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DOUGLAS MAGAZINE

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I am filled with immense gratitude as I reflect on the wonderful experience of being featured in the spring edition of Douglas Beauty Zone Magazine.

The exposure that the magazine provided has already led to new connections and exciting opportunities for which I am deeply grateful. This platform has allowed me to connect with a wider audience and share my vision for the beauty industry.

Once again, thank  to the entire team at Douglas Beauty Zone Magazine for choosing to feature me in their spring edition.

Their dedication to the beauty community and the passion for excellence in journalism truly shine through, and I am honored to have been a part of it.

The link to the magazine is this one https://magazine.douglasbeauty.bg/2023/Spring/?fbclid=PAAabpZuI92LrUWxNQ588dmmvnNFWblU678KVJLmthviP-Ry8RS-r_250SsRY

THE FULL INTERVIEW

1 Dear Adan, please tell me you story – how and when did you start painting?

I am originally from Canary Islands but I currently live in Valencia. The relationship between art and me started since I was born. I come from a family full of artists. My grandfather is a sculptor, my grandmother was a portrait painter, my father was a muralist and my mother is a ceramist. I think I didn’t have a choice, I had to be an artist.
Even though I didn’t work as an artist from the beginning, when I became 30 years old I decided to make from my passion my job. I graduated as an Industrial designer In de University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. The reason I didn’t study arts is because my family advice me not to do it. I don’t blame them. Being an artist is a difficult work and in that moment they wanted something more stable for me. So I worked in Madrid and Valencia in the design area until 2019. In the summer of that year and aVer talking with some friends about my talent for painting, I decided to stop all my design projects and paint everyday during one entire month. And then I was condemned…it was a point of no return. I experienced on my own skin, the feeling of doing what I was born to do. I knew in that moment that If I invested time into art, I could master it. I never had that feeling with design. You can’t fight against your own destiny. It always wins. The rest is history.

2 Who were your teachers?

I didn’t have academic art studies but I don’t believe in the concept “self-taught artist” neither. I had the talent in my veins and the most important the curiosity for learning. I’ve been always stimulated in the creative area. I was in many exhibitions of my grandfather in which I had contact with other artists and the world of art in general. So, to answer your question I will say that I had many teachers along my journey as an artist. They took different shapes: books, videos, conversations… But the most important is the amount of hours that I invested into painting, being fearless of making mistakes and learning from them.

3 Which painters inspires you?

It’s difficult to make a selection but I will try. The first one has to be my Grandmother, Ana Moles. She is the reason why I paint portraits nowadays. She worked as a hairdresser her entire life, but she always kept painting as a hobby. She would paint portraits of her clients on the weekends. So every-time I would visit her, I sat with her in front of the easel and she explained me where to look when you are painting a portrait. Little by little she was allowing
me to finish her artworks. In fact, one of the first portraits I did, was a portrait of my grandmother. The emotions I felt painting it were incredible. For the first time I was excited to see her reaction, when she was going to see the portrait. Being able to capture the soul of a person is an incredible feeling. I knew then, that I was going to feel that connection with people. For the rest, I learned different aspects from classic and contemporary artists. From William Turner I took the use of loose brushstrokes in order to create atmospheres adding a lot of drama. Rembrandt showed me the technique of the “claroscuro”. A technique that uses big contrasts between volumes of light and shade with the only goal of highlighting some areas of the face. The last one is the Norwegian contemporary artist Henrik Uldalen. I share with him the message that we want to transmit with our work. Always in between classic and expressionist, he wants to prioritise the emotions over the realism of a portrait.

4 What inspires you in general? How do you chose your models?

Inspiration is hidden everywhere for an artist. In my case a song, a movie, an emotion, a person that I feel a connexion with or that I admire…; all of them are elements that can start the creative sparkle in me. Once I have clear the subject of my painting, I try to find the model that adapts to the requirements of the emotion I want to transmit. An example can be when I am painting movement, logically, not everyone fit. In that case, l try to look for a professional dancer. If I receive a commission, the model is chosen for me. I just try to adapt and capture the soul of the person I am trying to portray.

5 How would you describe the connection between a painter and his model?

Like I said before, the reason that the majority of my artworks are portraits, is because I love to connect with people in a deeper level. In order to be able to capture the spirit of someone, you need to be able to read people really well. I normally try to know more about the life and personality of my model before I touch the canvas. You have to think that I spend hours focusing in the smallest details of a face. That creates a weird sensation that feels like you build an intimate relationship with the person I am painting. I am sure that not so many people look at your face for as long as I do.

6 Where do you paint?

My studio is located in Valencia. I needed a calm place that could inspire me. So I found this old house in the middle of plantations of palms and orange trees. Originally It was the place where farmers would put animals and the tools. Now it’s my little sanctuary where I can take the sun, watching the trees when I need to rest from the piece I am painting. It’s a beautiful and peaceful place to create art.

7 What are your favorite kind of drawing – oil, ink, ACRYLIC? Why?

In my style it’s really important the speed because I don’t want to lose the dynamism and power of the artwork I am painting. I looked for a quick technique that allows me to transfer the decisions in my head to the brush immediately. By using black ink for my monochrome works, I get speed since I don’t have to create colors that slow down the process. In addition, from its origin it was used for the great variety of shades of grey, that we can achieve simply by concentrating or diluting the pigment with water. It is precisely the water that gives me a certain spontaneity, achieving forms that I can’t control 100%. All of these ingredients together made me choose Chinese ink as my favourite media to use.

8 What inspired you to paint Johan Cruyff? Did you meet him?

I am Spanish and like the 80% of the population I love football. My football team since I was a baby has been F.C. Barcelona. The reason why is because of my grandmother. She was born in Barcelona and the games that we would have on tv when I was a kid, were the ones from Barça. Every Christmas, I would receive all kind of merchandising from that team. This introduction leads us to Johan Cruyff. I didn’t have the pleasure to meet him when he was
alive. He is a legend in the world of football and its particular loved in Barcelona. I decided to make I portrait of him just because of how inspiring he was for me. The creative mind that he had in the way of seeing football, was genius and unique. My surprise came when his son Jordi Cruyff, saw my painting on Instagram and told me, that he would love to have it in his house. He told me that I captured his soul. You can imagine how honoured I felt in that moment. He invited me to visit Barcelona and met him. That painting now rests in a special place between t-shirts and prizes of Johan. After that, I donated another painting to the Johan Cruyff foundation. That painting, they sold in an auction where all the benefits were for the organisation.

9 Did you paint other football players?

An audience that has welcomed me very well, has been the world of sports. Little by little I have managed to sell paintings to top-level footballers, who have helped me continue developing my artistic career. I think that my technique fits really well with the portraits that I make for them. They want to remember important moments from their careers that mean a lot for them. Those emotions are what I try to capture. I did paintings for Achraf Hakimi (PSG), Álvaro Morata (Atlético de Madrid), Koke (Atlético de Madrid), Munir (Al Wehda), Jesús Imaz (Jagiellonia Bialystok)…

10 Do you plan an exhibition soon and where?

I do have some personal projects planned for this year even though it’s difficult to find time for them because of the commissions that I need to attend. I am currently working in the preparation of two exhibitions for after the summer. One is going to be around September in Canary Islands and the other one in the winter season in Knoxville in U.S.A. The one in Gran Canaria is going to be a collection of portraits from different people around the world. The one in the states will be about painting movement.

11 Where have you exhibited?

I have had exhibitions in cities such as Chicago, Knoxville, Florida, Paris, Bordeaux, Madrid, Valencia, Gran Canaria. And I have collectors from different social classes who order their works from many parts of the world. In addition to my paintings, I have participated in the creation of book covers, music records and designed tattoos among other applications.

12 Are social medias a good platform to show art?

As artists we don’t have to be scared of the social medias. The big change in my career, in which I went from taking art as a hobby to consider it my profession, arose from creating an account on IG. As artists we are always busy producing artworks. For this reason, we are often lazy to create content for social networks. Logically it requires dedication, but a presence in networks is absolutely necessary to be able to work as an artist. Starting from the general public, other artists, fine arts students, end clients to Galleries, social networks such as Instagram, Facebook or Tiktok, are the tool that connects us with all of them. They are free tools that we have at our disposal to get our message across to the entire planet. In my case I receive numerous private messages every month that are usually in reference to commissions or exhibitions. I have open accounts on the three platforms mentioned above. Instagram is my biggest showcase and the effort that I can afford is a post or two per week. The key is to be as regular as possible so our followers see that we are active in our work and want to follow the evolution of our career as artists. Once our number of followers begins to increase, the goal is to keep them. It works very well for me to respond to their comments. It’s a way for them to feel directly connected to you and makes that they want to continue supporting you. The more diffusion, the greater the chances that a potential buyer will see you and will be interested in your work.

Interview by Lilia Ilieva

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