Curious Adventurer: Q+A with Marta Raimundo

Our editor-in-chief Tom caught up with illustrator Marta Raimundo about the inspiration behind her work, becoming the characters she draws and on being a restless people watcher in the rush of her new home, London.

What is the main inspiration behind your work?

I have always been absolutely fascinated by human beings: by the thinking process, the handling of emotions, and even the human body itself. It is this mix of irrational logic that intrigues me. Most of my work revolves around communicating feelings and being able to explain them to others without the use of words. It appeals to me that with every piece I create someone out there can be feeling the same thing, that he can put himself in that positions, that he can relate. It’s sort of like when a song seems to have been written for you or about you. I’ve always been a ‘’people-watcher’’ so I observe as an attempt to understand and my eyes have never seemed to fail me. They are restless curious adventurers wanting to find the smallest detail they can and work with them to create something bigger.

How important are the people around you in the work you make?

My work has always been incredibly personal, every time I start something I have this necessity to make it my own, to project myself into it and everyone i meet ends up being portrayed in it whether from their story, their appearance or even just what sort of emotions they bring into my life.

Moving from a city that compared to London is minuscule, I thought I would struggle to find the same sort of neighbourly environment that I have back home but people here are incredibly welcoming. The reality is that I ended up meeting and being surrounded by an ‘’artistic community’’ where we are all 20 year old kids living on our own, half-lost half-found, trying to make something out of ourselves. I find that their presence in my life has a huge impact not only on the work I produce but also in how my mind is developing. We come from different backgrounds and even different areas such as Fashion, Fine Art, Animation, but the beauty of it is that coming to any one of them with the same problem whether it is colour, medium, narrative and I will always be given a completely different take on how to approach it, how to fix it, how to make it better.

"I feel that with every project I do, it should be a bit better than the last one, I want to keep growing and keep defining a style that is my own."

What is it like being an artist in London?

I guess it is like having a constant reminder of your insignificance. However, wanting to change the dimension you see yourself in is eventually the reason why I’m driven to produce more and more, to improve. London for me has always been a drive-through museum/circus/performance, not only for the art that flows out of this city but also by the unconventional and distinctive people I meet daily: the way they act, the way they dress and obviously the way they work. It’s all about growing up in surroundings that make you want to evolve, to push yourself until exhaustion and where there are no limits besides the one you create for yourself. It is shaping me to look for more out of myself and all that I lay hands on as an attempt to keep up with such a demanding but exhilarating environment.

Could you talk us through your favourite piece and why you are proud of it...

The piece of work I will talk about is my most recent one, a wordless A3 open A2 book all hand drawn with details in gold embroidery.

This project was challenging for me on many levels. First, I have always felt writing was essential in communicating not only an idea, but especially a narrative but this wordless book proved me wrong. It allowed space for the reader to have his own interpretation, making it a bit of his own which is one of the main reasons I love to do what I do. Secondly, I love to work in small formats: most of my publications are A6, A5 so to go from that to an A3 open A2 and being able to add details to it made me incredibly happy.

In this book my character has a deep connection to nature as her emotions are translated into natural phenomenons: if she sneezes trees fall down, if she cries rain pours down. Every time I create a character, I become her, I feel what she feels, I think how she think, I act how she acts. This book has been an overwhelming experience because I was treating her emotions as if they where my own, forcing me to dig deeper as an attempt to succeed.

The day I finally finished I felt I was letting go of a huge chunk of myself, leaving me sort of empty. That’s when I realised how happy I was with it, because I missed having a reason to stay awake until late, to drink 7 cups of coffee per day, to be completely lost in a world that isn't real.

 

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