Check out this amazing interview with artist Mari Trini Morales!
Mari Trini Morales, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
Since I can remember, I have always wanted to draw. My love for art started at a very early age. My father has been a great influence on me in that respect, as he is a self-taught painter. So I have always received a lot of support from him.
While studying at school, I remember on one occasion, one of my teachers told me something that I did not understand at the time but, somehow, I knew that it would have a great impact on my life. She told me: “you have a gift, but you also have the obligation to always do everything in your power to preserve it and to achieve your goals. You must work hard to achieve them, and as you do so, you will be making use of this gift …”
At that time, I was just a child and I did not understand the meaning of those words, but over time I began to develop a great interest in portraiture, always accompanied by a great fascination for cinema. This has led me to improve my skills and to experiment with portraiture in both drawing and later in painting.
At eighteen I began my studies in Fine Arts, with great eagerness to learn which would lead me later to hold two exhibitions as an individual artist: one notable example is the exhibition Drawing the other side of the black cinema shown in the halls of Kinepolis cinemas, Granada, in 2011 and the other, Cinema as drawing, in 2012.
Why art and more specifically why cinematic art?
For me artistic creation through cinema has always been deeply rewarding because, as an artist, I admire and appreciate the great contribution that painting has made to the seventh art from its beginnings. There are many filmmakers who have gone back to the extensive artistic heritage that they have had at their disposal when designing planes, scenes and even complete films; from recreations of dream worlds, located in impossible spaces, such as the famous staircase scene in the film Origin (Christopher Nolan, 2010) –inspired by the Escher engraving known as “Relativity”-, to detailed recreations of famous works of art such as the painting “Birth of Venus” by Botticelli –immortalized in the film “The adventures of Baron Munchausen” (Terry Guillliam)- or “The Night Watch” by Rembrandt, as the opening scene of “Night watching” (Peter Greenaway, 1997). So it is evident that there is a deep connection between painting and cinema, the latter being the synthesis of that reciprocal relationship between the two art forms.
What themes do you pursue and tell with your art?
As an artist I always try to have a concrete vision of the themes and genres that most interest me when developing my creations. However, I do not usually always focus my art on the same ideas, but rather I seek the existing connections between the diverse cinematographic genres and their styles of graphic representation, such as the classic film poster, portraits of actors and actresses, illustration or recreations of sketches and studies of certain sequences in films, etc. All of my production is constantly changing and developing towards the search for new approaches and motivations.
Some of the themes to which I have returned again and again have been key in this search such as, for example, the portraits of characters of Black Cinema, in which I sought to reflect their human side rather than their marked antagonist character, which was the fruit of the society in which they lived or of their murky origins; or in images of children and adolescents who starred films in which they interpreted characters dominated by diabolical forces or they were victims in gruesome dramas or psycho-thrillers.
What is your dream project?
I would love to have the opportunity to participate in a project related to independent cinema or short films. So you could say it is my desire to expand my horizons as an artist contributing directly to the world of cinema with my creative input.
What are your views of other forms of art such as comic books?
In my opinion, the graphic language of comics has always had a great connection to cinema, and its capacity to transmit meaning is closely conditioned by this connection, because it consists of the union of two forms of communication: verbal i.e. through writing and visual i.e. through images.
Moreover, the technical resources of the comic are very similar to those of cinema and, although the latter is based on a verbal (sonorous) communication and from the dynamism of moving images, both complement each other. Therefore, a very interesting duality between drawing and cinema is achieved which conditions, in turn, the use of certain common technical resources such as the control and distribution of characters and objects in space, the use of different planes and points of view, perspective games, angles, lighting, framings, sequences in vignettes…, which also are applicable in pre-production through the development of storyboards.
Is there a film or tv show you would have like to have done concept art for?
Yes, precisely it was the discovery of an incredible American fiction series, produced by NBC in 2013 and developed by Bryan Fuller in the thriller genre, which has caused in me a deep inspiration that has led me to get in touch with a lot of young artists and creative people who feel just as motivated by its outstanding quality and originality. As a consequence of this, I started to draw fan-art or conceptual art illustrations, with polychrome pencils, which opened the door to new sources of inspiration, without forgetting my origins in conceptual art for television series.
Why do you think that often times for high budget films and shows that the conceptual art is usually different than the final product?
I think that is largely due to its production, because, for obvious reasons, there is no additional material of these films before their filming, therefore, conceptual images of them are usually created to arouse the interest of the viewer. In addition, I think that they are very useful in the sense that they make the months-long wait before their release much easier, because they offer a striking vision of the project during events and conventions like Comic Con.
What actor or filmmaker do you believe has made an impact on many forms of art?
Wes Anderson is, in my opinion, one of the most important, due to his careful preparation of scenes. In each scenery and plane, we can tell that there has been profound reflection before filming, thereby achieving the perfect atmosphere in the narrative of the film.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given about the world of art?
“To create you must be aware of your own capabilities; an artist who knows his limitations is much more honest about his work than that one whose ego prevents him from seeing his failures”
Professionally, what’s your goal?
I have a great interest in traditional design or illustration applied to the production of conceptual art and alternative posters for short films or independent cinema films. In fact, for me it would be a great personal achievement to make any direct contribution to cinema through my art.
Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included?
Finally, I want to emphasize that although my previous projects have focused on the creation of posters of films which have been released already, my intentions in the future are not to continue with that kind of art, but rather to make new promotional designs of films, short films or other graphic products directly related to cinema.
How can readers discover more about you and your work?
By following me through my twitter account, where they can find me at @FinTrini, and at the link in my blog Drawing & the Seventh Art.