- Laia (graphic designer & illustrator) / Nineta (street artist)
- Mediums of choice: Ink, markers and acrylic are my main mediums
- Current location: Boston
Nineta was created around 2004 in Barcelona with the mix of love, frustration, desire, streetart, collages, lots of Xmas tea and a Sharpie…
“I always liked to doodle here and there, but at some point I started drawing a female character (Nineta); she reflects the way I feel about my environment. She is my alter ego. Sometimes, she is who I want to be and other times she expresses how I feel; I don’t say it but I draw it, and afterwards I feel better.
As a designer I tried to always design in a way that would make people uncomfortable, that was my way of getting their attention.”
Nineta has been gracing the Catalan street art scene with her fantasy friends for years; her international popularity has grown after creating work throughout the U.S. and Europe while living in Boston and Berlin.
“I have always drawn first on paper and afterwards done paste-ups on the street. I used to follow streetart very closely when I was growing up. Barcelona was nonstop inspiration for me. Since living in Berlin I began using spray paint as one of my main mediums on the streets and also on mannequin sculptures.”
Has art always been a part of your life?
I would say my mom’s side of the family has been my main source of exposure to art.
Since I was very young, my mom and I painted rocks together and dreamed of having a market stand where we could sell our creations. She also exposed me to art classes and museums. At the time, I wasn’t that excited but nowadays I really appreciate all of her effort. My grandfather is also a photographer, so I have always been exposed to old photography techniques and dark rooms. I do remember the red bathroom at home that I couldn’t enter while the light was on so as not to interfere with my mom’s and grandpa’s work. My grandma is an inspiration when it comes to color, she makes and remakes blankets and pillows over and over with multiple colors that work always together. And last but not least my aunt, who creates food art. She can cook food in a way that it stops being just food and becomes art. She has also been quite influential because she is very much a perfectionist and detail oriented with anything she touches.
What inspires you?
I fell artistically in love with LOLO, a graffiti artist that filled the Barcelona streets in the late 90s and early 2000s. He was my first source of inspiration. I used to look for his work in every size, large and small, all over Barcelona; he’s influenced Nineta a lot. Today he as well as other artists inspire me. Illustration and and graphic design are also large influences, since that is my job and my immediate environment.
When did you start creating art? Drawing? Painting? Making?
I have always drawn and made collages. Although, since 2004, I have worked very consistently with my Nineta character….
What is the main focus of your work, what do you want to communicate?
It’s basically a release to express the way I feel.
You work in both 2D and have started painting mannequins and doing a bit more 3-D stuff – do you prefer one over the other? Does one influence the other?
Yes everything is related. As I said before it’s related to the way I feel, so I am related to the mannequin because of its human appearance. It’s blank when I get it and I put all my feelings onto her, making her “real”; she gets a personality and a soul when before she didn’t have either.
You’ve also began combining photos and drawing and painting – is that also something you are interested in exploring further?
Yes I am trying new things, always relating my feelings. In the end most people go through similar life stories, and feelings.
How has your time in Berlin influenced your artistic practice?
I learned as I had never learned before from other artists. They critiqued my work and I got a lot of ideas from that. The amount of art being produced in Berlin is so ridiculously huge that it can get overwhelming at times. It shows you how little you are in this world and how many other people are walking the same path as you. At the same time, I was exposed to so many different techniques and other sources of inspiration that it inspired me more than ever.
I personally had a very tough time there but that showed in my art and I think it made it better. Berlin is like a love hate story for me, I am addicted to it but it can also hurt a lot. I learned how to spray paint in Berlin and that is one of my favorite things to do nowadays. I love the vibe that I experienced in Berlin. We went spray painting, took pics, discovered old abandoned buildings and ended up being part of them… in a way.
What are your proudest moments as an artist?
My family supports me and that makes me feel very proud of what I do.
It is also nice to meet random people that have been following my work for years and but didn’t know that I’m the artist. It’s nice to know that sometimes I also inspire other people and motivate them to make art.
Tell us about some of your exhibits, exhibits, events that you’ve been part of…
At the moment I am very involved in the Boston art scene, which is where I currently live. I have shown my work in different galleries around the city and less often I show work in other US cities.
From October 3-11th I will be part of Illuminus Boston & Mural Festival here in the city of Boston.
Info, commissions + sales:
I usually post all of my artwork on my websites and when somebody is interested in my work they just contacts me directly. I’ve received commissions, including murals here in Boston. My work is also sold through various galleries when it’s exhibited. Twice a year I open the doors of my studio to the public as part of the South Boston Open Studios, which is another opportunity for me to sell artwork and meet the people that are interested in what I do.