Venezuelan-born collage artist Maria Sylvia Llamozas, better known as ia Llamozas, is living the dream. Beginning her art journey as a hobby in 2012, she started exhibiting her work two years later and in 2018 she managed to make her art her full time job, collaborating with magazines and top brands like Vogue Spain, Neubau Eyewear and Q Mode. Currently based in Spain, her work is super fun and colourful, and she even offers online collage experiences! We spoke to ia about her art world sheroes, the art scene in Barcelona and her plans for the future.
What first drew you to art?
I have always loved art, but I would definitely say Barcelona drew me to art. I was born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela, and moved to Barcelona in 2008. It’s such an incredible city to live in, you’re surrounded by amazing art and architecture. Gaudi, colorful mosaics and organic shapes, Picasso, Dali, Miro and so many great exhibitions happening all the time stirred something inside me that just inspired me to create and learn.
Can you tell us about your collaging journey?
So it started in Barcelona circa 2012 when I started taking classes and doing online courses. I started sharing my work through social media and had a great response from friends and family. In 2014, I started exhibiting my artwork in Barcelona, in different venues, and still continue to do so. Since 2018, I have collaborated with magazines and brands helping me turn my hobby into my full-time job. Currently, I’m also teaching collage which is such a rewarding experience.
What is the art scene like in Barcelona?
VIBRANT! Barcelona is filled with creativity in every corner: street art, galleries, museums. It’s a fantastic city to get inspired by and to create in. It is true that there is a lot of competition because there are lots of upcoming artists, but art is part of the culture in a city like Barcelona. Bars and restaurants usually have art exhibits on their walls, the graffiti scene is amazing, and so many great galleries and art museums really make space for everybody wanting to participate. I am incredibly grateful to live and create in this city!
Who or what are your inspirations?
I am inspired by everything around me. The city, art, architecture, even the weather can inspire me. My husband is also an endless source of inspiration. He is a photographer, we get inspired by the same things, but working with him and watching him work really motivates me to want to create myself.
Who are your art world sheroes?
Frida Khalo, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Esther Ferrer are amazing women I admire and consider heroes in the art world. But nowadays, something great about all the connectivity we have is being inspired and discovering new artists on Instagram. You can see what inspires them, and how they work which I find amazing!
What advice would you give to young women wanting to make a career as an artist?
First, to do the work, like Picasso said “Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working”. Perseverance in your work will lead you to improve, develop your own style, and have a portfolio to show. My second advice would be not to be shy and contact people, apply to open calls, write to people you admire and wish to work with, of course, you will receive many “no’s” and no answers but all it takes is one yes to maybe change it all for you!
What are your plans and hopes for the future?
In a way, I feel I’m just getting started, and this gives me great hopes for the future. I want to continue exhibiting in Spain but maybe also in other parts of Europe, the USA, or Asia. I want to work with brands and magazines to create great collages for them. And I wish to continue teaching maybe also abroad. It’s hard to imagine where your art can take you. I like to let things flow and happen naturally when they’re meant to happen. I just wish to continue to work to open the possibility of great things happening.
Text Lizzy Vartanian