Interview to the Mexican artist Carlos Alejandro Guevara Requena who is only 36 years-old and who has a huge experience in arts, who take risks and develop himself in different areas of it.
Graduated in Plastics Arts. Nowadays he is dedicated to photography, illustration, short film, script, direction of art and special effects. He also writes a book of stories related to fantasy which is expected to have news about its publishing very soon.
He also explored the area of teaching, in which he gave classes of architectural design, 3D design for engineers, photography, communication of image, script, lecture and redaction, sculpture, engraved, painting, editorial design, animation, creation of characters, edition and exploration of the Arts.
He has worked at the Tecnológico de Monterrey Campus San Luis, Universidad Marista, Universidad Masoamericana, Instituto Potosino de la Comunicación, Secretaría de Cultura, CANTE (Art and New Technologies Center) among some other institutions.
Currently he is working as Director of Daguerrotipo A.C. and as General Coordinator at the International Festival of Cinema in San Luis Potosí and he collaborates in the magazine Southern Pacific Review.
His artistic development is huge and as he says “I don’t believe in specialization as a way of life. I always give the chance to myself to try new talents even if I fail horribly.” And even though he is always busy developing his different artistic areas he gave us a bit of his time to answer friendly our questions.
- First of all I´d like to know why did you choose to follow an artistic career?, we know it’s not the best paid.
I think it was because I wanted to make a change in the society and I believe that the noblest way to change the thoughts is through art. I didn’t find anything more interesting and powerful that art.
-What is art for you?
It’s the capacity of creation, what make us different from the rest of the animals. When it’s said that we are created to the image and similarity of God I think that it’s refer to it, man is able to create.
- In which artists have you inspired or admired?
I admire a lot of people, such as: Philip K. Dick, E.A Poe, Borges, Kafka, H. P. Lovecraft, Stephen King, Michael Ende, Leopoldo María Panero, they’re just a few, but there’re more writers that I read and admire.
And in movies the directors who motivate me to go to watch their movies are: Lars von Trier, Spike Jonze, Quentin Tarantino.
The truth is that I find inspiration in everything, what I see, what I listen too. Everything affects me some way.
- How was your experience as a teacher and why did you move away from it, do you think to go back in the future and do it again?
It was an experience that helped me to see the reality of the education in Mexico, which is not more than apathetic by teachers and institutions. It was sad to see that they are not interested in the future of their students. It doesn’t matter their dreams and ideals, everything is limited to incorporate them in a consumption society.
I want to come back, but I think I have to get mature as a teacher, as a human being. Teenagers see in you a model to follow or to hate and that’s something I’m worried about, I want to be a better person when I think about the idea of a classroom again.
- Which is your source of inspiration to create your illustrations, short films, etc I mean to create your art?
My inspiration is born from the society, from daily work, from not being quiet. From wanted a better world. I don’t understand and I don’t bear to see people subdue to lifes that they don’t want. Someway I believe that art is a platform to avoid this, I don’t know, it’s something I believe firmly, even I don’t understand how yet neither why.
- I was seeing these illustrations and it looks like they have some topic in common and if it’s like that which would be this one?
The topic in common is the poetry by the figure of women. I can’t untie the poetry from women, I don’t understand that about me. Most of the poems I read don’t have women as a topic.
- I watched the documentary you sent me and I have to say that it’s very good and interesting, and I would like to know, how did you meet to “maestra de algodón” (master of cotton) and how long does it take to do this documentary?
This project was born from the idea of a friend of mine who is anthropologist and works at the Huasteca Potosina of my State. He works to promote the craftsmanship of the region, supporting it in an ethnohistorical and historical way, we thought that if people could see the craftsman and the process of the craftsmanship it’d be more appreciated. Thanks to the financial support of the House of the Craftsman (Casa del Artesano) in San Luis Potosí, it could be done the production of the small documentary which is itself a homage to María Candelaria the “master of the cotton”. This documentary was very comforting and everything was facilitated, something that I appreciate, it takes one week to produce it.
- How is to be artist in Mexico, your country?
To be an artist here in Mexico is to be a secondary citizen, I have to say it. In some way you are away of the benefits that the law of labor gives. A big percentage of artists don’t have a way to access to the basics rights that law dictates, for example, social security (health services), “prima vacacional”, bonus for Christmas, Infonavit (credits for home) etc. This makes that we are added to the percentage of people without jobs saying that we don’t do anything, the artistic job is not recognize as a productive labor.
In other side, the consumption of art in Mexico, in an economical way, is almost useless. But thanks to the social media the visual and intellectual consumption has increased, we hope that this can produce in a long term the artists’ life.
- What do you think that art needs in the world or what do you think it’s not needed, maybe you consider it’s overvalued or need more value?
I think it needs more value, report and a strong union between all the artists to a cause. I think it has ego in excess.
- Which of all the artistic activities do you feel more complete, what fulfill your life or you don’t have it yet and that’s why you continue trying to discover as you say “other talents”?
All the artistic activities fulfill me. Literature is something that makes me feel in love since I was a child, thanks to my father who I always saw with a book on his hand, but it’s the hardest activity for me.
The plastics arts are a gratification almost immediate for me, to see a work finished makes me feel that I’m leaving footprints.
Photography is a challenge, it’s a way to discover the aesthetic of the real world, something that passionate me. To have the heart on the finger when it’s necessary to click, it’s all an adventure.
The documentary or short film are very expensive and difficult, something that moves my mind and my qualities of cultural manager. I see it has the union of lots of ways of art with one objective, to tell a story that goes in through the senses to the spectator, including touching, have you ever feel your skin goosebumps while you’re watching a movie or documentary?
- Do you think someday you can stop to explore the different ways of art and just decide to stay with what you have done or do you consider that there’s always time, energy and inspiration for more?
No, artist doesn’t have the right to retire. Besides the same people who criticize that I do everything are those who give me excuses, they always get close to tell me: you could do this, how much do you ask to do this or can you write a script for a short film, etc. My answer is always: give me a week and I’ll know how to do it. The economy is not good to leave a job.
- What do you think about the critics made because of your job in different ways of art? Do you think those are valid?
“In the critique I will be brave, strict and absolutely fair with friends and enemies. Nothing is going to change this purpose”. These words from E.A. Poe are my company from a long time and I think it should be in this way.
Every critique is valid for me. I always like to be told that something doesn’t like, I never try to defend my work, I try instead, as an excuse of the critique, to make then see my posture, mi ideal and my intention.
I understand when people tell me that I have to do just one thing, it’s for the ideal they have that the specialization is the way to success, but I don’t think it like that. There’s only one life and I think it must be explored as much as it can be. There’s nothing new under the sun, it can be true, but we are never in all the sunsets to affirm that.
- Which are your plans in the future about art and your life?
My main project is to publish a book of fantastic stories which is in process of checking. I’ll look for different publishing houses and if I don’t find something I’ll look for it in an independent way.
About my live, I will go on in this world in the most deserving way, free and with the strong conviction of the equality among men, without given a step back.
- Well I suppose that as all modern man you promote your art through the mass media, and if it’s like that, which are those?
Nowadays I have a gallery on Flickr because I think it’s a good platform that has inspired a lot of unknown artists until they were on Flickr. On the other hand Facebook, this social media is one of the most important and I think it can be a powerful tool for the artist because you don’t only show your work, but also the way you are and think. Twitter I use it more to be in contact with the events of the world.
- And finally, any special message to our lectors?
You have to get close to art. There are a lot of ways as a consumption of art, the most important is not stop doing it.
Thank you to accept to answer some questions Carlos Guevara.