Lorena Alvarez Sets Color in Motion

Lorena Alvarez's illustrations often consist of flush and vibrant colors, a diverse palette that reflects an overwhelming sense of optimism and joy.  Based in Bogota, Columbia, Alvarez's work has received great acclaim, having been featured in magazines, children's books, independent publications, and advertisement. More recently, she's one of 12 artists exhibiting in Baker's Dozen which opens this Saturday. In a brief interview with Nucleus, we had a chance to gain a little background on this amazing artist.

On her earliest memories making art:

From the moment she received her first crayon, Alvarez immediately began doodling across the walls, a sudden awakening to her creativity.  Her parents, perhaps realizing their child to be gifted, purchased her a set of watercolors, and thus her journey as an artist began.  A year later, after the birth of her sister, Alvarez, like many children, took interest in the idea of a baby within another human being, and began to create drawings that reflected this concept, filling all her notebooks with monstrous dolls with people inside. Of this she notes, " I was trying to explain myself how could that be possible. I wouldn’t dare to say that I was making art then, but the urge to express the way I see things was always there."

On influences and inspiration:

As Alvarez began to develop as an artist, she began to search for a variety of source material, and often found herself drawn to comic books and animated films.  Her works certainly depict the cartoonish and illustrative elements associated with these two mediums. She also gained inspiration from artists such as James Jean, Mary Blair, and Lou Romano.  She also looks to fashion, photography and the performing arts, explaining " I’m more and more interested in exploring the expressiveness of movement and color." She adds that listening to music and traveling are also meaningful experiences as well as good jokes and the company of friends.

On artistic growth:

Using these inspirations, Alvarez has slowly evolved as an artist, and over the past ten years, has managed to develop her voice within the art world, one not limited by boundaries of style.  She sees her portfolio as a work-in-progress, a part of her identity that is constantly changing to reflect her own growth and confidence.

"10 years ago you could see in my high school notebooks lots of big-eyed anime warriors and princesses. When I got into college I discovered many European and American comic artists and illustrators and began to explore with photography and traditional techniques...if I had to compare my work now with the things I did 10 or even 5 years ago I can say I feel more confident using color and dynamic compositions.

As of now, Alvarez states that her proudest moments was when she was accepted into the Graphic Design School at the National University, as her acceptance confirmed that she was following the right path. She also beams with pride about her work with puppets and fellow puppeteers in 'La Procesión,' for it's through this passion that she has overcome stage fright.

The interview concluded with Alvarez sharing some fun facts of her life (In her own words):

  • I’m part of an experimental puppetry group “La Procesión Puppet Club” formed by illustrators, visual artists and animators. I’m a puppeteer and I paint some of our puppets. We are rehearsing for a new show these days.

  •  I have my own dance movements, to hide the fact that I can’t dance.

  •  I sing silly songs to the people I love.

  • I’m learning to play guitar.

  • My favorite colors are turquoise and purple.
Thanks Lorena! I'm sure we will be seeing much more of your work at Nucleus :)



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