Focusing on feminine empowerment, Philippines based illustrator Adriana Cruzat talks us through some of her recent work. Exploring ideas of womanhood and perceptions of female emotion, Cruzat’s work both celebrates and critiques the traditional idea of women in portraiture.
Dash Majesty: For those who don’t know, could you sum up what you do in a few words?
Adriana Cruzat: The themes in my work are mainly based around expressive portraiture of, mostly, female subjects. I deconstruct the strong emotions of women and present my ideas using contemporary art.
DM: May we ask why your work tends to focus on female subjects?
AC: My work is influenced by fashion illustration and I like to create pieces that give the impression of empowered women.
DM: Which piece of yours means the most to you? Could you tell us why?
AC: Under Your Spell means so much to me. This work was approved by an organization in Venice, Italy and I was invited to exhibit it in Palazzo Flangini. They sent an agreement letter from the Italian Embassy for my visa and sponsorship application, but unfortunately I couldn’t find any sponsors so I wasn’t able to attend.
DM: Are there any materials you would like to experiment working with?
AC: Yes! I would like to try gouache and pen, mixed media. Aside from that, I want to buy a lot of copic markers in neutral colours so I can experiment with them.
DM: Why illustration rather than other art forms?
AC: I wasn’t trying to keep up with the trends! I just love what I do, which is drawing using pen/ink, watercolour, etc.
DM: 1995 is such a captivating piece – could you tell us the story behind it?
AC: To be honest, my inspiration for this piece was a stunning photo of a woman I saw somewhere around the internet. That’s what I do! I browse the internet, I get inspired by photos, and I turn them into my version of art.
DM: You seem to highlight noses and knuckles in a lot of your illustrations. Why is this?
AC: The reddish noses and knuckles are actually inspired by my absolute favourite artist, Adara Sanchez. I decided to exaggerate the redness so that when people see my work it can be easily recognised as my style.
DM: What inspired you to pursue art?
AC: It was actually because of my mother. She was really supportive, buying all of the art materials that I wanted. My professors in college and participating in and attending exhibit shows made me want to explore more art styles.
DM: Do you have any upcoming projects which you’re particularly excited about?
AC: Yes! On June 10th I am going to contribute to an exhibit show in Nova Gallery, Makati. The theme is about the hand and how it defines its owner through gestures and touch.