This week we “sat down” with the talented Panamese artist Andi Soto. She is a self-educated illustrator whose detailed pictures are produced using mixed media such as ink, graphite, colored pencils, acrylic and markers.
With these tools Soto creates compelling portraits of mainly female ghost-like figures with hypnotizing eyes and sporting never ending strings of hair, that often move across the image. In her work she tries to visualize the subconscious, examining her emotional response to the darkness in what is past, present and what is yet to come.
And what is yet to come is our interview…
SG: Can you tell us a little about yourself? Where you grew up? How you got involved in art?
SG: I read somewhere that manga (Japanese comics) played a major role in the development of your style. Can you tell something more about this?
SG: On your site you mention that you live on two continents (South America and Europe). How did that happen?
AS: I often feel that I don’t belong in a single place, and then I met my husband in Panama, who has deep roots in Croatia, and we’ve been traveling back an forth since then. I feel fortunate to be able to experience both tropical new world and the old continent and its classic beauty.
SG: Can you live from your art?
SG: Where do you get your inspiration from? Who is your favorite artist?
AS: My main source of inspiration at the moment is my own emotional response to darkness. Words are not enough to describe the tides of emotional and psychological responses to my surroundings and some of them are very abstract and I feel the need every time to try and translate them into illustrations. If I had to choose a favorite artist from a long list (there are so many amazing artists! both dead and alive), I would say John Bauer.
SG: The striking hairstyles are clearly a recurring theme in your work. What is your fascination with this?
SG: The protagonists in your paintings are all females. Why is this?
AS: I find female figure beautiful and dynamic and I can play with all the curves I want. But this year I feel I’ve been leaning toward creating androgynous figures. Mixing both female and male anatomies is fascinating.
SG: Your work reminds me of the art of Takato Yamamoto, such as the resigned (ghost-like) facial expressions, the skulls, the dark sensuality. Are you familiar with this artist?
SG: I am a big movie fan and always curious to know the favorite of the people I interview. What is your favorite movie?
Click HERE for more modern shunga art from the book The Secret Garden..!!
More art by Andi Soto can be found on her site…!!
Let us know what you think about the art of Andi Soto in the comment box below!