Interview with pop surreal artist Raúl Guerra - 1.part

To discover more about the living life behind the Art Wonderland I started interview series featuring artists all over the world. Today I’d like to introduce you to Raúl Guerra, a talented pop surrealist.
Hello dear Raúl, tell us a little about you and how did you find the artist inside you. How long have you been doing art?
My name is Raúl Guerra and I’m from south Spain. Graphic designer, painter, illustrator, collector of beautiful things, I spend hours and hours creating new formulas to express my own idea of what I understand to be the perfect combo of Beauty and Truth. Owner of a legion of hundred coloured pencils, I draw, paint and sketch day and night. I´m not sure if  there was a precise moment  when I found the artist in me. As a matter of fact I tend to avoid the use of the word “artist“ to describe what I do and what I am. I don’t feel confortable labelling my work, so I prefer to call myself author or creator, as the word "artist" nowdays has become something  rather different from the idea I have in mind. But yes,...I guess I’ve been creating stuff my whole life.
What was / is your major influences? Other artists, books, movies, music or any other media....What inspires you to create your artworks?
My earliest influences come from Celtic and Greek myths. The arthurian cycle, Fairylore and comics. Also,  Nature has been a constant inspiration for me. When it comes to artist I have been inspired for so many: Gustav Klimt, Leonardo, Shingo Araki, Drew Struzan, Alan Lee, Mark Ryden, etc etc...
I love soundtracks, I always use them as background music while I paint. I also love celtic and world music. What inspires me the most are words, phrases, sentences, ideas...from books, movies, etc...

How does "a normal day of artist" in your life look like?
I wake early, I´m a morning person. Then I draw or paint most of the day. I spent hours and hours sketching. I always draw at least three or four versions of the same idea prior deciding which one to use for the final artwork. I’m always trying to use new methods and searching for new formulas to represent the ideas inside my head.

What medium do you most often use and why?
Im a graphite-lover. I love the organic feeling, the texture, everything! Then I love watercolours, pastels, coloured pencils....I usually go for the medium that conveys better the idea I have in mind.

How would you describe your pop surreal style? What themes do you pursue?
I try to represent all that is pure and innocent. I use the combo of Beauty&Truth as a kind of banner when I speak about my rol on the art bussines and my ideals about it. I find innocense and fragility fascinant matters to explore. Ultimately, art for me is a healing medium, so everything I create follows this direction. I help myself (and hopefully others too) to maintain a vivid aspect of the magic world around us, the cultivation of imagination and romantism, might it be through the representation of little innocent girls or fantastic creatures.

What fascinates you the most about pop surrealism? What "pop surreal art"  means to you as an artist?
It has to be the limitless boundaries. You could make sense of the unsensed around you. Everything is allowed and everything coexist wih its own rights. So for me, the surreal arts have that sense of wonder and freedom and still a vivid feeling of academism around it.

What do you love most about creating? What does “being creative” mean to you?
The creative process have to do a lot with a conection with the unconscious mind for me. I tried to connect with my inner being and liberate my fears, wishes, desires, etc through the creative momentum. So, for me, it is a kind of therapeutic and healing process. Always welcome, always needed.
Can you describe your typical workflow / artistic process when you’re working on your art?
I usually do lots of sketches prior drawing/painting the final artwork. I need to be sure every element is in the right place. Also, I use digital tools in order to help me choose my palette of colours. This way I safe a lot of time and efford. To be honest, I´m rarely satisfied with the first every artwork takes me at least two takes. I need to get the closest possible to the idea I have in mind.
What is your personal favorite artwork from your portfolio and why?
Mmmm,...that’s a difficult question...Im probably fond of my previous sketches. They are not final artworks but they show the process I follow, my mistakes, the lines and previous ideas...and they have that fresh quality on them. Yes, my collection of skeches are my favourites. Specially one of a mermaid called: Coralia, maiden of the sea. I´m profoundly in love with mermaids. Along with Unicorns they are my favourite magical beings.

Where do you see yourself in the future? Professionally, what’s your goal?
As any other artist I feel the need to express myself through my illustrations. I’d continue to do so, even if I wouldn’t have choosen this path. I feel in the position of someone who wants and desire to bring beauty and magic into this world, so I guess that’s my goal. If I can make a living along with that,...that would be fantastic!
Thank you dear Raúl for an excellent interview and dear readers, stay tuned, the second part of this interview is coming soon :)