Many of us take refuge in the art in order to make sense of the world. But learning to change how we see ourselves helps us find our hidden strengths and improves the way we process the world around us. This outlook of ‘looking inward to get a better perspective‘ has been a transformative experience for many creatives.
Colombian painter, illustrator, designer, knit-wear artist based in Washington D.C., Katty Huertas style is unmistakably intentional, authentic and deep. Her Self Portrait Series tells us not only the story of her own identity – but if you look deeper will guide into finding yours.
To get to know more about her process, I interviewed Katty to discuss everything from the concurrent theme of her work to her indispensable stationery items. Read on to learn from Katty’s stellar work and stay inspired.
What is the creative process behind your art?
My work is very personal and also very focused. I like to have everything planned before starting a piece, whether it’s in my mind or in sketches.
For commissions, I like to read the brief twice before coming up with sketches and for personal work is like I’m giving myself an imaginary brief. I always like to have a concept before starting to work, unless of course, they’re just doodles.
How do you dismiss all the conflicting thoughts in your head and focus
on the singular process of creation?
In the beginning, this is a hard thing to do so I have to consciously push them away, but once I’m already halfway through all my attention goes into little details that I could spend months working on without any distraction.
It’s also important to mention that those conflicting thoughts can also bring new ideas to the work.
What do you feel when you stare at a blank page before your art takes
a shape on the whiteness of the sheet?
It’s kind of a satisfying pressure. Once you make the first mark, the paper will never be the same again, so you will either ruin it or will turn it into something good, and since the majority of the work starts by looking really bad it can make me feel a little anxious. You just have to push through because it usually gets better.
For me, the process of drawing or painting is not relaxing, but it’s something I have to do because if I don’t, the anxiety of not doing it is worse.
Which is the concurrent theme in your work?
Although I’d like to say all, at the moment I think is mostly feminism. Since I consider my work to be very personal, this is an issue I deal with daily being a woman myself. I also like to touch on immigration sometimes since in the US this is a very loaded topic and I’m an immigrant.
If someone issues a search warrant through your tools and sketchbooks, what are they likely to stumble into?
If someone looks through my sketchbooks they’ll find not the prettiest sketches but a lot of ideas. As I said before, when I’m working on a final piece I have almost everything thought out, but what’s on my sketchbooks is definitely more spontaneous.
Regarding tools, they’d find a couple Moleskines, pencils, acrylic paints, brushes and a graphics tablet.
What are your can’t-live-without stationery essentials?
I like to sketchbooks that have nice thick paper, that’s why I like Moleskines sketchbooks. I also like to have construction paper in different colors because sometimes I like to experiment with collages and cut-outs.
Here, Katty explored social issues in our society that perpetuate double standards, ownership, and gender inequalities. “With comical undertones that range from literal to conceptual, the goal of this series is to shine a light on the different standards for women. By painting self-portraits, I’m confronting my image, against what society expects.”
Blank Paper Project wishes her all the luck in her future projects.