This week at The Olive Branch, we sat down with Fabiola Barraza, a Mexican artist based in Girona, where she dedicates herself entirely to the development of her artistic career.
Here is what she had to share...
1. Tell us about yourself
My name is Fabiola, I am from Baja California, Mexico and have currently lived in Spain for 4 years or so, maintaining a strong relationship between both countries. I am an artist and graphic designer by profession and I like working with projects and people that inspire me, especially with people who want to do things. That speaks of the fact that I have a lot of energy and I constantly seek to bring creativity to reality since I have the facility to make connections to reach a result.
I grew up in a bordered town between Mexico and USA with the opportunity to go to school in California so being between countries has always been normal to me. I have lived in various places such as Barcelona, Sydney, Mexico City, Québec, among others, which has given me a global vision of the world of design and art and the relationship of society towards it. I faithfully believe that they have a fundamental role in the life of the human being because creativity is finding solutions in a different way than usual.
2. Tell us about your first contact with art.
I don't really know when it started but I have great memories of going to the stationery store (or craft store) at the age of 9-10 where my mom would take me to buy things for a school project. It didn't matter if it was science, history or whatever, I turned it into something creative. She would give me say 100 Mexican pesos, as an estimate, and I could spend hours touching different materials and papers and with pure imagination I could make the connection if they were going to work well together. I didn't know exactly how but I just closed my eyes to see if it made sense to me by gut feeling. It was like some kind of mathematical equation only without being able to develop the formula.
3. Why did you choose the type of style you use? Does it have a name?
I wish it had a name because sometimes it's hard to explain. My art is a representation of the different tools that I have, including photography, illustration, printing and painting. It can be completely manual or have some digital intervention.
They do not always all coexist at the same time, it depends on the project and what is more practical. For me, I think it wasn't so much following a style if it didn't develop organically. I can say that almost from error and experimentation. I usually call it 'artwork interventions'.
4. What is your most special piece and what is the story behind it?
I have a photograph of a fisherman on the boardwalk in Havana, although I do not consider myself a photographer, this photo is very much in my mind.
I took it on a trip to Cuba in 2015 and it wasn't until years later, around 2021, that it became a large format print titled “Practice Patience”. This to me represents the power of time and patience. A photo that I took without any intention of it being something more than a memory became a philosophy of life and work and of my most significant works.
5. We would like to know more about your process. What do you look for when creating new designs?
The first thing is to have direct contact with what I do, be it a project and/or brand, person or idea. The feeling of wanting to do something, either individually or together, has to be felt otherwise there is no natural transaction. I think that creative people are communication specialists and we need to feel that we have something what to say. I leave the rest to discipline and a bit of organization. For example, it is very important that the workspace is adequate and surrounded by items that are important to me. I avoid screens and everything that can saturate visually, on the contrary I think that everything comes when I am calmer and go out
walk in nature. Another key is to exercise or yoga to not think about it and let the idea settle and everything else comes by itself.
6. What can you tell us about the art you've created for Olively?
This is the first piece of the collaboration between Olively and I where we work with the pure essence of the brand and interpreted by me.
I kept it as simple as I think it's something that their products represent. All I had to do is take a star product from Olively and do it my way since the founder gave me all the freedom and confidence. So I think it has turned out very well and we hope create more things together.
7. What will inspire your next collection? What's next for Fabiola in the coming months?
Coming soon on the artistic side, a collection of new print series will begin with editions of 60-75 copies with the idea of having art more accessible to the public and being able to be a reference for interiors in the niche that I focus on, hospitality, restaurants, boutique hotels and pretty much anything related to the universe of these industries.
There will be sales both on my website and on an online platform that is dedicated to selling and framing art in print version throughout Europe. The idea is to be able to dedicate myself so that my work finds its place in spaces that share similar philosophies and above all appreciate what surrounds them.