Kate Awalt-Conley '20 interviewed Clara Cubrera '20 on her surrealist-inspired drawings. Below is a transcript of the interview.
When did you first start realizing that you wanted to make art?
My mom told me I was drawing before I could even speak because I was a late speaker. I just really liked doing it, but I would just do my own thing through middle school, and in high school I started taking private classes and that’s when I realized I really liked drawing and started getting very into it.
What kind of stuff were you making at that point, when you first started making art and first started taking classes?
Before classes I would do mostly cartoony things. Once I had the materials provided from my class to paint, the majority of my art became painting.
How has your art evolved?
I definitely think that constant practice and just having it fully in your schedule week to week completely changes your technique in the best way possible. I felt like I had no strengths going into the class and I was really intimidated and now I feel, in a college art class, like I have very strong skills, and I’m very confident in myself. Also, you just kind of realize your own style and the way you make marks and everything and what your preferences are.
How do you make time for art?
What I started doing was going to actual art stores and buying my own materials and just mapping out my own projects and just doing them whenever I had free time or whenever I was in the mood, and that stuff sometimes ended up being my strongest work that I would use in portfolios.
What other artists have inspired you?
Personally I had a friend in high school who I met sophomore year who had a really different technique and style, and I think she really had a huge affect on me because I had never seen stuff like that before. She would make very strange, surreal figures and drawings, and before that I was really into drawing reality and exactness and it made me realize the value in freeform. I also really like expressionist era, and basically all art after 1930s I really appreciate.
What have you been inspired by recently?
Actually, even though I just said I’ve been inspired mostly by painting and I do painting, I’ve been inspired more by artists who do simple line drawings. Picasso line drawings are something I really like; I have it tattooed on me. I think there’s something really special about simple but bold contours, and I think that’s what I’m mostly inspired by right now.
Did you get that tattoo because you just loved the drawing so much?
I knew I wanted a tattoo and I knew I wanted it to be simple because I didn’t want it to hurt, but I knew I also wanted it to be a piece of art because art is a very big part of my life. I picked Picasso because made incredible line drawings. I also feel that I have a connection with Picasso, because I draw things like him and he’s also from Spain, and being Spanish is a big part of my identity. I just thought it was appropriate.
What fears come with art making for you?
I think doing art in the real world, basically doing art as a living and as an adult scares me because it really feels like it’s just a hit or miss market. Also, there’s a big fear that what you do or what you make will be very mediocre or basic and you won’t even realize it until you publically show it, and people will be like ‘this is really bad’. I think that’s a big fear also.
Where do you see your art going in the future?
I’ve always wanted to have a career in art, but I would love to just make art. I don’t like anything else. Everything in the art industry I hate other than just making the art. I hate the way that curation works and funding, so if anything I would just do it on my own time and have another career outside of it but work on it equal amounts as my other job.
I also think the art world is run largely by rich white men and it’s really gross sometimes, and I don’t want to be a part of that.
It’s also being in a capitalist society that’s all run by status and ego, which I really dislike. I don’t like the controversy that comes with art sometimes. We’re just trying to make art but everything becomes a controversy, and I hate that.