Maria “Cuca” Luisa Gonzalez is a vivacious and passionate animal lover and artist. We met by “chance” on a flight to California and became fast friends. Her art is vibrant and expressive and reflects her love of animals and humanity. I recently interviewed this promising young artist when we both returned from our travels.
CG: Can you tell me when your love of art first started, how old were you and what did you love about it?
MLG: It actually started a few years ago when I first came to Canada. Art gave me a way to express all my ideas and share my emotions with people without talking. I loved the feeling of freedom that art gives you, because you can make art on anything, wherever, whenever.
CG: What types of art do you most identify with?
MLG: I love surrealism, expressionism and cartoonish styles. All my artwork is inspired in dreams or deformed memories of my early childhood. My favourite tool is the black marker because you can’t erase it, so you can build your drawing over your mistakes instead of trying to make them disappear.
CG: What’s integral to your work as an artist?
MLG: I believe that real art makes you feel the piece with all your senses. My art wants to be seen with the soul and not just the eyes, that’s why every work has its own character, its own feeling and background. I have a very strict rule of being authentic and never base my works on someone else.
CG: What work do you most enjoy doing?
MLG: “The Heart of the Ocean” was a piece that I dedicated to my boyfriend after we went cliff jumping. This work was made with a lot of effort and honesty, after I made it I realized that I loved my boyfriend.
CG: What themes would you like to start doing or do more of?
MLG: Animals and nature in general had been my main inspiration, but I want to keep working on the art of giving life to my dreams through drawing. In the future I would like to try hyper realism, but right now I think I’ll stick with the dreams.
CG: What’s your personal favourite of your pieces?
MLG: “Autumn” is the way I see Vancouver. A gentle but magnetic living thing that has inspired the growth of beauty in my life. That is why that’s my favourite drawing, it has a lot of feelings and expectations inside it.
CG: Can you tell me a memorable response to one of your pieces. Good and/or bad.
MLG: I made a drawing for a friend of mine who is a diver and an ocean lover. The piece is called “Underwater” and it’s her surrounded by aquatic animals. When she saw it she told me that I captured her spirit and the way she felt inside the water. I thought is was awesome that she felt that way about my drawing.
CG: What makes you angry? And would love to see changed in this world?
MLG: Injustice makes me very angry. I am constantly working on making this planet a nicer place for humans plants and animals to live in. I believe that every life counts and that we are as worth of respect as any other living thing. If I could change something inside the human brain it would be the arrogance and I’ll replace it for compassion and empathy. That’s why I attempt to give a soul to my art, so people can get the message directly to their hearts without filters.
CG: Name something that you absolutely love and why.
MLG: What I love the most is nature. Since I am a child I wanted to be a zoologist. Nature is a part of us that every day “progress” “industry” and “technology” are slowly transforming and killing. I believe that we can live in complete harmony with nature and still be a modern civilization.
CG: What is your dream project?
MLG: In the matter of art, I would love to work for foundations like Green Peace or Dodo to make art a way of rising concern about the biggest problems that are destroying our home. I want to make art something stronger than just a representation of beauty, I want to transform the people’s mind with it.
CG: Name two of your favourite artists.
MLG: Nano Lopez is a sculpture that gained my heart with its amazing robotic animals that look like the mind of a child. I feel that his work is full of positive energy and joy, it is a very pure but strong work.
Chris Mynand works with feathers. All his pieces have an unbelievable detail. The way he uses part of nature to make art inspired me to paint in things like wood, rocks, leafs or anything I find useful.
CG: What’s your goals professionally?
MLG: I hope to bring my art to places that need it, I want to unite my pieces with the people that see their thoughts, concerns, feelings or dreams in my art. I want to get some money out of my art, but mainly I want to make it public, to teach young artists like me to be real to themselves and not to copy only what they see, but to use their mind as a filter.