A Day with Helena Pallarés

Get a glimpse at #TOAFtakeover, a weekly Instagram series that gives you an insight into the work and life of our artists, straight from the source. Like what you see below? Follow along on our Instagram for the full scoop.

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Hi there! My name is Helena Pallarés @helenapallaresillustration and I’m a Spanish artist and illustrator based in Paris. I graduated in Fine Arts and Graphic Design and since 2014 I work as a freelance artist specially for the international press. Today I’m happy to take over the IG account @theotherartfair and show you a little bit of my work, inspiration and creative process. I work with the technique of collage, sometimes digital but mainly handmade. I started to work with this technique 7 years ago and in the last years I’ve experimented and improved a lot my style. In the beginning of my career I used to work with paper and cuttings from old reviews and newspapers. I mixed both elements to create harmonious compositions inspired by surrealist and constructivism artworks. The only drawback was that the size of the artworks was limited by the size of the magazine pictures. This is a photo of me with a collage called <Lissitszky perspective>, a good example of this kind of composition. Throughout the day I will show you how my work has been evolving during the last years. Don’t hesitate to ask me any question! 🙂 . . . . . . . #TheOtherArtFair #TOAFtakeover #TakeoverTuesday #TheOtherArtFairLondon #theorherartfairLDN #helenapallaresillustration #takeover @helenapallaresillustration #instagramtakeover

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One of my favorite subjects to work in is portrait. I like when I’m asked about how I started to do these portraits since the story is quite funny: At that time I still worked with clippings from old magazines and I wanted to start a series of anonymous portraits. I only wanted to use the eyes, the nose and the mouth from one or several pictures and completing the rest of the portrait with paper cuttings. I got frustrated because it was too hard to find good high quality photos in the old magazines and I was always limited by the size of those pictures. I was sure than I wanted to do something bigger than the artworks that I used to do and then I said to myself « Why I don’t use my drawing abilities to sketch those big eyes, noses and mouths that don’t exist in the magazines? Let’s have a go and see what I can do with a pencil.» And suddenly I found freedom. I could just draw anything I wished in the size I wanted, no longer depending on an already existing picture. Maybe the solution was simple but it wasn’t easy to get to find it. Since then I have made a big series of portraits completely handmade. The main features are entirely drawn in pencil (eyes, mouth, nose, ears) while the rest of the portrait is made with paper cuttings, reproducing the form of the hair, the clothes and other details. Do you guess who these portraits are? ☝🏽 I will bring some of these to @theotherartfair London next 4-7 o July . . . . . . . #TheOtherArtFair #TOAFtakeover #TakeoverTuesday #TheOtherArtFairLondon #theorherartfairLDN #helenapallaresillustration #takeover @helenapallaresillustration #instagramtakeover

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Two years ago I changed small collages for bigger and bigger formats. And now that’s what I like the most. I love the possibilities that big format gives me and it is always a new challenge to face the big white canvas.  As I work in different stages, I really need to pay attention to proportion and perspective, specially when working on portraits: 1) I firstly draw the features of the character, separately (eyes, nose, mouth and ears). These parts must fit perfectly between them but also in relation to the size of the canvas. If I would draw directly on the cardboard then it will be easy to calculate things like distance, proportions and dimensions. But I draw on a separate sheet of paper, then I cut the different pieces out and I finally place them on the canvas. 2) Once I have finished the drawing parts, I start working on the flat colored shapes using the handmade drawing cuttings as the basis of the whole composition. All the different pieces of the portrait are cut independently, knowing that they need to fit well with the others in order to get the closest similarity with the real character at the same time as the portrait must keep a personal and distinctive touch. Big sheets of paper are not as easy to manipulate as it may seem. Paper is a very delicate material, easy to break, scratch, bend or get dirty. That’s why I usually work with fabric globes and tweezers. Currently I’m preparing two exhibition of big collages: the first one is a series about women in cinema and the second one it’s a tribute to some of my favorite French figures of the 20th century. However, I’m also preparing some special portraits that I’m going to exhibit in London, next month of July in @theotherartfair. It will be the first time that these big ones travel abroad from Paris. Hope to see you there! . . . . . . . #TheOtherArtFair #TOAFtakeover #TakeoverTuesday #TheOtherArtFairLondon #theorherartfairLDN #helenapallaresillustration #takeover @helenapallaresillustration #instagramtakeover

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Follow The Other Art Fair and catch #TOAFtakeover every other Tuesday on Instagram at @TheOtherArtFair

Follow Helena Pallarés on Instagram at @HelenaPallaresIllustration

Original source: https://canvas.saatchiart.com/the-other-art-fair/a-day-with-helena-pallares

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