6 things that inspired me the most

I’m from Mexico a country with a rich heritage, a lot of folklore and history. As you can imagine there is a variety of things that I feel inspired from and that I use as my resources over and over again and no matter how much time goes by I still find them amusing and interesting. Here I’ll share with you those things and how they affect my artwork, hope you like and find them inspiring as much as I do.

Mexican paper cuttings (papel picado)

This kind of craft is an ancient tradition that was mostly used for main celebrations like “the Virgin Maria day”, “The Mexican independence day” and “The day of the dead”. Modernly it’s used for any special occasion like weddings or birthdays to decorate walls, tables or halls. What I love the most of this craft is that the motives that are cut in the paper are normally simplified forms, festive and cheerful, vibrant and full of color, also because is made of delicate paper it’s ephemeral which is a powerful meaning I believe…This fine craft can be as detail as the artisan’s expertise and can be done with scissors or with chisels like professionals do.

papel-picado
Mexican papel picado

 

colorful papel picado
Mexican papel picado in use

Typical wardrobe and Mexican embroidery

Each Mexico’s state (32) has it’s own wardrobe and it’s own traditional embroidery style. There is more than the Mariachi or Charro and sombrero-zarape wardrobe. I’ll be honest with you I do not know every single one but I know a few and I don’t have a favorite I like all of them. I think the work to do all the embroidery and detail is remarkable, could take weeks to hand finish one typical wardrobe. Nature is one of the main characters for the motives as the tailor embroider plants, flowers, fruits and animals in the fabric specially selected for this task, also in some cases you can appreciate symbols in the composition of the pattern. The elements that inspire me the most are the different interpretations of the forms that one wardrobe has to another, composition and color combination.

Sunday market dress
Typical Merida Yucatan wardrobe

The day of the dead

This is by far my favorite holiday. This traditional day is full of meaning and love, family and friends get together to remember and honor those who are gone. Everything is prepared to “receive” the spirits of loved ones that are already dead. There is special bread, food and drinks that you can only taste and enjoy these particular days…is beautiful. It’s the mix between beauty and obscure, sadness and joy of this day what is really attractive to me, is an offering for ghosts, a celebration with tons of colorful flowers, colorful paper cuttings, sugar skulls, delicious food and of course love.

Merida Yucatan the day-of-the-dead
Merida Yucatan celebration for the Day of the death

 

sugar skulls
“Dia de Muertos” sugar skulls

 

altar-children
children welcoming guests at the celebration of The day of the death

Women that I admire

Frida Kahlo (Mexican painter), Lila Downs (Mexican singer), Remedios Varo (spanish painter).

The first two are Mexican and the last one is from Spain but lived half of her life in Mexico. I admire the strong personality of these three women, you immediately can notice a lot of passion, mystery and devotion in the work that they present. In the case of Frida Kahlo and Remedios Varo I admire how they use emotions and their personal life to create something unique and deep which I try to do do as much as I can (following their example of course). Lila Downs is a singer who transform her voice, she treats her voice as sculptors treat clay, is amazing how many notes she can reach. Her style is very singular because she approach traditional Mexican music under a modern concept.

Frida Kahlo
Frida Kahlo self portrait

 

Remedios Varo
Remedios varo photo portrait

 

lila-downs
Mexican singer Lila Downs

 

Photo credits:

http://adventurgraphics.blogspot.com

http://www.mexicodesconocido.com.mx

http://cookjmex.blogspot.com

http://www.taringa.net

Frida Kahlo

Remedios Varo

http://www.liladowns.com

 

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