Interview with pop surreal artist Igor Poujaud Garcia

Igor Poujaud Garcia is a cuban artist who lives in Montreal Canada, graduated in art academy Roberto Diago in Cuba. During the student years he had the opportunity to exhibit his paintings at Gallery Pedro Esquerre in Matanzas province where he was born.
Please, tell us how did you find the artist inside you? How long have you been doing art? Is art something that you always wanted to do?

I have been drawing since early age but I learned how to use oil and water colour acrylics at the art school. I started to work on my art seriously in 2010 while having a job on the side. My wish is to make art for living as a full time job in the future but for now I have to have regular job to support my art. I found the artist inside of me in the early age but I am still in the process of shaping my own style. I started to study art in 1998-2001 but because of the economical problems I choosed other profession - touristic entertainer - so there is a gap of 3 years of my art career that I didn´t paint or draw at all. Plus the years that I spent doing my documents till I emigrated to Canada.
What was / is your major influences? Other artists, books, movies, music or any other media....What inspires you to create your artworks?
The artist influenced me the most is Mark Ryden. I consider his art very original. Other artists I really like are Todd Schorr and Robert Williams. Movies and music inspire me a lot too. I like horror and action movies. I love listen to music while I am painting, mostly I am interested in 90´punk rock, 50´music and psychobilly.
What inspires me a lot is my life story, everything I have been through in life. Also, I used to draw, design and imitate the rock posters with skulls and flowers inspired by music bands like Guns Roses, Iron Maiden and Cuban heavy metal bands. I never understood why I enjoyed to create such an art with elements of blood and death until I emmigrated to Canada and had an access to an internet. I had the access to the internet for the first time in my life and it was like being born again. I discovered the lowbrow movement and pop surrealism and I immediately related.
How does "a normal day of artist" in your life look like?

Paint, paint, paint. I paint everytime I can in my free time.

What’s your background? Are you self-taught artist or did you study art? Do you think an art education is important or imperitive for anybody wishing to be an artist? What are some of the advantages and disadvantages that you have encountered throughout your career with/without the formal training of the Art Academy?

I am from Cuba and art is very important, I studied art  at University. I am grateful for my art education because it gave me a lot of knowledge. Especially about history and techniques. I don't believe that to be a great artist you are obligated to study art, some people are born with a talent. I tried hard in Cuba to pursue the art carrer but with the difficult economic times in my country, I had to work in the tourism to help out my family.  I tried to keep painting and sold paintings on the side at different markets arounds the city to tourists. After 10 years of painting even with an art educaton is still difficult for me to only survive with my art. But I still follow my dreams to become a full time artist one day.

What fascinates you the most about surrealism / pop surrealism / contemporary art / lowbrow art? How would you describe your style? What themes do you pursue, what surrealism mean to you and what do you hope the viewer will take away from your art?
I follow pop surrealism and lowbrow movement since I arrived to Canada in 2007. Since I have the access to internet I discovered so many new art styles that were unknown in Cuba. Couple of years ago I discovered Mark Ryden and I started to study his work. I like about these movements that you can put so many elements at once, you can become more creative and follow no rules. Theme that I follow often in my own paintings are nurses and healthcare because it is the field I work right now. I hope that people who view my art will find that interesting and also find my messages from my life in Cuba.

What do you love most about creating and being an artist? What does “being creative” mean to you?
When I sketch or paint a new artwork I enjoy exploring new ideas that coming out during the process that I can use for the next painting. Being creative means to have clear brain and to be open to free imagination.

Can you describe your typical workflow when you’re working on your art? What are your tools of trade? What medium do you most often use and why?

The medium I use the most is oil. Usually I draw my ideas in my book and then paint them straight on the canvas. I do not have any special tools, just oil paint and brushes. I like to use oil more than acrilycs. I feel the painting is more alive that way.
Which creative medium would you love to pursue but haven’t yet?

Pastel is a medium I would really like to pursue.
Tell us more about your workspace. What was the most funny or weird thing that happened to you in your studio? What is / was the most strange thing hidding in your studio?

My workspace is pretty small room in my condo where I live with my wife and kids.  The funniest things in my studio are my kids. They are often coming in and looking at my paintings. Sometimes when I do not look, they are trying to paint like me on my paintings. Fortunately it is an oil and can be easily fixed.

What toughest challenges have you faced as an artist during your art career? What is the biggest lesson you have learned so far?

The biggest challenge is to always believe in yourself. There is no right or wrong painting.  When you hear rejection all the time from galleries and you know you have the potential it can be quite straining sometimes and you wonder why you are painting.  The one thing you need to remember is to keep painting and one day you will get what you have worked so far to acheive. No stress. Just paint.
What’s the best and worst advice you ever received in your art career?
The worst advice I ever got was to focus more on messages to be told in my paintings. When I paint, I paint about what I feel and not for everybody is possible to figure out the message. Also, a painting doesn't always have to have a message. Paint what you feel.
What do you dislike about the art world? What is the hardest thing on being an artist? Is the artistic life lonely? What do you do to counteract it?
I like to be surrounded with kind people. In my case the hardest thing is spending most of my time in my full time job in a field I am not very interested.
Where do you see yourself in the future? Professionally, what’s your goal?
I try not to think about the future and just live day by day. My goal is to become an artists known worldwide, to has my own style and hope that people will appreciate my art for what it is.
Do you have any tips or inspiring words for others? Maybe advice for beginning artists out there?
No matter what don´t stop creating.

Your favorite art or life quote is ...
Never give up.
What are you doing when you’re not creating? What (other) hobbies do you have?
I play with my kids or having a familly outing.

Is there anything else you’d like to say? Is there any project you are working on right now or any ongoing event or exhibition you would like to share with our readers?
I want to change the world with my art.
Thank you dear Igor, it was a honor to interview you, I wish you only the best for you and your art and already looking forward to see your new art works :)  
By contributor Linda , 2015. Find Oh, So Surreal on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Google + or RSS