giving us the chance to Interview with you. Our first question is what is your passion and goal as an artist?
My passion and goal as an artist are to create art that takes you out of this world. Alternative views of the imagination that have the ability to transport our minds out of reality. Breaking the rules of what is possible, following my curiosity, and encouraging others to do the same. I am attempting to take a deeper look, to find a different perspective, and connect the ideas in ways that are beautiful yet meaningful to my audience.
Creating has been my life since I can remember. I have a very wild imagination and have always been obsessed with bringing this magic to life and sharing it. This creativity fueled a passion for learning. In order to bring my imagination to life I needed a creative toolbox to work from. I wanted to learn everything about all the ways I can create; drawing, painting, photography, film, sculpture, photoshop, and creating props. My pursuit of learning continues to be an endless one. I really believe that disconnecting from routine lets us see things from other points of view that we were beyond our sight before, as we were trapped in the circle of mundanity.
When did you first know you would be an artist? When did you first start photography?
I have always been a creative person. Even as a small child I was attracted to drawing, painting, sculpting, crafts, photography, and video! I didn’t have the means to get any fancy equipment so I became very good at using my imagination and solving problems. I grew up in an industrial zone of Santiago, Chile. It is mostly concrete, nothing too colorful, and being an artist wasn’t much of an option so I went to the closest thing, Filmmaking. I didn’t know that I wanted to be an artist until around 8 years ago when I realized that this is my passion. Recognizing that all my interests were leading to the same purpose, creating art.
I started Photography at 13, my parents gave me a small off-brand digital camera, that used 2-AAA batteries and captured less than 5 megapixel images. Imagine the first generation of cell phones that could take pictures, that was the quality of the images I got from that camera. And it was the most exciting thing. I took pictures of everything all the time! Then I knew I loved photography and I think since then photography has been part of my life.
How would you describe yor style of work? Would you characterize it as specific genre?
Using primarily self-portraits, photo manipulation, and digital painterly techniques, I create surreal worlds and characters. Visual representations of dreams, reflections, and ideas. My work is loaded with symbolism, I like to include animals in my images to represent human characteristics or emotions. One of my favorites is the crow, I use it to represent consciousness, creativity, adaptability, guidance, intelligence, or a messenger despite popular belief. I prefer a dark color palette to enhance the sense of mystery, enchantment, and tranquility which works best with the narratives of my images. I believe the genre of my work includes fine art surreal, dark and conceptual self-portraits.
We saw a lot of “Dark Art” touch in your artworks. Can you tell us more about why you choose this dark theme for your main subject?
I like the mystery of the darkness, I find something romantic in it. In the Darkness we find courage, we find the light, we get lost and we are found, and we find what we are missing. No one questions good things, we usually self-reflect more when we are going through hardships and I found peace in that. Darkness is a part of life. What’s the point of being scared of it? It is something that exists within us. Much of my work talks about overcoming darkness or finding beauty within it.
What is your creative process like and how does art-making impact other parts of your life?
My creative process typically starts in 2 different ways. Occasionally an image pops into my mind when I see something profound that catches my attention or the most common way is based around a feeling, an experience, or some thought I have in mind that I can’t put into words. I spend a significant amount of time researching the theme, universal symbology, color palettes, and techniques that can help me communicate the message in the best way possible. Then I sketch out what comes to mind after my research, and begin the process of finding or making the costume and props. The photo shoot is usually in the guest room of my house (my mini photography studio), or in a location that inspired me on a trip. When the shoot is done and I have my starting image then I spend countless hours on editing and photo manipulation to portray what I imagined.
Art making has always been a part of my life. My camera goes with me practically everywhere, and a few of my images were taken during family vacations. I’m constantly trying to learn new techniques to better portray my imagination. I choose to stay at home with my son, my time to create is limited right now, so I have learned to use my time more efficiently. On occasions, my son is my partner for scouting locations and props, and also assists in some of my photoshoots.
What professional photographers have influenced your work, and how do you incorporate their techniques into your photographs?
The majority of my influences come from cinema, the surrealism movement, German expressionism, fantasy, and fiction. Movies like Doctor Calgary, A Trip to the Moon, Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind, Requiem for a Dream, and Pan’s Labyrinth. Specific directors, like Guillermo del toro and Tim Burton, come to mind.
I don't specifically incorporate their techniques, I try to include different aspects that I admire from their work. I love how surrealism allows me to portray a dream world. In German expressionism, it is the shapes, contrast, and rule-breaking perspective. Fantasy and fiction because of the endless possibilities. The cinematography of Doctor Calgary and the creativity in the production of Trip to the Moon were inspiring and taught me to look at things from a different perspective. The other movies and directors I mentioned amazed me by the storytelling, the magic, the color palettes, the macabre, the monsters, the metaphors, and most of all the weirdness and these are all things I also like to bring to life within my work.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Don’t be afraid to try. I started pursuing an art career around 8 years ago, I could have started before but was scared of putting my work out to the world. Also, save your first works the ones you hated, the things that fail, and share those too because seeing and sharing the process of growth is important too. And finally, apply to competitions. It doesn’t matter at what level you are as an artist, just apply.
What are some of your favorite sources of inspiration?
Life, music, books, movies, mythology, and symbology.
Can you talk about any other current or upcoming projects?
Currently, I’m finishing some oil paintings and creating some photoshop tutorials. Uff! so many ideas for the future. I'm working on my first series, and hopefully, I can release it next year. Also, I have some ideas for sculptures and planning to put all this together in a solo exhibit at some point.
Anything else you would like to mention or add for the readers?
Thank you for all the support I have received and stay tuned on my social media for the new things coming up.