Independiente is a digital magazine dedicated to spread the knowledge, resources and design culture of northern Mexico. Is a causality that I know one of the contributors: Raul Arrieta, aka Sato. We used to live in the same area when we were teenagers, we both always had interest for illustration and art.
Sato invited me to answer this interview (originally in spanish), please read it here in english.
See the original link with images here.
"The art of coffee and surf of Goya Torres"
("Art of Coffee" because I'm originally from Cordoba, Veracruz, a famous area because of its coffee)
My name is Gloria Torres, alias Goya Torres. I am a visual artist and illustrator originally from Cordoba, Veracruz (south Mexico), at this moment I am living in Sydney Australia. Artistically I take inspiration from mexican traditions and culture, street art, pop surrealism or lowbrow and nature. I use traditional media such as oil, acrylics, pastels on canvas, paper and wood, as also spray paint and printmaking techniques such as linography.
I studied the Bachelor in Graphic Design in the port city of Veracruz. Before graduating, I used to do freelance illustration projects for publishing. After finishing college I moved to Sydney where I worked in design agencies. After a couple of years I started exploring a path related to the visual arts and now I divide my time between my daily work doing illustration for a online game company and my practice as a visual artist.
Drawing is something that always got my attention. Since I was a little girl I started to show an interest for painting and drawing. I took painting lessons in high school and during my Bachelor I used to practice as a hobby. Until a couple of years ago I started taking my hobby more seriously and practice it and share it professionally. Living overseas since 3 years ago has inspired my work to produce images full of culture and tradition from Mexico, mostly focus on the folklore and identity of my heritage. Elements from nature, surrealism and arguments about life and death are topics that lately stand out a lot in my work, however I consider I am still experimenting and looking for my own voice.
My first exhibition as a visual artist happened last year when I got selected as a finalist to be part of International Women Day Exhibition and Art Prize of Meadowbank, Sydney. After this event I got more confidence to continue developing more work and send it to national and international call-outs. Thanks to a couple of successful exhibitions and commissions from last year, it has been like a takeoff as more and more people start to recognise my work and invite me to participate in more exhibitions and projects.
Normally I only take on projects that go along my values and vision of what I want to be as an artist. A project that I really enjoyed was the Wild! Rhino project, where I paint a life-size rhino sculpture for the Sydney Taronga Zoo, in order to create awareness and get funds to save the rhino from extinction. Another very important project for me was the group exhibition "Triangle, angular realities", a Latin-American travelling exhibition between Mexico-Colombia-Cuba, which showcased work from various latin artists who exposed their condition as individuals from latin countries, with all that this entails social, political and conceptually.
I really like to work on public art and projects with other artists, specially when these have a social mission and an important ideals for human and social change. At this moment I don't focus my work in a personal life aspect, but all the opposite: from a global aspect, awareness and human spiritualization. My dream is to keep moving forward with my work, be more productive, more exhibitions and projects, continue growing as an artist, travel more and keep inspiring other people.
In a couple of weeks I will be doing live painting for a Spanish Food Festival I was invited to participate. After that I will be painting a koala sculpture for a tourism public art project in Port Macquarie, an area very close to Sydney. At the same time I am preparing paintings for a group exhibition I will be doing with two good artist friends about animals as gods from ancient empires. I will also be traveling to Barcelona to take a printmaking course.
Personally I will recommend to anyone that wants to be an artist to never give up, keep practicing, fulfill yourself with inspiration, go to museums, meet new places, travel, be open to meet new people and new points of view, be open to new styles and tools, take courses and workshops, learn new techniques… And very important: if you want something, never stop until you get it. Having a clear goal on mind will take you to actually achieve it. Not everything is work either, take your time to relax, travel and take a breath. And more than anything, enjoy what you are doing. Always be humble with your work and your successes. *Goya Torres