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Artist Feature ://
Camila Orleansky
Posted November 2019

Camila Orleansky is a visual artist from Mexico City. She finished her career as an architect in 2017, and since then she has become a full-time artist. She explores her own identity through photography, painting and digital drawings. Her work usually portrays strong female figures and is constantly depicting the crude reality being a woman in today's society. Her work has been showcased in Feria Arte 10, Festival Dimensión, Mexicraneos 2018 and Ovalo Gallery.
Her work has been published in LANDUUM, Flamantes Book of Art and Metodo.

Contemplation’, Camila Orleansky. Oil on linen, 2019

Q. Does your previous work as an architect influence you work now? If so, how?

Architecture has definitely played a role not only in my development as an artist, but also in the way my creative process works. It gave me structure, discipline and the ability to observe, question and analyse my surroundings. Architecture is also a creative profession, but it has a much more function-oriented philosophy and necessity. The soul, the passion for art and the sensitivity to create were attributes I had when I was a kid, however, studying architecture helped me organise those feelings and thoughts and dig a little deeper into them, never being satisfied with just scratching the surface.

Q. It is a bold move to change career paths, if you wouldn’t mind saying, why did you decided to leave architecture, how did you make it happen and have you got any advice for another creative who also wants to try a new path?

Architecture has always been of great interest to me, and when deciding what I wanted to do for the rest of my life I chose this path. It was only when I had finished my career when I was faced with the grim reality of my situation. I honestly couldn’t imagine myself being happy working long hours in this industry. Regardless, I sent my curriculum to a lot (and I do mean a lot) of architecture firms but was never really successful of getting into one. During this whole existential crisis, a friend of mine suggested I sent some of my work as an artist to enter the ‘Feria Arte 10’ call for artists in Mexico City. I honestly never believed I would be chosen to display my work, but it happened. That was my first exhibition. I remember standing there, in my booth, surrounded by all these successful and really talented artists when it suddenly hit me like a truck: this is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I had finally found my vocation. From there on it seemed that life agreed with me for once; while so many doors had closed for me in the architectural world, so many more started opening up for me as an artist. To all the creatives wanting to pursue this path my advice would be to take a chance on it. You never know what life has in store for you, maybe, like it happened to me, you will discover your place in the world. Listen to your intuition, for it cannot be blinded by greed, social standards, “what my parents want for me” or the path you so forcibly try to set for yourself, even though the world is screaming: this is not for you.

Anatomy 2’, Camila Orleansky. Watercolor on cotton paper, 2018

Q. How do you use each of the mediums mentioned in your statement? Is there a preferred medium depending on the intention of the work?

I started out with digital drawings, greatly influenced by my studies in architectural drawing. I wanted to use what I had learned about the graphic nature of architectural expression and use it as a tool to express my deepest feelings. Most of my work is biographical, using self-portraits to give life and shape to hidden emotions. Throughout my career I have used many mediums, but the central topic, the thing that keeps me up at night and motivates me to create more pieces, has never really changed. To be honest I am never really satisfied with experimenting with just one medium, I get bored very easily and need to try new things. However, most of my series and collections are united by the medium I’m using. All of them give me different things, for example, the digital drawings with which I started are very graphic, simple and straightforward, which is perfect for conveying the raw and pure emotions in them. I consider mediums to be tools and vehicles to get to where the main message is leading me, but never allowing the medium to be the main focus of a piece.

Rose nest’, Camila Orleansky. Oil on linen, 2019

The flowers you give me’, Camila Orleansky. Oil on linen, 2019

Q. Which artist has most inspired you and why?

When I was a kid, the first work that I actually created a bond with was that of Frida Kahlo’s. I loved the raw nature of her paintings and her use of nudity and self-portraiture to convey emotions. She was the first female artist I learned about, and it inspired me to start painting. However, I have other influences in style and technique, such as Henri Matisse. Both of them represent different spectrums within my creative nature, Frida Kahlo’s work means a lot to me because of the message,and Henry Matisse has influenced my medium and technique.

Q. You work speaks powerfully of what it means to be a woman in today’s society; do you have any advice for young aspiring female artist?

Don’t ever settle for just being the muse, be the creator as well. This is still a male dominated career, but things are starting to change for women, our work is being seen in a more serious nature than before. Understand that all the flaws people usually relate to woman are actually attributes in this line of work and in everyday life. Being “too emotional” will help you to create content that speaks volumes; being “too sensitive” will allow you to see the world differently and dissect your surroundings; “taking everything too personally and seriously” will enable you to generate important bonds with your spectators and will never fail to attach you to your reality. Make it happen, no one is going to hand it to you if you don’t work for it everyday. I’m not going to lie, you will sometimes face gender biased obstacles, but if you keep on keeping on, you will overcome anything the world throws at you.

Aquelarre’, Camila Orleansky. Oil on linen, 2019

︎ www.camilaorleansky.com

︎ @camilaorleansky

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