Some time ago we decided to contact women who would show from an artistic point of view the contradictions, the complexity and the intricacies of the feminine imagination.
And that is why we decided to write to Rocío Montoya (Madrid, 1983).
Not only because we have admired his work for a long time, but also because we wanted to understand how the heterogeneity of feelings can be transmitted from the combination of colors, the surreal lines and how it was possible to create a visually poetic universe without losing, at any time, your seal.
And something curious happened.
The more we dived into his creations, the more we saw ourselves reflected; we were more intrigued by his particular way of deconstructing the body or his chromatic combinations; and more we discovered their concerns, that far from being corseted in the same area, they were expanding in various directions but always ending in art, in its broadest sense.
In the biography of your website you define yourself as "plastic artist and photographer". In which discipline do you feel most comfortable?
Photography has accompanied me for many years and is still present in my life, although I currently use it more as a documentary and work tool focused on creating content for brands than as an artistic tool. Right now I feel more inspired and motivated by the plastic arts, this is the field where I am forging a new visual language and where I have the most fun, but I will never put photography on hold because it is essential to me.
All your creations have an essence that is very easy to recognize and associate with you. Do you think it is important to have a defined style in order to make a living from art today?
I think that if you are able to do something that you like and that is relatively differentiating, it is certainly a point in your favor. But I also believe that it is essential that this flow naturally, not impose lines of work thinking about what works or what does not work on a commercial level, in my opinion and experience, when you really work as an artist is when you are authentic and you create as it is born, although later you adapt to certain specific criteria for each client or project. In my case, for example, I am quite an eclectic person with my creations, and this, far from being a problem, has opened doors for me to work with very different clients. Each artist is different and there is no magic formula to make a living from art, just work very hard, do a lot of research and above all, have fun and stimulate yourself with your creations.
As for your creations, before taking the canvas you have a preconceived idea of what you are going to do or it just flows. In short, what is your creative process like? And along these lines, what is Rocío Montoya's day-to-day life like as an artist?
Normally I usually think beforehand what I am going to paint, I feel more confident and determined with this process, I make sketches in my notebook or with my tablet, I study palettes and color combinations and once this is done I start with the final art on paper or canvas.
My days are pretty normal. I am a very early riser and I love preparing delicious breakfasts to start the day with energy. Then I usually take a shower and go to work. I start with emails and 'computer' tasks and then I spend my days painting or illustrating without stopping listening to music, taking small breaks for lunch or coffee. If I don't paint, sometimes I change the brushes for the camera and I create recipes and foodie content for brands or for my personal vegetarian food blog. In the afternoons I like to go for a walk around the Casa de Campo, which I have next door, and when I can I go to visit an expo or work with the tablet on the terrace of a café. Then dinner, movie or reading and to bed soon.
Your father, Mariano Montoya, is also a painter and plastic artist. How do you think being born into a family of artists has influenced you?
This has marked me a lot in terms of sensitivity. Art, in many of its forms, has been present in my life since I was a child, from an essential, beautiful and necessary perspective. I have always been clear that I would dedicate myself to something related to art because I associated it with work and fun, a magic formula that everyone should take into account when choosing their profession.
In your creations, the feminine universe is very relevant and we are experiencing an explosion of art where women, after being silenced for so long, are the creators and also the protagonists. How important do you think that there are more and more spaces and synergies in where the feminine is reflected from the gaze of a woman?
I find it wonderful and absolutely necessary and 'normal'. What is abnormal and worrying is precisely the opposite, it is very sad that we have lived through such a twisted and unfair artistic history. So this flowering of women's art, of initiatives and projects is a natural and inevitable consequence of the repression and emptiness that emerges. it has made us for so many years, one day it had to explode, and I am glad that I am getting to live it.
How important is the Internet and Social Networks in disseminating your work? And along the same lines, how much or how little do you feel identified with the term influencer ?
The networks help me a lot to give visibility and virality to my work. Of course I consider them fundamental and super useful in these times, although sometimes they require too much sacrifice to obtain optimal results and this burns me a lot. As for the term influencer, I don't like it at all and I never call myself that, in fact, I don't feel that I fit this profile, I prefer the word 'content creator'.
We love everything you have in your online store , from reproductions to unpublished works. What are the best-selling items? What is the best and worst of having an online store?
Thank you! The originals store has been active for a short time and it is really difficult to sell this type of creations, I am not complaining because I am selling although it is something very slow and little by little. Every time I receive a sale notification I get like castanets. However, the print store works much better, it has been open for several years and since the prices are much more accessible, people don't think about it so much. I don't really find it inconvenient to have your own store if you're an organized person, I manage everything individually and since it's a 'small' store it doesn't give me too much work.
My main source of income does not come from my store, but rather from the collaborations and orders that I carry out for different clients and brands.
We have recently discovered VeggieBoogie and both the recipes and the careful aesthetics have enchanted us and it seems to us that there is a lot of work behind it. Tell us a little about this project.
Veggieboogie emerged in 2015, when I decided to be a vegetarian. Initially I conceived it as a personal project to motivate myself with this change of diet through the creation of beautiful and delicious recipes. And over time, I began to get very good feedback on my networks and it has now become another of my jobs, although I have to say that it is the 'secondary' one because I dedicate less time and energy to it, but I have a great time cooking , doing food styling and gastro photography and of course, eating lol
And finally, what would you say to all those women who are trying to find a place in the world of art and also on the Internet? What is the most important thing to differentiate yourself?
Although it sounds like a cliché, working hard, being constant and trying to find your own language that you enjoy, I think that this is the key to everything, when you really enjoy and are passionate about what you do, the work flows in a much more authentic and simple, everything is easier. Of course it is not immediate, it took me years to take the step and become a freelance artist, but it was the best decision I made in my professional life.
There are lean times, insecurities and complex moments, but we only live once and if you have an artistic interest it is wonderful to fight for it and see how it materializes. And as for differentiating yourself, this is very subjective, really we are all absolutely different from each other (unless you plagiarize, of course), be yourself and leave insecurities and comparisons for those who do not want to risk it. Simply that, be yourself and enjoy what you propose.