Creating a variety of illustrations based on strong female characters and dreamy atmospheres as her form of inspiration
I had the pleasure to chat with Brazilian artist, Marina Araújo. have learned about her experience in the LGBTQ+ community and how her artwork creates an impact, as well as her love for David Lynch films.
What is your background? What does your work aim to say?
Formally, I have a background in architecture and graphic design. I came to be an illustrator out of curiosity and am self-taught in that matter. Usually, my subject matters are strong female characters and dreamy atmospheres. I try to convey delicacy and imagination in my work to communicate the beauty of diverse bodies and ways of loving and thinking.
How does your work comment on social or political issues?
As a lesbian woman myself, I am interested in depicting LGBTQIA existency(ies) in non-conventional ways, happy ways, dreamy ways, which we do not usually see in the mainstream media.
Who are your biggest influences, and why?
I really admire the surrealist movement's way of materializing complex concepts, feelings, and situations we may have trouble describing in our own heads; I could name René Magritte and Rafal Olbinski as huge influences. I also look for inspiration in other women's works and love what Hilma Af Klint, Beatriz Milhazes (@milhazesbeatriz), Wangechi Mutu (@wangechistudio), Chie Fueki (@chiefueki) and many others have created. As for contemporary fellow artists, I can name Isadora Zeferino (@imzeferino on Instagram), Lois Van Baarle (@loisvb), Paula Cruz (@thepaulacruz), Miles Johnston (@miles_art) and Bao Pham (@baotpham).
Marina gave thoughtful advice for other following artists who are trying to pursue in the creative industry.
How have you developed your career?
Art-wise, I must confess I am still working that out. Since I don't have a formal educational background in arts, most of what I have learned has come out of my own interest and I am currently navigating the industry and working on the early stages of my career.
How do you seek out opportunities?
Mostly online, on social networks (Instagram and Twitter, for the most part, but also LinkedIn and more recently, the-dots) and prospecting new clients in my fields of interest by sending them my portfolio.
How do you navigate the art world?
It depends on my mood, really. I have been recently quite tired of the social network environment, so I'm trying to look for different ways and forms of consuming art. Usually, I watch lots of movies that have kept me inspired throughout my whole life. I also own several artbooks from artists I admire and like to consult them every once in a while, for study.
How do you price your work?
I am very aware of my processes and know precisely where I start and where I will get. So, I usually price based on the amount of time I will take, the complexity of the work, the nature and financial possibilities of the client and how big the exposure and reproduction of the work will be.
How do you cultivate a collector base?
I don't. Haha
Which current art world trends are you following?
I usually follow the trends from the social networks, so I recently created my first #drawthisinyourstyle event and I always try to participate in friends' events as well. Aesthetically speaking, I don't think I am following any trends at the moment.
What software do you use in your illustrations?
Mostly Adobe Photoshop with a pen tablet, but I also like the creative possibilities of Adobe Illustrator.
What inspires you to incorporate elements of nature and realism in your illustrations?
I love how natural elements can be combined and used in the most diverse ways and to communicate a wide array of feelings and meanings - which is something I really look forward to. My work is not realistic, but I try to make real things and people look recognizable through my own artistic vocabulary. I used to do that a lot harder when I was starting out as an illustration, but since I found and got comfortable with my personal style, I've grown much more interested in working with things that work for me than being 100% faithful to reality.
What is your favourite film of all time, and why?
Mulholland Drive, by David Lynch. I love it because it has a non-conventional storyline and conveys many different film genres in one; also, the way it depicts the Hollywood dream and plays with the viewer's expectations and feelings really amaze me.
In the words of Naomi Watts as Betty,
“I'd rather be known as a great actress than a movie star. But, you know, sometimes people end up being both.”
After seeing her artwork for the first time, gave me a sense of inspiration to improve my own prescriptive of reality and the art world.
To check out her amazing artwork here is the link to her website and Instagram