Are you hyped up for the weekend yet? We sure are! Buy a pair of TOMS shoes and Blanca Yanez will be there to use her artistic talents to personalize them.
Where are you from, Blanca?
I am from San Diego, California born and raised.
Where did you get your art skills?
I’ve been painting and drawing since I was a kid. I learned basic drawing principles at a young age solely through observation and experimentation. I would use pictures as references and go on from there. With that said, I am mostly self-taught, though I took studio art classes throughout my high school years.
What inspires you?
As an artist, anything can inspire me. The majority of my pieces have started from spontaneous thoughts, regarding anything. For example, one time I was sitting in a restaurant and I noticed an old woman walk in. The composition of the wrinkles on her face aside her melancholy eyes and the detail in them, I knew would make for a great ebony pencil drawing. That old woman then inspired me to focus on a specific facial feature for my next project, which was skin. This led to the creation of “Nostalgia”, an ebony pencil drawing of the old woman I saw, with some exaggerated features.
How would you describe your artistic style?
First off, I’m a big fan of acrylic paint. Ever since high school, I’ve been experimenting with everything from realistic to abstract works using acrylic. I prefer to paint on framed canvasses; the sizes can literally range anywhere from the size of a sticky note to the height of someone’s waist. When it comes to my style, I’m very detail-oriented and I love to use bright colors in my works. The subjects, however, can literally range from still-life pieces to surrealistic scenes resulting from random thoughts or dreams.
What are your hobbies and interests?
Besides painting, drawing, and doing anything art related, I’m a very big fitness person. I love to workout on the daily and I love participating in all kinds of sports. I was a big track and field fan back in high school and those experiences/payoffs have inspired me to continue this healthy lifestyle. Not only does fitness aid my appearance, but it also makes me feel great. Like painting, it is a great stress reliever and it allows me to just get into my own zone and focus on myself.
What are your goals as an artist?
The only goal I have is to continue making art throughout my life and inspire those around me with it.
Who are your heroes?
My parents, teachers, friends, and family.
Tell us about one of your favorite art pieces that you have created.
One of my favorite pieces is a painting I made of an old school car—a Jaguar E-type. I’m most proud of this painting since it demonstrates the strength of my realism technique. I managed to capture the reflection and detail in the chrome of the car very well. This piece also takes on a different angle to change up the point of view from typical car pictures. It was part of concentration portfolio which was focused on old school cars.
Who is your favorite artist or what is your favorite art piece?
This is a tough question. I don’t have a particular favorite artist. However, an artist that has influenced my ideas and whom I respect very much is Salvador Dali. I’m a fan of his work because he masters surrealism, depicting realistic objects in unrealistic scenes. His pieces are also very thought provoking.
Do you have any advice for other aspiring artists?
– Keep your creative juices flowing. Whenever you have an idea, write it down or make a quick sketch.
– Get to know your professors and become friends with your art teacher, if applicable. Ask about after-school studio hours. My art teacher, Cindy Bravo, would make time to open the art studio after school hours on certain days for students to come in and work.
– Ask if you can borrow supplies! Besides saving you a lot of money, it’ll give you the opportunity to experiment, create, and learn more about different mediums and techniques.
– Find out what works for you. I tend to listen to music while I paint; it’s very relaxing and soothing. Sometimes my strokes go along with the rhythm of a song.
– Don’t be afraid to mess up. I’ve had to paint over multiple canvasses because the piece I was creating wasn’t what I had originally imagined. Take the time to occasionally step away from your pieces to see you’re progress.
– If you’re stuck on something, don’t be afraid to stop working on it and begin working on a new project. Come back to that other piece when your mind is refreshed.