Who are you and what are you inspired by?
My name is Alejandra Vargas Díaz. I was born in Mexico City, 1979. I have a BA in graphic design. I feel that growing up in such a rich full, diverse and intense country as Mexico is, gave me a special sense for colour as tool to communicate states of mind and emotions. Mexico is a very visual, very textured country. You never stop getting input. Whether it is the food you eat, music, nature, arts crafts, traditional textiles, smiles, people, chaos… Mexico is loud and very very dynamic. I danced classic Ballet for 10 years during my youth, and I still love dancing. After high school I got a scholarship which covered 85% of the costs of my career. This gave me the chance to get into the UDLA Puebla, Mexico where I was working everyday as part of the Emergency team that they had, and study graphic design. Of course I couldn’t really focus 100% on my studies since I was always carrying a walkie talkie with me. I would rush out of classes to attend the emergency, and this meant maybe leaving for half an hour or a couple of hours. I saw really harsh things. Any way… During my studies I loved classes where I would use materials and technics before a computer to develop projects. I got my BA diploma and left Mexico.
I left my country 11 years ago. I met my husband during a working trip thru Mexico of his own in 2004. When I finished my BA degree we moved back to his hometown Münster, Germany. From one day to another I was away from my family, my friends, my roots, my language… everything was highly contrasted. This country gave a completely different perspective of design, aesthetics and lifestyle. I learned German and suffered for first time in my life a very very cold winter. During this time my work got more minimalistic and structured; however colour and textures remained as a must in my work. After 3 years of living in Germany we went to Barcelona looking for some sunshine and new perspectives. Münster was too small for a girl who grew up in big cities. There I worked for a German online advertisement and marketing Agency and with I started paying my personal creative projects which started taking form some years ago, including Photography and Graphic exhibitions in Barcelona, Spain; Kortrijk, Belgium and Münster, Germany… After 8 years we decided to move again and we are now living in Berlin and again searching for new input.
Me and my husband love to travel so this turned into one of our basics. Traveling enriches you from within; Inspires you and educates you. It actually shows you how connected you are to everyone everywhere. I know living in Europe has given this chances. Having almost 30 days of vacations a year…Many people who live here are not really aware of the gift that it is to be able to move around through so many different countries; no visa. To have doors open to a complete different culture, language, landscape… just some hours away from your home. For me is a complete delight. Working here has giving me the chance to travel not only here, but outside Europe. Visiting countries in South East Asia, North Africa, Europe, North America. Grabbing a small backpack, camera, smartphone and go… We never pay hotels. Always went on really cheep camping, or got into cheep hostels, now since one year we got a VW Van. Always away from tourist spots, closer to local people. The more I travel the more I know it should be part of the education system. It expands your mind and clears clichés. It’s wonderful for creativity. It’s wonderful for society and its an eraser for mind-borders. You don’t have to go to the other side of the planet to travel and to start expanding your mind. Music, food, travel, nature, people… It’s just a question of opening your eyes, paying attention to the noises around you, tasting the flavours you are eating, feeling the textures of the surroundings… that is all inspiring.
I am interested in creative disciplines such as Photography, Visual Design and Crafts. This are all the main channels for my work. I am an intuitive artist, which means concepts and realisation of every project must come to life as a result of self identification with the subject. My direct interaction to it. There will always be linked to an emotion or a state of mind; a product of contemplation of the subject as a being. Whether it is a person, or an object this main character must get it’s own personality in the image of my work. I don’t centre my attention on using only one technic. I pretty much enjoy working with different materials while doing graphics.
For my photography work I am an environment observer. I look for something beautiful in the picture; it can be a composition of texture or colours or both. It can be a story behind the picture, or a metaphor, a message. It can be turning an object into a character with emotions. A critic.
A very good friend of mine told me once I have an oneiric and theatrical perception. That I look for beauty in everything I photograph. If I don’t get to feel an emotion or a dilated pupil, I don’t go for it. My process must be meditative, it has to mean something because specially with photography is catching that momentum which is gone afterwards. I look to enjoy every creative work I do. If not, why should I do it then? It’s pain full not enjoy something you do, and the result is definitely better when you do. So my personal values have a big weight.
Do you have any role model?
Marina Abramovic. She has such a powerful way of turning daily rituals and encounters into strong thoughtful experiences. I love how she is able to bring you completely into the moment, and caught you into deep analysis and question yourself. Very emotional work. I love that she looks for interacting directly with the viewers.
Erwin Wurm. He is another great artist who is interested in everyday objects, and who plays around with his sculptures and the spectator, who becomes very important in his work. This artist-spectator interaction I find exquisite, I love the humour behind his pieces, and how you find the familiarity of everyday’s actions in his work.
What was the last book you read?
Tantra Illuminated: The Philosophy, History, and Practice of a Timeless Tradition by Christopher D. Wallis. - The Philosophy of this book is what interests me.
What was the last movie you watched?
B-Movie which is actually an essay film from the West-Berlin Avantgarde music and art scene from 1979 to 1989. Powerful video collage of real memories and experiences for a fabulous music/art scene.
What is your next creative project?
I have a photography project on the table called Intimate Spaces.
What do you like about Portfoliobox?
That it is an intuitive user interface platform which lets me promote my work in a clean and consistent design, and, the most important of all, a very friendly team who will help me with my doubts.