Argentinian street artist ”Animalitoland” is the creator of various creatures. Her drawings bring them into reality while beautifying city walls. She is a very active artist that makes fine illustrations, wall paintings, installations as well as custom art. From the following interview we get a deeper view into the person behind some great creativity!
(ISSA) – What you choose to drink? Coffee, Tea, Beer, Soda or something else?
(Animalitoland) – Mate the Argentinian’s typical infusion 🙂
– Please introduce yourself to us…
– I’m Graciela, an illustrator from Argentina. Since 2004 I’ve been developing images for graphic design, animation, videogames, comics and toys. I’ve always felt comfortable expressing things through characters, and to me, drawing is like breathing. So one day I decided to go out and draw on the streets, and I’ve never stopped.
– Where does your tag name come from?
– Animalitoland, “the land of the little animals”, it’s the world I have inside of my head, filled of all the creatures I draw. That’s how I called my website about 10 years ago. I had no idea I’d end up painting in the street at that time. It’s too long to write, so I sign with a symbol which is an abstraction of my signature and looks like a little animal.
– How do you define yourself? Artist? Street artist? Anything else?
– I just draw.
– How did it all start for you, and what is it nowadays?
– After spending too many years drawing and working in the computer, I needed to get out of there. I started seeing explosions of colour in the middle of the grey city, and I wanted to try it too. My friend Jakhem who was into the Hip-hop Culture, showed me where to get the sprays. I confess I had the prejudice that you had to listen to rap to use spray-paint. Now I realize how stupid that was and I wish I would have started earlier. So in the beginning, for me it was basically to change the canvas, from drawing in digital to drawing in the walls. I lived in a neighbourhood full of abandoned places, so it was really easy to pick a starting point. Then I started getting in touch with the neighbours who always stop to talk while you paint, then I got in touch with other street artist who are now some of my best friends, and finally I started travelling to paint and got the chance to meet people from other countries. It has been an evolution that lead me to connect with more and more different kind of people, and I’m just amazed. I never knew I would learn so much. So now is like a monster that asks me for more.
– What is the first thing you do when you get up in the morning?
– I heat the water to prepare “Mate” and have breakfast with my husband.
– Street art is mostly a visually stimulating form of art. To add one more sense to it, what music would you pick to accompany your art work?
– It depends on the mood. At this moment I have a classic playlist for riding my bike and painting, which has some Gramatik, Chinese Man and a lot of Funk. But I also listen to very soft things like Shugo Tokumaru, or something more techno and yet soft and fluffy like Dominik Eulberg & Gabriel Ananda.
– In all forms of art, inspiration is crucial. What inspires you?
– Life experiences, all the people I know and the adventures we live. That affects me, and everything I feel I translate into images. Music is also very important to me at that moment when I’m translating.
– Before going to paint, what is on your check list to take along?
– Which cities do you think are the most inspirational in Street Art?
– Any city with friendly people in it. Now that I’m in Europe, I really miss Buenos Aires. Specially the fact that you can pick a place and spend the whole day, from 10 am to 10 pm painting easily anywhere without a legal permission. But travelling around here I’m absorbing a lot of mind blowing exotic things, so everything is inspiring.
– Do you have other passions apart from art?
– I really like music but I suck at playing instruments. I promised myself I’ll spend more time working on that, someday when I make a pause from drawing.
– What is your wildest project that you dream of achieving some day?
– I don’t have one big goal in mind, I just have fun on the way. I’m always interested in trying new materials, new strange places to paint, doing collaborations.
– Does your art include symbolisms, messages or repeated patterns?
– I tend to do humans in disguise playing with imaginary creatures. I like the idea of these free spirits playing in the middle of the city. But even if they mean different things to me, I always leave free space for the people, they put their own stories on my characters. That’s why I like cartoon style more than realism.
– What is your reaction when you realise someone has vandalised your creation?
– I try not to care too much although it depends on how much time it survived, and what was covered with. But it’s inevitable and the only solution is to keep painting.
– What do you think people first think or feel when they see one of your works on the street?
– Most people smile, and that’s it for me. They often tell me they want to get inside of the picture and play with the characters.
– If you were a world leader what would you change?
– I’m trying to organize my own life, I wouldn’t dare to organize a country. Even so I don’t think a society can be changed by presidents. I can only suggest being more honest with ourselves, supportive and tolerant with the others. Basic yet effective things.
– Do you have any interesting creative plans for the future?
– I’m spending some time in Europe, and everything is new to me. As long as I’m here I want to paint and meet as many people from different cultures as I can. Festivals are a nice opportunity to travel. I’m also working on a series of canvas, digital and traditional work. Painting indoors is something I haven’t done in a while, so I also want to pick up on it.
It’s been great to get to know more about you, the person behind such talented and inspiring works. Thank you !
Take a look at more works of Animalitoland here,
or visit the artist’s website here