the artwork of noelia towers
How did you become interested in painting people's pets, or painting pets as people?
When my cat Kiko passed away. I painted him wearing a tuxedo, on a light-blue background, because that's how i always pictured him in my head: a gentleman. A heart breaker with very good manners. Then came the Astrocats, and then Grumpy cat as The Shining twins. I posted a few pictures here and there, made some prints to sell through my Etsy shop, and started receiving emails from people wanting to commission pet portraits, and even portraits of themselves with their furry beasts. I have to say that i don't enjoy commission works as much as I enjoy grabbing a blank wood panel and just painting whatever the fuck I want. This is what I call "Artist prostitution", you get paid to do something you don't really want to do, but of course we all have them bills. On the other hand, I get the most rewarding feeling ever when I see how happy my customers are. It is one of the most fulfilling things i experience from life and then i wonder if the real purpose of my work is to make other people happy. Most of the times the answer is yes.
Have you done any commissioned pieces for bands or album artwork?
This is a funny one. I used to get a lot of bands messaging me about doing artwork for them. All of them backed off when it came to money talk. People sometimes expect you to work for free. Once I was told the best way they were going to pay me was by using my art as their new record cover so they could promote me, since people would see my work everywhere. I don't care who you are, i don't care if you're a local band with a small fan base or if you are the fucking Foo Fighters (first band that came to my mind since Dave Grohl is everywhere) you have to pay me even if i feel honored doing your album. Recently I painted a cover for an upcoming Antwon [project]. I can't share the results yet, so you're gonna have to wait until it is released! It's been a real pleasure to work for the HYV and Antwon. And yes, I'd love to do more commission work for bands so if you have a band, you're reading this right now and you're looking for some artwork, hit me up!
There are a lot of film references in your paintings, why do you include those and is there a movie or director that's most inspirational to your artwork?
The thing that gets my attention from movies is their photography. Give me a movie with nice shots, an interesting illumination, pretty colors, dreamy atmospheres, characters with attitude wearing odd but simple attires and I'm all yours. I get really inspired by Kubrick, Lynch, Wes Anderson, Jodorowsky, Polanski and so on.
You also do pieces like the "Wiccan" one in your Etsy. Was that commissioned or is it just another style that you like to work in?
I was working full time as an office assistant a few years ago. I started sketching The Wiccan during lunch breaks and during my spare time while my multiple bosses were having important meetings and I was just drawing on my desk hoping not to get caught. I always felt really inspired by artists like Aubrey Beardsley, Harry Clarke and some other more recent like Pushead, Mike Giant, etc. Most of their work is black and white stuff and I love it.
Using black and white helps me get away from my colorful paintings. I usually start making those drawings in between paintings so I can rest my eyes and my brain. It really helps so when i go back to them I can see things from a different perspective, a complete brand new point of view. I see mistakes that I couldn't see before and fix them, make better color mixes and whatnot. I also feel a duality inside me that needs to be expressed that way. I love natural things, i love blank paper and a black pen on minimal and clean space. But then on the other side i need sunbeams though my window. I need bright lights, bright colors, fresh air, clutter on my desk and my brushes resting on the dirty water of my cleaning tank. I always say about my work that it goes from the dark side of my world to the most colorful palette and I think this is the most accurate description I could ever come up with.