ARTIST OF THE MONTH
María Del Castillo
LatinSF Artist of the Month is the talented Mexican María del Castillo. She was born and raised in Querétaro, where she grew up with her mother and her sister. She never met her dad as her parents divorced during her early childhood. However, as María recalls, her mother was a hard worker and always provided as best she could for them.
Her connection with art dates back to childhood. She saw drawings of her dad and was amused by their good quality. This caused an impact that would flourish during her last years of Middle School where she took a course in Fine Arts, which provided her skills on painting techniques, drawing, oil painting and carving. This class influenced her decision to follow a path in a professional way. Her life surrounded by art was finally paved when she was accepted in Universidad de Bellas Artes for a career in Visual Arts.
During her time at Bellas Artes, she became interested in graphic art, which would make her pursue a career in Graphic Design. This opened her boundaries and allowed Maria to develop different projects including painting, photography, illustration, video, serigraphy, and 3D animations, among others. Her capacity to use this wide number of skills allows her to mix her techniques and bring a complex output that María can apply to the different projects she is involved in.
As María recalls, “Art for me is like a vehicle to externalize emotions… what you think, what you feel, and what you imagine. Art transforms into a catalyzer that can provoke and communicate things exclusively possible by it. It is a tool to represent reality, give color and shape to ideas, to express emotions and concepts.”
Her first project came in the form of an album release for a pop-rock band, where she had complete control to experiment concepts. She prepared the project with oil painting based on a poem:
“What face should I show to the world?
Because in the inside I’m burning, I’m shattered…
I must keep calm, I must smile…
I see a torn, bleeder, flagellated world,
in my existence without you…
What can I do? Should I scream or be silent?
Nothing is important, I have your memory in my blood.
I hope the tempest takes away my sorrow,
And my loneliness wrap me in calm, while I wait…
Because we will see each other again…”
María began her project by relating this poem with sketches that created different emotions: Pain, sorrow, desperation. She ended up transforming this sketches into oil painting, which ended being the protagonist of the album.
With the passing of time, her concepts and new techniques have taken the spotlight of her art. She loves applying these new tactics on her projects, opening more boundaries to develop complex work.
Maria has also enjoyed success and recognition. In 2015, one of her projects was a short film that aired on MTV during several weeks. Only a few Latin American artists can say they have had visual video work featured on such a mainstream channel.
Apart from that, María has also worked on the development of two of video games, where she took the lead in concept art, character design, animation and UI. She is currently working on a project called Banshee, focused mainly in digital and traditional portraits. “I love this project because I use drawing techniques, illustration, and painting.” Says María.
Among her role models, she emphasizes different role models for different parts of her life. Her first one was Spaniard Salvador Dalí, famous by the way he depicted his images. “I loved his way of projecting himself and living in a dream that he turned reality.” Andy Warhol is also among her favorites. But the most important role model for María is her husband. “I personally admire my husband. He is the smartest and most persistent person I know. He always makes everything seem easy and possible.”
María’s passion for art comes to the simple idea of creating. In her own words, “Every piece makes me realize that everything can be created with my mind, my hands… seeing a canvas in blank and looking to the final outcome: full of color and life, which creates emotions and sensations that otherwise would be impossible to get.”
María is currently working on different projects. She is developing a clothing brand and experimenting with different techniques of textile printing– some of her creations are already live and on sale.
We invite you to view Maria’s latest artistic creations and, if you feel so inclined, knock off some of your xmas shopping items by purchasing her uniquely designed hoodies, t-shirts, notebooks and more.
Check out Maria’s online store at https://www.mariadelcastillo.com/shop
Official Website: https://www.mariadelcastillo.com
Banshee project: @banshee.banshee