Briefly describe the work you do.
We normally work with acrylic paint on canvas and digital illustration. Our work is a weird mixture between urban tribes and traditional tribes. We have always seen how people treat indigenous tribes as primitives but we think they are just like us in so many aspects of our lives.
Tell us a little about your background and how that influences you as an artist.
We grew up in Europe (Spain) where cities are completely full of graffiti, so the first kind of art that we met in our lives was the one on the streets. Next thing was when we started to have knowledge about anthropology, we completely felt amazed about indigenous cultures and we started to make some reflections about it.
The concept of the “artist studio” has a broad range of meanings, especially in contemporary practice. The idea of the artist toiling away alone in a room may not necessarily reflect what many artists do from day to day anymore. Describe your studio practice and how it differs from (or is the same as) traditional notions of “being in the studio.”
As a duo, get agreeing with the same ideas is not always easy. We normally need to work in two different rooms to concentrate in what we are doing and come out with some fresh ideas. Each of us has a particular way to get them and working together in the same room just doesn’t work. Once our sketches are ready, we can work together at the studio for hours, compare sketches and ideas and mix them.
What unique roles do you see yourself as the artist playing that you may not have envisioned yourself in when you first started making art?
We both thought the only way to be an artist was to work in traditional media like painting or sculpture. We didn’t have any idea about the possibilities that the digital art could give us as artists. Not only we can have our digital art in galleries but also we can produce works on commission for newspapers, magazines and so on.
When do you find is the best time of day to make art? Do you have time set aside every day, every week or do you just work whenever you can?
We normally work a few hours in the evening or night. Mornings are frequently dedicated on commissioned work. It also depends of what we have in that moment, if we are working in art residencies or for an exhibition we can work all day long.
How has your work changed in the last five years? How is it the same?
In the beginning we couldn’t even think about living the way we do it now. During the last five years we have learnt to take it seriously, just like any other job. We are more focused on improving our statement and applying to open calls. We have turned our hobby into our job.
Are there people such as family, friends, writers, philosophers or even pop icons that have had an impact on the work you do?
Indigenous art and street art are our main source of inspiration.
If you had an occupation outside of being an artist, what would that be and why?
Both of us have extra jobs. Naza works in a contemporary Northwest Coast native art gallery and as a freelance curator. Juan works as an Art and Illustrator software Teacher. Those jobs are also related to art, but if we have to choose an occupation outside the art field, Juan would probably be a cook and Naza would love to work as an anthropologist.
Olliemoonsta are Naza del Rosal and Juan Rico. Two artists from Spain with a background in Fine Arts and Graphic Design. In 2009 they came together to form Studio Po, an illustration, graphic and web design studio, which was gradually focusing more on art and illustration creating the duo Olliemoonsta.Over the years they have created a series of paintings and digital illustrations drawn by the concept of beauty among the traditional tribes and cultures around the world and the current urban tribes and graffiti, making special enphasis on typography.
Olliemoonsta’s work has been seen in numerous exhibitions worldwide. In July 2011 they were invited to the International Percussion Festival of Montreal, Canada. These paintings were part of a travelling exhibition in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver. In the summer of 2012 they participated in the Artists’ Residence “Beyond Time”, in Poland, where in addition to their work in developing BWA Bielsko Galery in Bielsko-Biala and Targowo, were invited to several festivals to paint murals and site-specific installations in the streets. In October 2012 they were artists in residence in “Pedra Sina Residence”, in Madeira, Portugal, where they were invited to paint a couple of murals in the harbor of the island.
In 2013 and 2014 they have been living and working in Vancouver, Canada.
All images copyright of the artist and used with their permission.