Sonia Alins: Dones d’Aigua

Zealous Stories: Illustration winner, Sonia Alins, is focused on the creation of art with a poetic narrative. Sonia’s aim, is that through the relationship between the figures and aquatic medium, the viewer can experience the soul, emotion and energy of the character.

Sonia Alins, Dona d’Aigua X. Calm sea, 2018 

Congratulations on winning Zealous Stories: Illustration! Your winning series Dones d’Aigua II focuses on the aquatic medium. Why is water such a significant part of your work?

Water is very important in this series: essential, in fact. That is because, from the moment I imagined the first artworks, I knew that water worked great to amplify emotions, which helped me express, with more intensity, the feelings that I wanted to communicate in every piece. Apart from this, the sensation of weightlessness inside the water allowed my characters to move in a more dynamic and expressive way.

Your work is often associated to your dreams, desires and nightmares. Do you find that drawing on personal experience enhances your creative process?

I don’t know whether it enhances my creative process, but basing my art on my personal experience, associating it with my inner life, letting my feelings flow through my work, makes my art something intrinsically mine. I think that art has to be personal.

Sonia Alins, The Swimmers, 2017 

Your work The Swimmers has a more playful tone in comparison to the rest of the series. Could you tell us a bit about what inspired this work?

After the first “Dones d’Aigua” series, where all the feminine characters were immersed in limiting situations, suffering and fighting for their lives, I felt the need to create a piece that was a total change from the previous pieces, that gave way to a more positive view of life in tune with a moment of great happiness in mine.

Your materials play a key role in expressing elements such as transparency and blur. Could you tell us about the process used to create your tridimensional canvases?

My work method is completely handmade. I create tridimensional scenes where I use different types of materials (such as paper, printed papers, tulle, threads, plastic and, sometimes, objects), and where I insert my characters, always looking for the right level of transparency and blur, to give the maximum expressivity to the ensemble. I love to see how people get surprised with the final result, even more knowing that most of these people haven’t seen the originals: the real sensation of depth and beauty of these pieces is felt when watching the originals.

Sonia Alins, Water Woman VII, 2017

Some of the women in your works float calmly on the waters surface, whereas others appear in a desperate struggle. What do these opposing characters symbolise?

The characters in my artworks symbolise me and my condition as a woman. They represent, in a surreal and poetic way, different emotional moments that I have lived. They are sensations that I capture in my characters in the way I have felt them. As I said, my art is intimately linked to my life and, like in anyone’s life, there are days when you feel happy, relaxed, comforted and others that, on the contrary, you feel that you don’t have air to breathe, that something stops you, that sorrow drowns you. Actually, I regard myself as a very passionate and sensitive woman and I live every situation in my life very intensely. That said, I am happy to know how there are people who, viewing my artworks, incorporate them to their experience and also feel reflected in it.

Sonia Alins, Water woman XX. Beyond the reality, 2018 

What criteria do you tend to use when critiquing your own work?

Well, I’m very focused on the composition and the expressiveness of my artworks. I am very demanding with the results of my work. So, this means that I prefer to repeat an artwork if there is something that is not working the way I want it to.

As a freelance illustrator, how do you ensure that you maintain your own aesthetic language across all of your projects?

I feel very lucky. My clients like the personality of my work, therefore, with most of the commissions, I am free to implement them according to my aesthetics.

Sonia Alins, Medusa , 2018  (24th Catalonia Latin American Film Festival)

Sonia’s work, Dones d’Aigua II, was selected by industry guest judges from Team London Bridge, Cluster London, Made in Arts London and Creative Quarterly.

Sonia also won a portfolio review from 3×3 Magazine and a subscription to Elephant Magazine.

See her work on our homepage. 

Website / Follow Sonia on Instagram

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