Eva Carla is a Spanish multidisciplinary artist currently living in Guangzhou, China. Born in the Mediterranean city of Valencia, in 1983, she has developed a career in the fashion industry. During her junior years Eva realized she had something especial with flowers, as she always ended up buying more floral patterned fabric than the necessary for her projects. She has worked for several design studios creating fabrics for well-known Spanish fashion companies. Today, Eva continues to do freelance work for textile studios around the world.
What made you come to Guangzhou? What are you up to now?
I’ve been in Guangzhou since September, mostly settling down, but also travelling and exploring the city looking for new subjects for my illustrations.
What do you like or don’t like about Guangzhou?
The green spaces you have in the area are quite amazing. An oasis inside city’s bustle. And I love the fact that people really go there to practice all kind of activities. They are full of life! I knew about the industrial quality of the city but this green thing has been a great surprise.
Also, despite the language barrier, people is usually friendly and try to help when possible. And food is so great! I love dim sum and trying all kind of tea flavours.
Driving is what drives me crazy and scares me the most. I’m the one that is always making cars stop at crosswalks. Metro system is great, I wish there was an app or public website (in English) where to check bus routes over a map.
Another big deal for me is internet connection, it works so slowly that it really affects productivity and efficiency when trying to get the job done.
Do your recent works have some kind of connection with Guangzhou city? Do you have any plan or expectation for the following years? Do you plan to exhibit your work here in Guangzhou?
I have been in the city a few months only, catching up with previous projects and little time to start a new body of work yet. But I have done some research (and a lot of walking!), and I would like to portrait fruits and other flowers/plants that are common in this region but not so common in Europe or the US.
I really love to paint leaves and I think I already know which project I’m going to start with first: Leaves from Zhujiang Park. I walk this park quite often and it has so much potential! It inspires me a lot.
I still need to explore which galleries, art spaces, independent shops or hotels could be a good fit for my artwork, but I would definitely love to exhibit in Guangzhou. For me it’s an opportunity to give back to the city and its people all the inspiration and moments they give me.
Do you hope to cooperate with local fashion or garment companies?
I’m open to it, even though my focus now is on creating botanical portraits. Working with an independent designer or niche brand who wants a powerful print to elevate its message is always a very rewarding experience. It’s about finding a good match and having freedom to create something unique and special!
Can you tell us what kind of people would be more interested in your work?
When I start a new portrait, I always try to envision it framed (a minimal white, gold or natural wood structure) and hung in a room. I want my artwork to bring beauty, light, calm and joy to the space and individuals around it. Reconnect people with nature. So, I would say that people who share this love for nature and like to have a little bit of it in their home are the ones who appreciate the most my work.
Once, I was showing my portfolio to a woman in my mobile phone, and when she saw a portrait I had of a mango, one that shows 3 different views of the same one, she looked at me exited and told me: “they are like my 3 children… can I buy it?” This is one of the most moving compliments I have ever received for my work. Of course, she got the piece!
Nevertheless, botanical portraits are quite versatile, and offer a wide range of opportunities.
The artwork can also be used for educational purposes in charts, leaflets, magazines or books. And if an organisation wants to engage people with the natural world, one of best things to approach it is through drawing and painting workshops from live specimens.
Last but not least, you can also work the illustration digitally to be printed for branding, marketing or stationery products.
Opportunities are endless!