September 28, 2016

Originally from Santiago, Chile, Luisa Rivera is an artist and illustrator based in London who creates dream-like, nature inspired paintings. We talk to Luisa about the joys of living in London and the artists that she loves.

UO: When did you first realise that you wanted to be a professional artist?

I’ve always had a creative drive, and responded to it very intuitively, so I can’t really say when that started. However, when I decided to study a degree in fine arts I made a conscious choice to shape my professional career towards that field, so that was a significant moment.

Where do you find inspiration?

I am mostly inspired by nature and the different ways we relate to it, but also stories, personal experiences, mythology, people, music, etc.

UO: What do you prefer to listen to when you are working?

It depends. If I am in the process of creating something new or discovering a composition, I listen to music that inspires me. But, after that stage, if I’m doing something that requires focus and attention to detail, I might listen to a podcast or audiobook.

UO: What has been your favourite project to work on so far in your career?

One of the projects I am most proud of is the book ‘Trenzas’ (‘Braids’). It is a short story written in 1940 by Maria Luisa Bombal (1910–1980), who is considered to be one of the most important Chilean authors. I have always admired her work, so the project was a wonderful experience.

UO: Describe your work in three words.

Narrative, lush, and uncanny.

UO: What’s the best thing about now being based in London?

It’s such a vibrant city and a wonderful mishmash of old and new, so can’t get bored here. Walking in the streets is great because you can enjoy the architecture and its history. Also, I love the museums and the parks. Both are breathing spaces for the city noise.

UO: What is the one stationery piece that you always carry with you?

My journal, where I write and draw.

UO: Who are your favourite artists/ illustrators?

Just to name a few: Louise Bourgeois, Shuvinai Ashoona, Henri Matisse, Kiki Smith, Henri Rousseau, Wangechi Mutu, Frida Kahlo, Georgia O’Keeffe, Shahzia Sikander, Alice Neel, Marcel Dzama.