"Let's start with the adjectives that best describe my work: bold, expressive and layered."
"My Name is Claudia Melchor, I am formally trained as an architect, but I have had a passion for painting and the 2D mediums since I can remember."
How did you transfer from architecture to mixed media illustrations?
"When the time came to choose my career path I was advised, like many others, not to pursue a career in arts. And I listened. Fast forward a Bachelor and Master degree in Architecture and being utterly bored of the work in front of the computer. Then during my gap year after university, I started to create illustrations, paintings and products with my designs on them, and I had never felt happier!
It all took off right before I got a job in an architectural office which I now juggle with my illustration career and my new studies of art history. I am hoping to be able to drop the corporate architecture job soon enough and concentrate fully on my passion for art - making and using mixed-media techniques.
I hope my story helps people who are undecided about what to study to realise that the art degree is not important, you can be an artist with any background and the best thing is, this will make your art more unique. Of course, going to an art school must be a fantastic experience as well!"
How would you describe your illustration style?
"I think describing your own style is something extremely difficult. I had to ask my friends about this one, and how they described it couldn't be more accurate. They said my art looks like everything I paint is in movement, like the wind is blowing through the painting and dropping colour on everything it touches. I could not have a better way to describe it honestly.
I like layering textures and playing with lots of colours, I am a maximalist in that sense. The harder I try to constrict a colour palette, the wider the colour range gets.
If we look at some of my subject choices, my favourite things to paint are landscapes with mountains and ocean, as it reminds me of my hometown Tenerife, a quaint little island in the middle of the Atlantic ocean.
But I will also draw human-like figures with exaggerated features and colourful skin. And of course, I always include some architectural element - the 6 years of architecture studies have to show up somewhere."
What is the key to making your mixed-media illustrations?
"I believe that the key to making my art is not to plan too much beforehand. To be fair, this technique sometimes works and it sometimes doesn't, but not worrying too much about the outcome really gives you the freedom to experiment while painting.
I like seeing the process of colouring and painting and changing my mind in my final pieces. It shows my relationship to the paper, to my context and to my paint and you can trace my decision-making process on the final product.
I like being able to get my hands dirty and mix my own paints. All you need in order to be able to recreate my art is a lot of different materials (doesn't need to be anything fancy, but I do like to mix mediums), a very loose hand and some courage to layer paint and start from scratch."
You can find Claudia over on Instagram or on her website. Claudia is a creative teacher and teachers her skills online. Her class Mixed Media illustration: Paint your childhood home attended already more than 2k students.
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