Interview with Julia De La Torre


Describe yourself in 3 words
Creative, compassionate and fiery

Where do you live, and where are you from?
I’ve lived in Manhattan for 5 years now, and i’m originally from Mexico.

Describe your artistic process?
I dont have a set process, it could be sitting with a cup of coffee and a good record on, or walking through Manhattan, or (annoyingly) an unbelievable surge of creative energy hits me at 4 a.m. I take a lot of notes when I’m not in the position to sit down and work at that moment. Sometimes a concept for a piece of work will enter my mind and it isn’t till months later that it takes on full form.

How do you keep you creative flow fresh, where does your inspiration come from?
Keeping a consistency in work has been key this last year. I would normally just work when inspiration would hit me but that resulted in not working too often. Seeking out inspiration has been more rewarding— yes, it results in more work that I don’t like as much, but you suddenly realize that one idea has led you to another and suddenly, you’re on to something special. It’s also a lesson in letting go of my perfectionist ego and sharing work that isn’t by any means perfect or groundbreaking. Just to keep putting out work is therapeutic.

I feel it’s my responsibility as an artist of my generation to work towards deconstructing stereotypes.

When did you decide you wanted to become an artist?
I dont remember a time I didn’t consider myself an artist. I’ve wanted to be every variation of artist— singer, actress, dancer, pianist, photographer, writer, painter…its always been in my composition. I found it strange when people didn’t want to be artists haha.

What do you do in your free time ?
I live with a lot of anxiety so a lot of my free time is spent relaxing at home and working from my balcony. I’ve got some (very few) great people in my life I love to spend time with. Walks through the neighborhood always lift my spirits, clear my head and inspire me. Also drink coffee. A lot.

Name three artists you love right now
It’s tough to choose, but some of my favorites will always be Toulouse-Lautrec, Leonard Cohen and Van Gogh. Regarding newer artists— Nayyirah Waheed, Petra Collins and Elly Smallwood are women doing amazing work.

Does Diversity play an important part in your art?
Huge part. I love portraying all kinds of bodies, skin colors, genders, and souls. I feel it’s my responsibility as an artist of my generation to work towards deconstructing stereotypes.

What is your advice to other young girls looking to have a career as an artist ?
I’d say protect your creativity from anyone or anything who might try to diminish, manipulate, change, or fit your creative impulses and thoughts into a square box. Develop skills to express yourself, and don’t be afraid to say your dreams out loud. Get used to the idea of not having a linear path in life, and learn to love the spontaneity of it.

Vincent Van Gogh said: « If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint’,
then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced. » What do you think ?

Van Gogh was constantly told no, told he couldn’t paint, that his style was garbage, and he would never even sell a painting. His devotion and love for his craft fueled him and he painted all day, every single day of his life since he discovered his love for it. It is my belief that he couldn’t NOT paint, for him painting was his outlet for his anxiety and illness (as it is for me as well). And I think he was certainly a pioneer for Impressionism at his time, so many people did not appreciate his work. So whether it be a voice within your head or someone actually telling you you are not good enough, harness it as motivation & keep creating, and you will always be rewarded, if not yet materially, personally.

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