“I’ve been drawing since I was little, ever since I can remember. I think I really never stopped doing it,” Argentinian illustrator Maria Luque tells us. “I think there is a connection between how I used to draw when I was little and the way I do now, at least in the attitude. I used to love drawing with my friends and it’s something I still do nowadays. I like returning to the attitude of drawing without expecting anything, drawing whatever you come up with in that moment. I remember I used to like throwing drawings from the balcony when I was a kid. There were self portraits and in the back I wrote: ‘This is me, I have curly hair, I’m in third grade. Do you want to be my friend? I live on the first floor.’ I imagined that the bell would ring immediately and the house would be full of new friends that wanted to draw with me. I realised that the wind blew the drawings away, so I started to tied them with a string and the drawings stayed there hanging from the balcony.”
Although Maria went to art school for a while, she ended up leaving to seek out a creative education elsewhere. “I started to attend workshops by artists I was interested in and going to residences in order to educate myself outside academic institutions,” she says.
Her intricately patterned illustrations made with a blend of colour pencils, markers, acrylic and watercolour on paper, may look like the product of some intense planning, but behind them lies a remarkably straightforward approach. “As soon as I start, I know whether the drawing will work out,” she says. “I usually draw pretty quickly, I never prepare sketches, I go straight to the paper. I like it to be intuitive, to feel that the hand is almost possessed and drawing by itself, not letting the head think about every movement.”
Maria works largely on personal projects. At the moment she’s focusing on a short story about her favourite painters (“Matisse, Marina Abramović or David Hockney but I also like folk art and outsider artists like Bill Traylor or Lee Godie. I also enjoy a lot the work of my friends Powerpaola, Amadeo Gonzales and many others”) but she tells us that she’s always on the lookout for commercial work — “if anyone needs me, I’m available!”
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