About the artist
This week’s artist interview is with Florencia Magallanes. Florencia has brought the traditional style of watercolour and inks to the digital medium. Her subjects are the human condition and eroticism, so expect images of a mature nature in this article and also in Florencia’s social media galleries.
Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1989, Florencia is the youngest child of three, from a middle-class family living in the locality of Burzaco. While art was not an inherent trait of her family, Florencia’s artistic interests began at a young age and she was encouraged and motivated by her parents to express her curious spirit of exploration.
During her teenage years, music and film fed her student days as she gradually found her voice in the artistic languages. She decided to pursue a career in the arts after completing her secondary education. Almost by chance, she opted for visual arts.
Florencia studied at the Escuela Municipal de Artes Visuales de Lomas de Zamora, graduating in 2014 with the titles of Professor in Visual Arts and Professor of Painting. During her formative years she participated in group exhibitions locally, in small cultural centres and indie design-fairs.
In 2015 she moved to Spain, where she worked in several projects including photography, video art, digital drawings and paintings. Her work is characterised by its expressive use of colour and texture, focusing on themes of human emotions and the subconscious mind in a very unique and highly harmonised way. Now living in London, Florencia continues her training and remains devoted fully to her art. Her work has been exhibited in Argentina, Spain, Netherlands, Germany and the UK.
How did you first get into digital art?
I was gifted a digital tablet in 2015; I didn’t know anything about digital art before that, but I immediately was drawn to it because it was fast, easy and the possibilities were infinite. I’m self-taught and still learning through experimentation.
Why did you choose digital art as your medium?
I believe it’s important to try new things and push one’s boundaries and knowledge. I come from a traditional art background and I found it interesting to apply everything I’ve learned in a new and exciting way.
Digital tools are more forgiving when I make mistakes and I can make several versions of one idea; that’s fantastic. Gradually, it became my main medium of expression; I like how the artworks look and the fact that I only need a computer and a desk in order to create.
Which artistic styles are you particularly drawn to?
I don’t have one style in particular; I’m an art lover and appreciate many different forms.
Tell us about the process you use to make your art.
The creative processes doesn’t always evolve in the same way. I usually write about what I want to do first, then I’ll make searches, try colour palettes, collect images and then just draw and draw until the idea takes shape.
What inspires you?
What inspires me the most is doubt. I like to ask questions instead of answering them. I’m particularly interested in human emotions at the moment, but I get inspiration from everywhere. Shapes, colours, light; anything can be a trigger.
What is your motivation?
I would say my family and friends are my biggest motivation; they always think that what I do matters.
Describe your style in three words.
My style is contemporary, translucent and eye-catching.
Tell us about any memorable comments or responses you’ve had about your work.
People have come to me with the intention of sharing very personal insights about my erotic work. I think that so many of them can relate to the non-idealised aspect of it and the emotions portrayed, which are far from the traditional way that this kind of art is presented. My erotic work is not planned to be a source of sexual excitement — even though I’m aware that it can happen.
I remember one person in particular, from a country known for its repressive laws, telling me that he felt liberated by my art. Shared some of his personal experiences with me, he said that it was not only the beautiful colours I picked for the work but also the many different emotions it portrayed. For the first time, it built for him an idea of desire that felt just right.
Name three artists who inspire you.
How do you think you’ve improved as an artist compared to when you first started?
Now that I’ve come to know the digital tools better, I’m faster using the tablet, I know what works for my art.
What advice would you give yourself if you could go back to when you started making art?
Be more organised and name all your files! Know when to stop and take breaks.
What devices/equipment do you use to create your art?
A Wacom tablet and a Mac.
What software do you use to create your art?
Do you use images from stock sites in your work?
I don’t use images from stock sites, but I do use images from random searches, books, magazines and my own. I’m also a photographer.
Do you think digital/new media art is not yet recognised as a valid form of art?
No, I do think that sometimes it’s unfairly treated, like it’s a less important form of art. There are people who think that computers do all the work and we don’t know how to draw. That perspective usually changes when the work is recognised by the art world; when you start to exhibit or get lots of followers on social media.
Thank you for sharing your wonderful art with us, Florencia!
Find links to more of Florencia’s work in her entry in our Artists’ Directory.