There’s an innate relationship between children and the animal kingdom. Our children sing songs about animals, they have toy animals, they have books about animals and they dream about animals
You are a graphic designer. How did your adventure with monochromatic watercolours start?
As a child I was called “the artist of the family”. I have always really loved to draw and paint. I had lots of crayons, coloured pencils, watercolors, etc. When I became an adult I worked as a graphic designer. My work brings me closer to digital media. I loved it but at the same time I also started to feel the longing to return to traditional media. I longed to paint again, to feel the texture of the paper, canvas, the brush, the wet paint drops, everything!
Watercolor is my favorite medium. Although the colours are vibrant, one doesn’t feel overwhelmed by them. I love the diffuse effect produced by watercolors?. I love working with watercolor because it has the "Surprise" moment. You don't have absolute control when the paint is applied to wet paper. Sometimes you just learn to let it flow. I don't really have a reason for using only black and white, I just feel I like to do it, and so I do it.
That's a great thing to follow your intuition and emotions! :) A big part of your work is exploring the relationship between humans and nature, children and animals. What does nature mean to you?
Nature is my teacher, my inspiration, my remedy! It is as true as an old Latin saying, “NATURA NIHIL FRUSTRA FACIT”, which means “Nature does nothing in vain”. Nature and painting is also the best doctor, it has become my cathartic release. My subjects are often children and animals because they are sincere, unprejudiced and unpretentious. There’s an innate relationship between them. Back in the old days, we used to live in nature, side by side with all its element; us humans, animals and plants, in harmony. We used to live in balance and complement each other. This thought brings such a calming effect to me, and when I put it in a painting, I feel wonderful peace inside. I want people to feel it too.
Animals in your paintings are strong and gentle at the same time, what's their status in your life?
Animals can show us how to live harmoniously with nature. I take animals as my teachers, following their example. Their characters are wild and yet at the same time hold a deep respect and connection with mother earth. They are strong when they need to survive and gentle when caring for others. I think we as humans should learn from that. Different animals have different characteristics. All of them are interesting. If you look closer at each of them, you will find the greatest lesson we can learn as humans.
Do you have any artistic plans for 2016? Is there anything you really want to do or you just follow your intuition and create?
I'm not much of a planner, so usually I must follow my intuition and keep creating things :) I hope I can share more love and inspirations through my works.
How do you usually work? What does your process look like? Where does it start?
It starts with an idea. It can be from anything: music, books, movies, or images that suddenly pop into my mind. After that, I start to make a rough sketch. Usually during this phase, I listen to music, which helps me to focus and create the atmosphere in the painting. I start with painting the background first. The landscape, clouds, mist, etc, then the subjects (animals, children, etc). Currently, I’m working on a video that shows my painting process, the tools and the techniques, so that I can share my painting process with people.
We look forward to seeing it then!:) If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Can I pick more than one place? hehehe.. I’d love to visit Tibet, Iceland, Africa, the North Pole, twenty thousand leagues under the sea, and does outer space count too?
Yep it does. Where would it be?
I want to go to a black hole (but without being harmed or anything) and see what's in it.
Do you have any animals at home?
No I don’t have a pet because currently I live with my parents and they prefer not to keep a pet. But personally I’d love to keep a dog, maybe in the future haha. However, I love seeing animals being free and wild in their habitat.
You have thousands of fans all around the world. Does popularity change anything in your life?
My artworks have fans, I don’t. Hahaha. I appreciate it when people love my work and get positive vibes from it. I love knowing that I contribute something good in the things that I create. It doesn’t change my life, but it makes me more aware of my responsibility. I’m a human, I’m not perfect, but I try my best to make art that serves a good purpose.
Down by the river
Fine art prints from Elicia's watercolors
Find out more:
Elicia's gallery at Lumarte Art Online
Elicia's FB page
Lumarte's FB page