Carmen is an illustrator based in Barcelona who has recently completed a Masters degree in Education. After almost a month of strict lockdown at her family house in Majorca, with a severe Coronavirus case under her roof, her Instagram has flourished like ever. Posting new work twice or three times a day, she is using her time in quarantine well.
Today I could speak to her and see how is she dealing with the situation.
How is the lockdown affecting your creative practice?
Since the beginning I decided to view this time as a an artistic residency. Drawing is everything I do. I get up and draw, I eat, and - depending how inspired I am I maybe take some time off - but then I draw again. So following this routine, I end up with two or three drawings a day.
Although sometimes it is difficult to be creative… Because there’re no stimulus, so it can be difficult to find inspiration…So I often end up finding inspiration in memories…
The inspiration is sometimes a matter of training as well.
Yes.. and when I don’t find anything I just look for inspiration around my place. For example one day I didn’t know what to do and I thought, what do I like most in this house? - The lemon tree - I love lemons, water with lemon… so I used a lemon as the starting point. Any stimulus, as silly as it can appear, can be the excuse to start drawing.
Nice. It’s definitely working out well. Sometimes it is just a matter of making.
Yes. And there’s something else that affects my creative mood… I’m in love. So that means that I love life, I love my memories, I love love… so that helps me to find subjects to draw about. I’m so excited…
Fantastic! And are you using this time to experiment?
So without realising I think I’m actually trying new things. Every time I make a drawing the process is the same but things subtly change… I’m applying some different technical changes. But as well, when thinking about the relation between the written sentence and the drawing, I’m trying to go over and over this a bit more. I’m trying to be less literal… I guess as to trying to improve it.
And I guess then when pushing so much you can see a big difference.
Yes, sure. I also must say that I was really craving for this situation. For me the quarantine in that sense has been so beneficial because I had been looking forward to draw for a long time. During my Master studies I didn’t find time but was really looking forward start again. At the end of the program I incrementally started to draw again, some fast drawings… Actually the creative process I’m living now started before the quarantine. I started to self-isolate a little bit before it.
So you started to self-isolated earlier on?
Yes… I lived all this process drawing. Before the lockdown I was spending time doing other things, but when the quarantine started there was not anything else to do other than being at home. And, I’ll say in a way, drawing is like a medicine for me. Otherwise I would be thinking more about what is happening, less busy and more anxious..
Her work at: @sinoakid