Tell us a little about yourself!
My name is Ingrid, I am originally from Mexico but I’ve been living in the past 12 years in different places. First in Barcelona, then London followed by NY and back in London. I obviously like traveling and art. I graduated as a Information Designer years ago and I also completely a master in Book Publishing. I have other passions, like ballet which I studied for years since I was five, but I discovered Yoga as an adult when I was dealing with health problems and since then, along with meditation, it is part of my daily practice. I’ve completed several yoga teacher trainings, but I’ve only worked in the yoga ‘industry’ as a designer.
In your opinion, what defines an “artist”?
I think there is the misunderstood concept of the artist as someone that paints. I think that any person that expresses oneself through creation is an artist. It doesn’t matter if you live from it, if you work in a gallery or what materials you use.
What inspires your work?
Inspiration doesn’t exist for me as an emotion or a moment of ecstasy that invites one to create. I find inspiration in conversations, books, something I see, in the more unusual places and moments, it comes from experiences that give me ideas or the wish to explore something.
Do you have a certain process when creating?
Yes, I love rituals! When I get ready to paint I usually start with a meditation and burning some wood like palo santo or herb such as sage or sweet grass (this is called smudge). I plan in advance my workspace setup by choosing the paper, palettes and brushes so I can focus on my painting instead of what I need. I let go of the expectation, if my painting wants to go to a different direction than my original idea I let it happen. If I feel ‘blocked’ I stop and go for a walk to a water canal that is close to my flat or I join a yoga class. I always have a warm cup of tea, I love painting barefoot and in the comfort of Thai pants.
What are three things that you value the most in your work?
1. Freedom to do what I love the way I want to. 2. Knowing that my paintings are traveling to different countries and that most of them are given as a gift to another person to comfort, wish well or ‘just because’; that is then when I really think that my art become great and special 3. Being able to illustrate the words of others to inform about important situations, sometimes about special needs, yoga as therapy, compassion, etc. This gives meaning and purpose to my work.
Do you have a formal background in art or are you self-taught?
Although I studied design, I am more a self-taught artist. I bought myself my first óleo set when I was around 9 or 10 years old, i cannot recall exactly where I got the money from, but I think I saved my lunch money or something and bought a small set in a small shop close to my parents house.
I had an art class during my high school years once a week which I loved, my teacher is still a friend of mine, an amazing illustrator based in Madrid.
After that I tried to take a couple of classes that I never completed because I found them boring and I’m really bad at following instructions.
I completely stopped painting for years just because I focused on other stuff, like traveling, then college, then more traveling, formal work and so on.
During my year in New York I took a workshop with the amazing Helen Dealtry and a couple of workshops at The Art Students League of New York. I found them really useful and inspiring, I think for me short workshops are the way to go because there is no time to get bored and you can choose a very specific theme you are actually interested in, that’s why I choose to teach workshops the way I do, four intense hours with one theme and the most important: freedom to experiment.
What advice would you give an aspiring artist?
Create a lot, experiment a lot. Get inspiration but don’t copy other artists, this will make your voice more difficult to emerge and it’s not kind to appropriate someone’s idea and hard work.
Move away from Pinterest and Instagram when you are looking for inspiration, go to a library, go for a walk and take pictures, create your own inspirational gallery.
Experimentation is really important. I get the same questions again and again: “What paper do you use? What brush is that? What brand of watercolours do you recommend?” I always answer and there is nothing wrong with asking, but materials are different for everyone, it depends in the style and the project, the only way to know what works for you is by practicing and trying different materials. Go to the art shop, get some supplies and experiment.