MEET THE ARTIST: SUSANNA

1. Tell us a bit about yourself, where are you from and how did you come to live in London?

I was born in Barcelona. My dad travelled a lot for work and I would sometimes accompany him.
I love travelling and exploring new places so, from a young age, I left home, started travelling and living in different places.
Eventually I met Jesse in Barcelona when he was escaping life in London and I was planning my next trip away from Barcelona. We decided to go to Berlin but after a year we didn’t think it was the right place for us so we came to London.

Fifteen years and two daughters later, I can say I’ve spent some of the best years of my life here. London is a very special city, although it is an enormous place and a really tough one.

2. Explain the route you took to where you are now artistically.

 

For as long as I can remember I was always drawing and colouring in. I wouldn’t leave the house without a small drawing pad and some pens.
My dad is a very artistic person, I have memories of his small workshop full of tools that fascinated me at home, he was always pottering around in there.
Creativity was a constant in my early life.
I studied Art and Illustration in Barcelona and I’ve done several printmaking courses at The East London Printmakers over the years.

3. Do you have any particular influences?

 

I admire lots of artists and artistic movements. I enjoy going to art galleries and museums and I collect art books and exhibition catalogs. I am also very lucky that I am surrounded by artists, makers and creative people both in the tattoo studio as well as at the East London Printmakers, where I do my printmaking work, which keeps me inspired and keeps my artistic curiousity alive and fresh.

4. Talk to us about your particular materials and techniques.

 

I work in two very different ways. On one side I draw with a biro on watercolour paper in a very precise and quite realistic way. Once finished, these mainly monochromatic illustrations, can either find their way into a Photopolymer etching (see blog entry from September 2020), stay as illustrations or as tattoos.



On the other side, I work with abstract shapes and colour, extracting the pure escence of the objects. I’m not focusing on recreating the things I see in nature and life. It is a more liberating way of expressing which I think balances out and compliments my more controlled and detailed other type of work. It would end up being too stiff if I wouldn’t let go.

5. What relationship do you have with social media?

 

There’s a side of me that loves it as a tool to connect and discover other artists, makers, tattooists and like minded people. Without it I wouldn’t have discovered @dolsallibreta and we wouldn’t have been able to collaborate in our Art Codex, which has been one of the nicests projects I have made and has started a long lasting friendship and very fruitful work relationship.



On the other side, I find social media fake, draining and a bad influence. We have given it an all important status that wants to dictate our life. It is powerful, it tells us what we should like, who should we pay attention to and boosts the profiles of a selected few leaving a lot of individuals and small business battling with an all mighty algorithm that nobody understands. So I force myself to step back and take breaks from it on a regular basis.
It may not be the best approach from a business point of view but I’m definitely happier.

 6. Do you listen to music while you work? Is it an inspiration, or a way to concentrate?

 

I always listen to something and what I listen to, depends on the type of work I’m doing. In the tattoo studio music is always on. When I’m working on my own, especially when I need to concentrate, I also listen to music, I like it loud and it is sometimes quite intense. When I’m in a mechanic, less demanding part of the process I listen to podcasts or put on a documentary on the laptop and I listen to it rather that watch it. 

7. Outside of your work what are your other passions or interests?

 

I love being outdoors, on walks and I’m very happy when travelling to other parts of the world. I’m also very passionate about Yoga and it’s health benefits, I was going to start a Teacher Training Course that had to be cancelled because of Covid, and I’m intending to do it when the situation makes it possible. 

8. What was the best piece of advice you were given or have to give?

 

Perseverance is key when persuing an artistic career. Being positive is also very important, life is too short to spend it sulking!