Seeking the Creative: Carlos Ochoa, Illustrator
How would you describe your art in three words?
I would describe my art as: tactile, turbulent, and magical.
Tactile: I always consider texture when I draw and paint, especially with physical materials. Leaving some brush strokes visible and vague is important to me as I don’t want to detail everything in an image to leave some room for imagination.
Turbulent: Since I want to create as many images as possible to let as little ideas go to waste as possible, I tend to sketch and paint very fast, leading to a somewhat unstable and moving images.
Magical: I strive to achieve a balance between reality and fantasy in my art. For example, I heavily research the anatomy of humans and animals before creating new fantastical creatures or deforming shapes. None of my works feature fully realistic depictions of natural things, as there is always something supernatural featured.
When did you start this specific craft?
I have been drawing for my entire life. I went to a high school that specified in applied arts such as product design and architecture. I did not truly begin taking art and fine art by itself seriously until college in however. I believe it was the exposure to New York City and art museums that made me fascinated with art.
How often do you work on your art?
I work on my art about 6 days a week, although I will take breaks to avoid burnout and overworking myself. Much of my work time is spent looking for references, studying what I will be creating, and then sketching and planning for bigger or more finished pieces, so not all of my work is posted or shown.
Where/how do you gather inspiration?
There is a difference in how I approached art in 2021 compared to 2022. This year has been one of great changes and acceptance of other artists as inspirations. I am very thankful for taking sculpture in my final semester of college in Spring 2022, as it forced me to try new mediums such as metal welding and realize that I can be more than just a traditional painter. I have become more interested and receptive to the influences and opinions of others and have been in collaboration with other creatives more, leading to more large-scale art being made over long periods of time.
In my earlier work I tended to look internally to find inspiration. Therefore, so many of my paintings were of my own body and featured my face as the protagonist. I would portray my own struggles and my personal feelings primarily. A lot of the themes here were about my relationship to technology during the Covid pandemic, as this was when I was able to devote much more time to art. Exploring parasocial relationships, isolation, and my person served as the primary inspirations.
More recently, I have become very fascinated by the natural world and past human civilizations. For example, I am currently working on the art for a game set in a ruined civilization inspired by ancient Mesoamerica. As a result, I am studying a lot about the religion, animals, plants, people and architecture of the region. I recently was fortunate enough to visit the ancient Mayan complex Uxmal in Yucatan, Mexico. That visit, along with internet research and input from other artists have helped me gather inspiration for this project.
Where do you hope your art will take you in the future?
I hope that I can continue to improve as an creator and become a full time concept artist. I want to collaborate on projects with other artists in the video game and movie industries as I was originally drawn to art from those mediums. I also want to continue my traditional art practice, as oil painting has allowed me to.
What do you hope audiences retain from your work?
I want audiences to retain the memory of the surreal, sometimes uncanny mixture of reality and the fantastical that I present in my artwork. I believe my strengths as a visual creator manifest in being able to synthesize things that are naturalistic with surreal and supernatural concepts in a unique way.
Curated by Joshua Garay
Art Station: https://www.artstation.com/bokhum/