Focus talks with Spanish artist Jessica Gonpra who is exhibiting in our #SpringCollection
When did you realise you wanted to be an artist?
Well I think I always knew that I wanted to be an artist, since I was very young I was always in my room drawing and painting; I really liked it and I really felt a need to do it.
Did you study art?
Yes, I studied a fine art BA and a masters last year in Spain in the University of Seville.
What do you think was the biggest lesson from your time in education?
I don’t think it was the specific lessons, but more the feeling you got from the place. It was the environment where you were with people who understood your passion; there were several professors that really helped me understand my ideas.
What do you paint and why do you paint it?
Right now my current work is about the environment; I am so committed to this. I consider our effect on nature, something that everyone can see. I feel really bad when I see what humans are doing to the environment and I think that I have something to say about this in my work; I express it in my painting.
Why have you chosen portraiture to express this subject?
I wanted to connect the humans to the environment which they are affecting.
Who are the subjects?
Some are self-portraits, my father, cousins, my nephews, brother-in-law, etc.
And you pour oil on them?
I study how the light is reflected in oil, I don’t take my father and pour it on his head. I study the way it moves naturally and then paint it out of my imagination onto the subject.
When did you finish studying?
I finished my degree in 2012 and my masters in 2014,
So since then how have you found surviving as an artist?
Well, today I think it is very difficult to survive as an artist, but I try and this year I have been applying for lots of opportunities and contests. Right now I can’t only rely on it, but I hope one day I can do it full time.
What advice would you give to a young artist?
It is not easy; you have to work a lot, I work twelve hours a day more or less and then create the art in my free time. It’s not only a talent or a passion, but you have to live and so you need to work hard. Not in a year, but maybe in two years or five you can make it to be a full time artist, or maybe never.
Do you think you will stay with this subject?
I always change what I make, I need to express what I am feeling in that moment; my statement is ever evolving, because you are not the same person now that you were last month or last year. Sometimes your brain makes change and you start feel like producing something different. The art you create is about the feeling you have in that moment.
Jessica Gonpra's work is exhibited in Focus LDN's Spring Collection.