Adriana Almanza is a lifelong artist. Originally from Mexico, she lives in Germany with her German husband, and they have one son. Ady is one of the most helpful, generous artists I know…she never seems too busy to offer help and assistance to her students. And, she firmly believes in teaching all she knows! It was my privilege to pose questions to her for my very first artist interview!
1. Ady, how long have you been drawing and painting? Your dolls are SO beautiful! How long have you been making them?
Well I have been drawing/painting as long as I can remember. I started to make my dollies as I was 11 or 12 years old, I cannot remember, I used to watch the Disney fairy movies and loved the big eyed dolls! So I started to draw my own dolls 🙂
2. Do you have an art background, or are you self-taught?
I love this question. I think we all learn from each other. I cannot say I am "self-taught" because I learned a lot from books, from other artists like Tamara LaPorte, and also from the amazing artwork from the old masters of painting. So we all learn from somebody, and we should also share what we learned. We all should share our artwork but also respect the art from other people and not copy without permission. I love your class "Things with Wings"!! It helped me to make my first doll and I am very proud of it! You are a great teacher! I never went to a school art, I wish I had! So I love online classes and also love to see the YouTube art videos, there are awesome great artists there! (thanks Ady…you make me blush!)
3. How did you get started living a creative life? Have you always loved being creative? If you've been doing it for many years, what encouragement or advice can you give to someone who is just starting out?
I can say ART has saved my life! I need to paint everyday to feel better! And I don´t need any luxury life or expensive clothes, just give me my Canson and some acrylics and I am happy! A good advice is: do what you love and love what you do!! If you work with your heart you will do everything right! And: be able to live without money! I mean if you really want to be a "full time artist " you have to know you won´t get rich 🙂 but you will be happy doing what you love!. So what is more important to you? Money or happiness?
4. One thing I tell my students is that creativity breeds creativity. The more creative you are, not only will you become more skilled, but you will also develop a lot more new ideas. Do you believe that is true? How much time on average, do you spend working on your art each week? Is making art your full-time job? Is it difficult to stay inspired and enthused about your work?
Well I always say to my students: "practice, practice, practice." LOL
I do believe in what you wrote, the more we practice the more creativity will develop, and we all learn from making mistakes. I am a full time artist and have my "studio" in the kitchen! So I can paint while I am cooking! Really! I paint everyday a dollie, sometimes more, I am addicted to ATC´s and also by "watching" TV with my family I am coloring some nice ATCs or some AJ pages, so my artwork is a part of my daily life, and my family accepts this. Well my son (he is 11years old) doesn´t like my dollies and even asked me not to paint anymore dollies on canvas because our house is already full of them! LOL! For me is a great deal to paint on my Moleskine or ATCs.
5. What artist/artists has been your biggest influence?
As I wrote before, all the artists from the Walt Disney movies, the work of Klimt, Botticelli, all the romantic art, Mucha, Burnee-Jones, and up to today the great art from Jenny Alcantara, Tam aka Willowing, and all big eyed artists from the past and present!
6. Your dolls are absolutely beautiful (have I mentioned that before?). Obviously you believe that even beginners can make beautiful dolls as well. What advice would you give to someone interested in taking one of your workshops, but she is nervous because she has never drawn or painted before?
Oh yes I do believe everybody can make beautiful dolls! And I have seen this by "Doll Dreams"! My students' dolls are awesome cute too and I have developed a great way to teach how to draw/paint my dollies in the "Basic Doll Dreams" workshop so even a beginner can draw her/his own dolls .
Thank you dear for this interview and for your support!!
Alles Liebe! ADRIANA
And thank YOU Ady! Your artwork is amazingly beautiful!
As soon as I saw Ariana's badge for her first workshop, "Basic Doll Dreams" on Tam LaPorte's art group Willowing, my heart skipped more than a few beats I think! I've always loved the "big eye" art from the 60s, and used to paint the dolls I designed with big eyes, but nothing as beautiful as Ady's…so of course I had to sign up for her first workshop. Since then, her group has grown and grown as word got out. As an immerging artist myself (again), I know how difficult it can be to break into the biz, especially when there are so many great workshops out there. But, Ady is a great instructor and a talented artist. Her classes include step-by-step videos with lots of help. She does break down each face into doable steps. The great thing is, you can take what you've learned from her and develop your own gorgeous faces. Her past workshops are still open for new students, and she has opened up registration for her Christmas dolls as well! Be sure to check it out!
Coming next week…an interview with mixed media/altered artist Leslie Venable! Be sure to check it out!
As always, thank you so much for stopping by!
Hugs and Toodles!