Udane Juaristi, from Azkoitia, started as a child painting stories, then moved on to large formats and now, in addition to murals, he is committed to painting in small format in order to be able to hold an exhibition soon.
For those who don't know you, how would you introduce yourself? Painter, photographer, muralist...
My name is Udane Juaristi Ibañez, I'm from Azkoitia and I'm a painter. I paint murals in the streets, shops... and I paint pictures. I am not a photographer but I like to walk through the streets and take photos to create works with them.
What would you highlight from your professional career?
I would say that little by little I have been doing different things, I would say that the work I have done over the years is paying off and I feel proud of it. It is not an easy world, but I feel valued and I am very happy to be able to do what I like.
Did you like to paint on the walls since you were a child? Were you often scolded?
I don't remember being told off for painting hahaha. I don't think I painted a lot on walls when I was little... but I did have stories painted all over the place... I think my parents have always seen that I really liked painting, playing with construction things and they have always supported me in this career.
Street and urban landscapes appear in many of your works? Does the rural appeal to you or does it inspire you less?
The truth is that I don't know why I started painting urban. I suppose I found a lot of inspiration in the new cities I visited. Maybe it's because I live in a more rural environment and I was more attracted to the new. I really enjoy discovering new places and finding inspiration in those places. The street has always been my favourite place to come up with ideas. But I also find inspiration in rural environments.
It's true that at the moment my work is changing a bit. Now, I'm touching more on the theme of flowers. My work is going down a more abstract path perhaps. With a lot of colour... and it's more emotional. I don't know how to explain it. It's coming out instead. I don't know if it's a stage or if a new path will emerge, but these changes are very important for an artist.
What is the creative process like? Do you first take photos and then paint over what you have photographed?
The photos are always my starting point. I take photos and with those photos I make ideas on the computer. Sometimes I create works from a single photo, sometimes from different photos mixed together. I don't paint over them, when I do mixed media, I mix painting with parts of photography. I mix transfer technique with acrylic painting. Right now, I'm working more on painting and making paintings only with acrylic paint.
What do you like most about large-scale murals?
That you can do something for everyone. Muralism is a gift. That mural you do can be enjoyed by anyone and that motivates me a lot. It's very satisfying. And then, to be able to see your work in different places, on those scales, is super nice. Each person makes their own stories with them, portrays them....
A long time ago when I walked around the cities I saw murals and I always stayed to look at them and photograph them. I dreamed of doing one and now I see mine and what I feel can't be explained in words. I am very grateful to everyone who has made it possible for me to paint these murals, in wonderful places and to be able to see people enjoying them.
I suppose you are proud of all your work, but is there one that stands out for you as special?
For me, every job is important. They are part of me. And the good thing is that I enjoy every job, more or less, but I enjoy it, and that's what's important. And every job gives me something.
What are you working on at the moment?
I have to do a mural in Donosti and in Azkoitia, in my town, where I recently did another big wall as well.
And apart from the murals, I'm painting new things, in small format, to be able to make an exhibition soon. I'm exploring new paths and I'll see what new works come out of it.
What are your plans for the future?
For the future? I'd like to keep getting work like I've been getting so far and to be able to enjoy it.
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