Studio Visits: Ines Maestre | HYPEBEAST

“I found the strength and energy to create.”

What were your earliest memories of art?

I actually studied fashion design before, but I was always painting since I was a child. My family always pushed me to work, so I was always doing art on Sunday as a hobby.

It was hard for me to realize that I could make a living out of it and dedicate my life to it. For me, this option didn’t exist when I was in my early 20s.

After fashion, I started to get commissions with magazines to do illustrations and paintings. From there, I would get proposals to do exhibitions — which at the time, I was living in London and started meeting people who were doing the same thing. So it was a kind of revelation to me. So I told myself, ‘I’m going to quit fashion and start working on this.’

Over the years, I was juggling trying to develop my practice, while taking on client work. Last year, I also finished my masters degree in fine art.

Along the way, there were any artists, designers, musicians or movements in particular that inspired you along the way.

One of my biggest inspirations is music — I always feel it when I work. I want to paint in the same way as a songwriter writes a song. I’ve always just felt very linked with music in general. My taste is everywhere and sometimes my pieces can have a song from David Bowie, but also a portrait of say Bad Bunny.

I think my practice is linked to pop culture in that way — representing the present moment.

Also on fashion, I read that you became unhappy with it. Can you recall what specifically turned you fully to art?

I was always trying to do creative stuff inside my role. I felt very limited and didn’t want to spend the rest of my life doing this work — from 8am to 6pm.

As previously mentioned, whenever I finished work, I went home and started painting. Sometimes from 7pm to 1am. Of course it was exhausting to do this, but at that moment I found the strength — because I was so tired and felt like I really need to feel ‘realized’ in my life somehow. I found the strength and energy to create.

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