Soy Cardo is the alter ego of illustrator and performer Ana Macias. Portrait photography and interview by BARTE.
The Straigh-Up series by Juan Barte are part of his long term project “Live Forever”, a soul-searching project exploring the path of art through some of Madrid’s art scene key individuals. Follow Barte’s Live Forever on Instagram @Juan.barte.
Formidable Magazine: What was your first creative drive?
Soy Cardo. I started making collages with Photoshop, at that time I called myself Arta, anywise, they were not humorous, as my work is these days. I just cut and pasted pieces together. Then I realized that I couldn’t find all the material I needed, so I began to draw.
F.M. Is there a defining moment that made you realize art was your thing?
S.C. When I was a little girl I went to painting classes for a couple of years. I remember that I loved it, and my mom framed everything I did. I do not know if that was what made me start one day to draw, but It feels feel really good.
F.M. How would you define your work?
S.C. Direct, colorful and, sometimes, fun.
F.M. Inspirational artists?
S.C. I love to follow artists who laugh at life or see life from a different point of view. I am faithful follower of La Mandanga, Joan Cornellà, Morbix, Monster Espaguetti and Miranda Makaroff. To me those are totally it.
FM. Did you have a plan for the studio layout, or did it grow organically?
S.C. My studios have always been my bedroom. I like to have a large table with lots of light and a very comfortable chair. I do not need anything else and, thankfully, I always had spaces with these elements in them.
F.M. Is the studio just a place for production or also inspiration is inherent to the studio space?
S.C. Creativity is everywhere. I usually get ideas while in the subway, the shower at class… I am very observant. If one day you see me laughing on the subway, it’s because I just happened to have an idea for a vignette.
F.M. Would you say your studio setting influences your work?
S.C. My bedroom is my work space. I live in a rent apartment, so I can’t hang pictures or anything that may deteriorate the walls., I have a small cork board in which I hang a calendar, a thousand post-its and some drawings. I like the space to be white and as clean as possible. I am a very tidy person.
F.M. How is a day in the life of Soy Cardo?
S.C. I wake up later than the time I should and arrive a few minutes after class stars. When school is over I take the rest of the day to work in my drawings, or to see some expo, or to go to events … Every day is different. At night is the ideal time to start drawing, it ‘s so quite and relaxing.
F.M. Best and worst night out?
S.C. I have to say that I love the night life , but and not really a huge party animal. I know it’s a cliche, but my best night would be at the beach. I just love the sea. The worst possible night would be the night before a morning I have to get up really early. I hate it.
F.M. What do you love and hate about Madrid?
S.C. I’ve only lived here for a year, but I’m in love with this city. I like that there is always something to do, places to go. Although I hate the crowded streets. Especially those people who DO NOT KNOW walk in a straight line and slow me down when I’m the most hurried.
F.M. What’s in your play list?
S.C. I recently created a list called “Veins”, I have songs in it that would make you slit your wrist. As is. It’s not that I’m depressed or anything, but I felt like doing a compilation of downer music. I always draw with Spotify. I can’t live without it.
F.M. Our motto is “A life less ordinary”, what makes life less ordinary?
S.C. Humor and cashew nuts, Ana-Cardo*.
*A play on words with her name that makes up the Spanish word for cashew nuts.
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