Painting in Pink: Interviewing Hondurian Artist Andrea Fonseca | In The Dotlight
How is it possible that a painting on a wall can make you feel more in tune with your sensuality? Well, mission accomplished by Andrea Fonesca, the Honduran illustrator and mural artist that created an incredible shoutout to the female form for Pride Month on a wall at Theatre Deli. Here's what Andrea had to say about her work:
[DYD] You created an amazing mural for Theatre Deli, have you worked on anything that large before?
[AF] Yes, I do murals quite often. The most recent one was a disabled access in the Berta Caceres Space for Equality (Espacio de Igualdad Berta Cáceres) in Madrid, Spain which was about 13 meters long. In Honduras I have painted the space Fourth Wall in the Cultural Centre of Spain in Tegucigalpa (Centro Cultural de España) three times now which is 8 x 4 meters, just a few more square meters than the one in Deli.
What was your biggest inspiration when creating that mural?
My inspiration is my context as a woman and as a person of the LGBTQ+ community from a developing country. I am a graphic designer, and as a communicator I feel that shedding light into these two particular subjects might generate dialogue as we move forward into change. These discussions are important in order to expose the problems and create conscience.
Can you tell us a bit about your process for creating a mural?
When I create a mural it is important to discuss with the client what their needs are and I suggest what I think might work for them. It is key to consider how the scale and the theme of the mural are going to work together with the space. After some discussion I throw around some ideas with some visual examples, and receive feedback afterwards. Once an agreement is reached on how it may work I can begin sketching a proposal. When it comes to murals I usually have creative freedom so once the proposal sent it is usually approved by the clients with no further discussion. When the sketch is ready it’s just a matter of making it happen on a big scale, buying the materials and just getting your hands and clothes dirty. It’s a longer process but it all goes downhill from there. I love the impact of illustration on such big formats!
Do you work from home or in a studio? How does this usually inform your art process?
I have always worked from home which presents some limitations to my work such as the formats I choose to work with. It is very easy to get distracted and I try to keep a balance between my work and personal life, but most of the times it results in me not seeing the sun for a couple of days.
Are there any artists, styles or periods that inspire you? Why?
I am a bit addicted to social media because I can keep up with the work of my favourite artists as well up to date with the news. With everything going on around us being available in the palm of your hand, I am receiving visual influence everyday of different styles and ways of showing art. There are so many things happening at all times that it is hard to pick a single style or period of time. I think that style is second nature when you have important things to say, the message that you are trying to convey is more important than any aesthetic in my opinion.
How do you decide what to draw?
This is a pretty hard question. I have so many ideas in my head all the time so I have to figure out the balance between their importance to me and their viability. I try to be disciplined with my work so that I can dedicate more time to my personal explorations, but I probably spend too much time deciding because so much goes through my mind all the time.
How do you decide on your colour palettes?
For deciding on stylistic elements like colour and line expression it’s a more instinctive process than anything. I usually work with a lot of whites so a little splash of colour will make a good contrast or all together use a bright colour as a background. Right now I am getting along with pinks and blues.
How do you know when a piece is finished?
I usually work continuously on a piece or a couple of pieces at a time in order for them to have a harmonious fluid line. For this reason and my current space limitations I work with small formats, which I am usually able to complete in few hours. Once I have added all the details I want to include in the composition I take a break from the piece, to return to it later or the next day. When I revisit it I fix whatever details or mistakes I might’ve missed and when I am satisfied with it I say it is finished, it is very intuitive I suppose. After that I feel so saturated I don’t even like to keep looking at it.
What is one that thing you want to get really good at?
I feel like I am constantly changing and evolving with my work. I am never completely happy with how it work turns out, and even though “done is better than perfect” I’m always looking for a better way to convey stronger messages.
What, or who inspires you to become a better artist?
Everything happening around me is an inspiration; the world is a bit hectic right now and Honduras is a place with so much poverty and political and social issues. I make an effort to be conscious of my privileges, so I feel it is my responsibility to address these issues in my work. I truly believe art can make a difference.
What is your most important artists tool? Something you couldn’t live without in your studio.
I don’t think I could get much done without my computer, from sending proposals, to answering emails to using Image Editing software. The first thing I bought when I got to London was a computer chair, a lamp, and a desk in order to get set up. I love working with actual materials (watercolour, ink, paper) but without a computer I don’t think I would be able to work as fast. I read about my subjects online, I gather references in organized folders and I use photo compositions to organize and convey my ideas in quick manner
What's your favourite thing to do outside of making art?
Making art is pretty time consuming for me. When I am not illustrating/designing for my clients I try to make time for my personal work. I enjoy travelling and going to galleries, but when I usually do travel is when I get a chance to share my work with a new audience in a different country. So basically I am an illustration nerd.
What projects are you working on next?
I am currently working on a campaign for legalizing Plan B pills in Honduras. Even though according to the World Health Organization Plan B are not abortive, women still have no access to emergency contraception legally and poor women are the most affected by this. Women’s rights are important to me as a woman and as a human being so I try to include that in my work as much as possible because it is still a long way towards equality. After I am done with that I will take time off to explore new subjects and styles and try to organize myself into putting together a solo show.
Where else can we find your art online or in person?
This month you can find my work in the group installation Sidewalk of the Americas in Washington D.C. for the Interamerican Development Bank. In Tegucigalpa, Honduras as part of the group Exhibition Illustrating Feminisms (Ilustrando Feminismos) in the Cultural Centre of Spain in Tegucigalpa and my work is permanently for sale in BocaLoba Cultural House (Casa Cultural BocaLoba) in Tegucigalpa. I also have been sent proof recently that my murals in Gracias, Santa Rosa de Copan, Utila and Tegucigalpa in Honduras are still in place. I have also done mural work in Nicaragua and Spain.
To see Andrea Fonesca's work in person visit Theatre Deli before the end of the year. Theatre Deli supports early career performance artists and has partnered with us at Dark Yellow Dot to exhibit and promote emerging visual artists. Be sure visit Andrea's shop to get your hands on a piece of her artwork.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lauren was born in London, but grew up in Canada where she received her degrees with distinction in Fine Arts and Education. Now she's back, she continues her work in creative arts by making art and teaching it, while developing opportunities for early career artists by creating and running the online platform Dark Yellow Dot.