Estefanía B. Flores is a visual artist and former architect based in London and the Canary Islands. She studied architecture at the Polytechnic University of Madrid and the Tokyo Institute of Technology and holds a master's degree in fine art from Goldsmiths University, where she received the La Caixa Foundation Grant for Postgraduate studies in 2020.
Estefanía's artistic endeavors span various mediums, including sculpture, video, and drawing. Her work delves into the exploration of emotions and reactions, both positive and negative, within digital gaming environments. She also examines the simulation of emotions and the emergence of a culture that embraces outdated technology. Her broader themes encompass a critical analysis of the overwhelming and often excessive nature of contemporary entertainment. She dissects and categorizes fictional concepts that refuse to fade away, giving them names and identities that serve as tools for creating new fictional narratives.
Estefanía's exhibitions have been showcased in various solo and group exhibitions, including venues such as St. Chads space(g), Xxirahii gallery(s), Matadero Madrid(g), Espacio Fundación Telefónica(g), Rosa Stern Space(g), Zulo gallery(s), among others.
Our Interview with Estefania:
Can you tell us about your artistic journey? How did you get started as an Artist?
My artistic journey has been a non-linear and transformative one. I had a strong passion for drawing, but I ultimately chose to pursue architecture because it combined my skills in mathematics and physics with the aspect of drawing and technical subjects. So, I initially pursued architecture, a field I deeply appreciated. I dedicated seven years of my life to studying and practicing architecture, finding satisfaction in its core principles.
However, during that period, the architecture profession faced turbulent times due to a severe financial crisis, particularly in Spain. The reality of working in architectural offices diverged greatly from what I had learned in school.Architecture is an inherently creative field, (but at that time) the role of an architect evolved to emphasize problem-solving over critical design thinking. Moreover, the political landscape and market demands added complexity and challenges to the job, making it a less fulfilling experience than I had hoped for.
Nonetheless, I cherished my time in architecture school. The critical thinking skills honed in architectural practice are surprisingly similar to those required in fine art. Despite these circumstances, after completing my architecture studies, I moved to Berlin. There, I began working for an artist while simultaneously exploring my own creative expressions through videos, CGI images, and occasional drawings. Although these pursuits started as personal projects, they gradually took on a more professional dimension.
Ironically, I never initially envisioned myself becoming an artist. Yet, after several years working as an art producer and designer, I began to feel a growing sense of dissatisfaction and found myself descending into depression. It was then that I made the decision to transition into fine art, dedicating time to delve into my own thoughts and interests.
This pivotal moment led me to pursue a scholarship in fine arts at Goldsmiths, where I could fully immerse myself in the world of art.
How would you describe your artistic style? And are there any particular influences that shaped your work?
My work doesn't neatly fit into a specific category; it draws inspiration from a wide array of sources in a very unprejudiced way. I approach my creative process with an open mind, without imposing hierarchies on what should or shouldn't influence my work. My interests are eclectic, but at the core, I am fascinated by the intricate relationship between humanity and technology.
One major focus of my work revolves around the emotional dynamics of entertainment in all its diverse forms, be it cinema, manga, video games, and more. These various facets of entertainment culture serve as a rich source of inspiration for me.
In particular, my recent work, such as my latest showcase in Xxijra Hii gallery in London, delves deeply into the narratives and experiences of female characters within fictional worlds. Exploring the stories and outcomes of these fictional heroines has become a special area of interest and creative exploration for me.
Could you walk us through your creative process? How do you approach a new project or artwork?
My creative process is deeply intuitive and dynamic. I resist the urge to plan every detail of my work in advance, a habit I inherited from my background in architecture, where meticulous planning is paramount due to the involvement of multiple stakeholders.
When I first joined Goldsmiths, I encountered a teacher who challenged me to break free from my structured planning habits. They encouraged me to embrace a more spontaneous and simultaneous thinking-and-making approach. It was a significant shift for me, as I had been accustomed to the traditional process of first thinking, then making. Now, I strive to entwine these aspects, allowing my creations to unfold naturally.
While it may appear that I have full control over my pieces, I relish experimentation until the very last moment. This approach often surprises even me, as I sometimes achieve results I hadn't envisioned at the outset. I find joy in the unexpected outcomes that emerge during the creative process.
I also believe that a work is never truly "finished." This viewpoint aligns with the sentiment in painting where artists frequently ask, "Is this finished?" I share this perspective; I could continue refining and reworking a piece indefinitely. However, I acknowledge that there comes a point when it needs to be presented to the world. Even then, I don't consider it "finished"; instead, it's a snapshot of a continuous journey.
Did you start with the same practice or did you evolve during the years?
I somewhat naively believed that my fascination with technology and contemporary digital culture demanded that I create digital art—CGI images and videos. This was something I had experience with from my architectural background, where creating visualizations was common practice. So, naturally, I started there when I began my artistic journey.
However, as time passed, my interests shifted. I found myself increasingly drawn to animated sculpture, which represented a distinct departure from my previous digital work. People often remark that it makes sense for me to explore sculpture given my architectural background, but I don't necessarily see it that way. I've always been open to various artistic forms. While I did dabble in painting when I was younger, it never became a professional pursuit, and I hesitate to delve into it now given the rich history and traditions associated with the medium.
So, yes, now I'm deeply engaged in sculpting, but I wouldn't say it's a final destination for me. I'm a process-oriented individual, and I love to experiment with different media. My artistic expression is not confined to a single medium; it's more about exploring my ongoing concerns and interests in various ways. While my focus may evolve, the core themes remain consistent, allowing me to express myself through different creative avenues.
What advice would you give to aspiring artists who are just starting their artistic journey?
It's common to hear typical advice like "never give up" or "it's hard, but it's worth it." However, I believe that it's okay to take breaks and step away from your art when needed. Every artist has their unique path, and it's fine to quit temporarily and return when inspiration strikes.
My advice is to give yourself time and not force creativity. Art doesn't require a daily grind. Taking time to think, read, and reflect can be just as important as active production.
Ultimately, it's about trusting your own journey, reducing self-imposed pressure, and allowing creativity to flow more naturally.
Artworks and photograph's copywrites of this article belong to Estefania B. Flores.