Thursday, January 13, 2011

Colombian artist and architect Félix Ángel "Contradictions and Triumphs"

Félix Ángel, artist and architect  from Medellín, Colombia, has presented more than 100 exhibitions in countries such as Argentina, Colombia, Costa Rica,  Ecuador, El Salvador and The United States and took part in many international competitions. Public collections of his can be found in Miami, Texas, San Francisco, England or Washington. With tradeyourtalent Ángel speaks about being an artist in South America and why it is important not to give up on art.

Félix Ángel, Drawing, from the Horse and Rider Series, a series
that Ángel begun in 1977 and still continues today),

What can you say about being an artist in South America?

It is very difficult. One has to be pretty intense. Most people carry out life in a very elemental, almost survival mode. Society in general is not interested in the arts, except from an entertaining point of view. One has to be aware that being an artist, implies a lot of sacrifice and misunderstanding. I am talking about being a real artist.

What are your paintings about? What are your major themes?

My career spans 40 years and my work has evolved visually and technically in a number of ways. However, there has been a constant concern about man, the existential role in life in its many social, political or psychological dimensions. The horrible damage that can inflict to others, the contradictions and triumphs in the context of civilization.

When did you know, you wanted to become an artist?

I think I have been an artist all my life, and I knew since I was four years old that I wanted to become an architect and an artist. I became both.  I had my first exhibition in my  high school at age 14. I have never experienced an indecision about my destiny. 

What were your hardest projects up until now?

The hardest thing has been to stay in course, and not allow anything or anyone to derail the convictions I have about art.

If you could give advice to artists just starting out, what would it be?

To educate oneself about many things that, from a practical viewpoint can give you an edge in life, so when your art does not sell you will not be taken by anguish and desperation which, leads to many concessions in detriment of the principles that rule one' s work and the ethics of life.

Félix Ángel, Dramatic Metaphor, 48 x 60 aproximately, acrylic on canvas, 1991‏

 Félix Ángel, Mural, Comedal Building, Medellín, Colombia, South America, 1976‏

Félix Ángel, Late Sunday Morning

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Interior designer Kate Pruitt "Insight and Courage"

Kate Pruitt is an artist and contributing editor to Design*Sponge, a daily website with 65,000 daily readers, dedicated to home and product design.  With tradeyourtalent she speaks about her passion for art history and how her perfect interior design would look like. Kate grew up in New Hampshire and now lives in California.

      Kate's DIY project: Notebook lunchbag 

How does the perfect home design look like for you?

I can't say I have a perfect home design, because my tastes are always changing and there are so many homes designs I love that are incredibly varied from one another. At this very moment, I would say my idea of a perfect home would be something semi-industrial, maybe a loft of some kind, with wood floors, a few brick walls, and a very open floor plan. I've enjoyed the time I've spent in my cozy 1920's apartment, but I am beginning to feel limited by the small rooms and the excessive decorative molding. As someone who loves to change things around and build different things, the perfect home design for me would be somewhat gallery-like. You could always be playing around with furniture, wall decor, and lighting, and large sculptural pieces would feel at home in the space. Throw in good natural light and a working fireplace somewhere, and that's heaven for me.

What does creativity mean to you?

Creativity to me is a combination of insight and courage. Coming up with an inventive idea is useless if you never do anything with it. It takes a certain fearlessness to experiment with new materials or follow through on a seemingly crazy idea. I think this drive is what fuels creative productivity, and I am constantly in awe of the courageous designers working in the field today.

Where do you get your inspiration?

 I am originally a painter by trade, so I like to look at art history, visit museums and galleries, and keep up with all the emerging artists who share their work online. I also find inspiration in all kinds of objects and materials, and I think it's really fun to go to a large hardware store, thrift shop, or art supply store and just examine everything. 

What kind of advice you would give to young artists, who are only starting out?

I would say two things. First, get yourself out there! The internet is the most amazing forum for getting yourself heard and your work seen, and it works very symbiotically. If your work is high quality and unique, it will naturally get the most buzz; good ideas are usually rewarded with good press. Second, presentation is EVERYTHING. We receive thousands of emails a day at Design*Sponge and we have to be tough editors. If we receive bad photos, or worse yet —no photos— we're probably going to pass on that submission. Be sure to get good images of your work—consider the lighting, the styling, everything—and be professional in your submission emails. Good images are your golden ticket to success in the world of design blogs.

Kate's uncommon valentine

Kate's book strap side table

For more of Kate's work

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Juliana Urrego

 Juliana Urrego works on contemporary design, architecture, photography and creative projecs in Miami. 

When did you decide to make art your career?

I do not think it was ever a conscious decision. I developed a love for architecture early on and that led to an interest in art and photography. I've been able to grow more as an artist because of my formal education as an architect. When I design, I relate the hierarchy of graphic elements (color, typography, shapes) to that of architectural elements.

Why do you think many people stop on the way in pursuing their dream?

I think people stop pursuing dreams because they allow themselves to derail. As long as you have a clear picture of where you want to be, nothing should stop that. There is no greater reward than accomplishing a dream or goal, no matter how big or small.

What are you working on right now?

Right now I am collaborating with Kaleidoscope Collective on the design for the Jai-Alai Magazine cover and website. The magazine is a limited edition, biannual periodical with the goal of documenting literary life in Miami, Florida between 2010 and 2015. (See 

If you could give young artists some advice, what would it be?

Being a young designer myself the best piece of advice I can give is to embrace the creative process. Each of us grows a great deal when we embark in a creative process regardless of your career. It leads us to build a strong foundation which we continously build upon. 

Kaleidoscope Collective Work, see at


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