Maria Herreros – falling in love all over again
Hello my name is Maria Herreros I’m 33 years old, I’v been living in Barcelona since one and a half years and came here from Valencia. I feel very comfortable in this city I think it’s very good for my work. I am an illustrator. And I feel very good here.
What does it mean to be a woman to you ?
To me being a woman means, especially in today’s time, to fight for it to stop meaning so many things. Or that the meaning changes.That it means other things. Like strength, that it means courage, that it means generosity, that it mean sociability…and that it stops meaning things like weakness or always sacrificing oneself for others. That the meaning changes of what it means to be a woman.
What was a difficult moment you had to over come and which were the tools you used for it ?
One of the most difficult times I went trough was and who ever devotes themselves to their vocation knows, that it’s very hard to live from it, but you don’t have an option. You just have to do it or you know you will never be happy.
So I think one of the hardest times was working in other departments to be able to sustain my art work and what I really wanted to do. And finding myself very frustrated. Needing to be folding t-shirts and knowing that I would have to miss out on my own exhibition. Very hard moments in which I cried, questioned my ability to see it through. I learned this but I would have never expected things to work this way. The trajectory to success is not just going slowly but steady up ,it can be ascended bit by bit but it has many high and lows. And I think the first real low point and how you react to it is what will define you for your future. And I think that self love was what saved me from failure. Because what I did was putting faith in myself. And saying“ No no I won’t through in the towel. I won’t give up“ Why ? Because I have something inside of me that I value that is precious, that I feel is like a force that will make me able to do what I really want to do. So I bet on this, I bet on myself. I value myself and that is my way of loving myself.
Share with us a transformative moment in your life.
When I was close to my thirties , late twenties I don’t know why really , I had this second adolescence. In which I suddenly felt the urge to cut my hair, start wearing piercings. I was feeling really good, my work took a turn. I think suddenly I realized that I was starting to integrate a lot of pink into my work. Things I didn’t actually like because when I was younger I felt they where like imposed standards. So than I was going trough this very strong pink phase, in this crisis of a second adolescence that I have talked about with more woman who have gone trough it. It’s like when I was a teen I did’t like pink for example because it felt like society is pushing you into certain things that with turning nearly 30 years old you just don’t feel like anybody can push you into anything that you don’t want to do anymore. In my mind I went back to that place and re lived a second maturity, but this time I did it my way. Without pressure, without stupid stuff. It was like a turning point.
…You rebels against it ( society imposed „gilrliness“) because it feels imposed and some of us don’t like it.
I used to wear military boots. My dad has a Iron fabric and I would always ask him for the work uniforms of his employees . Metal boots, blue jumpsuits.. I used to hide my hair so nobody saw that I was wearing long hair…
The craving that I am having at this moment for the color pink is interesting because all those years back I used to actually have rage for it because it felt forced and now I love it. This is my pink phase. But I have discovered that it is a color that we all like in a primal instinctive way because it reminds us of the flesh and the inside of that time being a fetus and the insides of our mothers.
In reality before we get socialized before we get influenced..this shows in babys and infants they go for the pink o red color, always.
So at one time I forbid myself from liking it and now is when I am fully enjoying it on my terms.
What would you tell your fourteen year old self ?
I would tell myself that, yes, I would end up working as a painter, doing what I love. My fourteen year old self would get very very happy and that all those other things that worried me like being accepted, being liked and things like that would stop being important to me. And that the most important stuff would be having the strength to work as an artist. To trust myself.
And to do what I most like to do, even though people kept telling me it was going be very hard, or it was going to be impossible it was indeed possible.Even though people were telling me that I had no future that I was going to be strong enough and trusted myself enough to make my dream come true.
And that all the rest would not matter to me.
What I LÖV the most about myself is that I think I have very big empathy and I am very capable of getting into other peoples skin, and understand how they are feeling.
By reading their facial expressions or the way they move I can feel very much the way the person in front of me is feeling. .And this virtue of mine I use a lot when I am working. I can spend hours reading and learning about a person I have to portray and I drown myself in this person until I fully understand him/her. I know how and what they think because of little anecdotes, because of curiosities, because of their story , the official one and the unofficial one and I can spent much more time doing the research on the person than what I would spend on the actual painting. When I get to that point, I can start painting the person through intuition because I let my empathy guide me. This is something I have always had and has been very useful to me for my work and my life.