Artist Interview | HOUDA BAKKALI

Become acquainted with perhaps a few unknown dimensions – thoughts, ambitions, wisdoms, life changing moments – of this inspiring artist.

Artist Interview with HOUDA

When it comes to your art, explain what you do

This work was presented in 2018. “Beautiful African Woman” is a tribute to the woman whose inspiration in my mother. I intend with this work to leave the legacy of doing things normally, in total equality, feeling free. It is a colourful, enthusiastic and optimistic vision, with two key pillars, the technique and soul of the work, with which I also seek to refute stereotypes about Arab culture. It is fair and necessary for people to know that not everything is from one extreme or another. I want to give visibility to the free, demanding woman, the owner of her own decisions and the mistress of her own life.

What project are you working on now?

I am working on different projects, including a new series based on Africa. 

Artist Interview with HOUDA

Why do you do what you do?

It’s a return to my first stage, I want to complete the series “Africa sweet and pop” with new artworks based on digital illustration.

How has your practice changed over time?

With time I am increasingly demanding and perfectionist. I spend more time on the little details.

What is your strongest childhood memory?

My neighbourhood, Lavapiés, the most multicultural neighbourhood in Madrid. I remember when I walked with my parents through the gardens of the Retiro. I remember the visits to the Prado Museum, the notebooks, the coloured pencils that they always gave me on my birthday. I remember when I first went to Venice with my parents. I left the train station and saw the canals of the city for the first time. It is an indelible image that I have always had the desire to reflect on my work, but it is a memory so special that I dare not turn into a material object.

What is your scariest experience?

My worst experience, without a doubt, is the absence of my parents. Especially the painful death of my mother that has marked my life and my work.

Artist Interview with HOUDA

Describe a real-life experience that inspired you.

All my work is inspired by the reality that surrounds me. From my first series Africa Sweet and Pop to Beautiful African Woman, all have in common a part of my life, of my memories, of my experience. And in all, there is a common bond: optimism. The colourful vision before the blows of life. I search and pay tribute to optimism. My artwork fights pain through colour and enthusiasm through simple lines and intense colours.

What superpower would you like to have and why?

I think one of my superpowers is the ability to survive and provide a positive vision in the face of the setbacks of life. That is the superpower that I would like never to lose. The ability to fight, to adapt to each moment, to each circumstance. The ability to enjoy the people around me, and empathize with them, understand them and bring them joy.

What is your pet peeve about the art world?

I believe that the world is art. Everything that surrounds us is art. The emotions, the sensations, the objects, the experiences, the happiness, the pain, the natural, the imaginable and the unimaginable things, I believe that we are surrounded by art.

What is your dream creative project?

My creative dream is never to stop creating.

Which place in the world do you find to be the most inspiring?

I believe that inspiration can appear at any time and anywhere. But there are indeed places where I feel a greater sensitivity to the world and more inspiration to create: the walks along the Ramblas in Barcelona, through the streets of Madrid and anywhere in Italy.

Do you make a living off of your art?

Yes, because I work as a creative. I direct artistic projects and visuals for different clients. So I am lucky to dedicate myself professionally to the creative and artistic world.

Artist Interview with HOUDA

What’s the most indispensable item in your studio/practice?

My work is based on digital art, so for me, the use of the latest technology is essential. In my studio, I always have my computer, iPad, a professional set of photography and a scanner.

What are your hobbies?

My great passion is the cinema. There is not a day when I do not enjoy the magic of one of the most significant artistic manifestations. Music is essential in my life and my artistic process. Reading is another of my passions, I would not understand life without a book and its stories and characters, the feel of its paper, and the smell of its pages. Reading is one of the most enriching experiences that exist. I also love travelling, meeting and conversing with people from different cultures, tasting the flavours of the world.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Work with passion. Insist on goals, nothing is impossible. Never be afraid of failure. Make good friends, always make the way in good company.

Creatively, where do you see yourself in the next five years?

Within five years, I hope to continue with the same enthusiasm and desire to create and share my soul with the world that I have today. Although I prefer to focus on the day-to-day. Enjoy each moment, from nearby and immediate projects.

HOUDA BAKKALI‘s creative studio is in Barcelona, Spain.

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