Argentine artist Estela Cuadro talks to Don't Panic


Written by James Ratcliffe
27 Wednesday 27th November 2013

Estela Cuadro's illustrative work is striking and alluring, with her emotive characters, mesmerising patterns and beautiful colours. We were fortunate to catch up with the emerging Argentine artist last week.

How long have you been practising as an illustrator and what is your background in art and design?

I was very small, and my father sent me to a workshop of art, which was very basic. I was about 5 years old, and when I started studying Graphic Design I didn't have time to do art works. When I graduated, I got to visit an amazing place, which still take place in Buenos Aires, Argentina, with an excellent teacher Silvia Mato. An amazing six years experience of my life, maturing a lot, in relation to art and my inner way of being. I learned to meditate, to do oriental dance, to connect with people from another place. The truth is that everything is very large and so intense that I could not tell in just a few lines. She was the one who created this world and all of my awakened dreams, that I have every day.

What direction is your working currently heading in?

I want to continue creating artworks, without any pressure, just because I want to. I hope one day I can live off the art I make. I can´t imagine creating orders for art works. I believe that a work of art should be as free and instant as one, or how I feel. I believe in my impulses in irrationality, in the unconscious, playfulness, in imagination without barriers, without worries. I want people to like my art from this side.

What do you find inspiring?

I think what inspires me most is seeing my blank paper. It´s so nice to know that something new is about to be created. I think what surprises me most is what occurs in the journey. To give the maturity time that every piece needs, it can be a day, a month, or however long it takes. Each work questions your time, your need to exert more energy and imagine things, that's what interests me, and not having any barriers with my approach. No matter how cute or ugly it could be. The artwork is. You have to let it be. There are many things that inspire me, especially music. Whenever I paint, I dance. Sometimes I sing(badly but it encourages me). I like to take a glass of wine and read a book. Travelling fills me with energy for all my new ideas.

What project in particular have you enjoyed working on recently?

There are two recent exhibitions that mark the course of my career as an emergent artist. One was in the Hotel Odeon, Buenos Aires, Argentina. It was an intense and very big experience for me. Much anxiety and nerves, not from making a single exhibition, but from the challenge of working with such a large space. I had the experience of being able to draw a full glass entrance with fluorescents markers, it was fun because people from the other side, mostly children, played with my characters. Generating fantasies for other people is great, makes me feel full.

The other, was a sign that I made recently, where I had no opportunity to be present , but I instead sent over my work to the exhibition in Manhattan, New York. It was my first experience as an international show, and I hope to do more. I'm looking forward to the next trip to showcase my art, while meeting other artists and visiting galleries. I wish everything were less expensive to fulfil this kind of dream that I want to achieve.

Who are your heroes?

It's weird to talk about heroes, I just think that is a very strong word, but yes I have many people I admire. If I had to name you someone from painting, it would be Frida Kahlo. I love the way she is and her art works, her career, very admirable. I had the honour of meeting her in Mexico, her works are amazing and her life is so hard. I Think she is a person with great force, light and energy.

More examples of Estela's work can be found on her website:

Dont forget to like her on Facebook too:

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