Illustrator Carmen Garcia Huerta on music, motherhood & Madame Bovary.
Somewhere between photography, cinema and fiction comes illustration. Carmen García Huerta was selected by Taschen as one of the 100 best international illustrators. Her world is both unmistakable and surprising, with a unique attention to detail. Carmen’s work straddles two styles: the stylised and chic in her more commercial work, and a predilection for curved lines and the beauty of imperfection in her more personal projects.
In this interview, we hear from the artist herself on music, motherhood and Madame Bovary…
What is fashion illustration for you?
It’s quite an evasive notion for me, something like the minimal unity of elegance. A subtle yet, at the same time, complex expression of the whole web of design, trend, fabric, texture, attitude, sociology. In my case, the object gains a force and loses volatility, as my drawings are very consistent.
What is happening beyond illustration in the world of Carmen García Huerta?
Well, I am single, which I need – it is vital for my work. The only presence which does not change me or which even, at times, motivates and stimulates me is that of my daughter when she visits me in the studio, but only for a short time. I always have music on. I usually listen to intimate tracks by composers from classical to neo-folk, unless I have an urgent deadline. Then I put on power rock or epic soundtracks to speed me up a bit.
When you were little, what could keep your attention for hours?
I was a very quiet child, introverted and dreamy. I spent a lot of time immersed in my father’s graphics library, where he had lots of books by strip cartoonists from the ‘70s, clearly for adults as they were about politics or soft porn. Perhaps that wasn’t the most appropriate for a child, and I didn’t understand anything that I was reading about, but I am very grateful to have had access to those as that is how I learnt to draw and get engrossed in reading.
Leaving technology aside, what objects do you think are most representative of this era, which will be recognised when looking back from the future?
Now there is a return to the home-made and the artisanal, in perfect harmony with technology. But I don’t know what to say, everything that comes to mind is electronic. So, if I can’t mention a smartphone, I would say a selfie. I can’t think of anything which better expresses here and now.
If you could create the image of a character from a novel or film in your illustrations, who would it be?
Madame Bovary. In fact, that’s what I’m about to do.
This article was originally published in http://www.spnmagazine.com/
About the author: Silvia Terrón is a Spanish poet, translator and journalist. She is also an expert on public and cultural diplomacy with a special interest on citizen’s access to shape culture as a public good.
She published ‘La imposibilidad gravitatoria’ (The impossibility of gravity) in 2009 and ‘Doblez’ in 2015.
After living in London for several years, she now resides in Paris, working in communications for an international organisation. Silvia is also the editor of Alba Paris magazine and co-ordinates the Literature strand of Spain Now!, the season of Contemporary Spanish Culture in London.
Silvia’s blogs can be read at: blog.silviaterron.com