Carla Lucena
Illustration & Art Direction


The style quandary


"If you show the real thing, you kill it". - Cristoph Niemann

One of my favorite things of summer is having the chance to stay a few days in a particular golf club hotel of the many that are in Costa del Sol. It's not luxurious in the traditional way and I don't even play golf, but it has two unbeatable features: rooms with access to a not crowded beach in high season and it's filled with midcentury details that are in perfect synchrony with an updated interior design. Specially the gorgeous collection of (unfortunately) anonymous geometric prints.

I scrutinized them every time I walked the halls or sneaked into the gorgeous golf club installations. They were mixed media originals, composition exercises, without any trace of signature or name. They reminded me the kind of prints there used to be at the entrance of midcentury constructed buildings along the north mediterranean coast, but that were tossed away when these were remodeled on the 80's and 90's. And now they are gone for good and I don't even know these masters' names. I haven't give up on my research, though.

So here's the quandary. I've been theming my work as midcentury for almost 4 years now, but I thought in doing the true midcentury thing. Instead of showing those 50's to 70's spaces, creating my own version of the kind of prints you'd see in those places.

This is the opposite of what I've been illustrating until now in therms of reality, shapes and even colors. And the dilemma is that Illustrators are supposed to have a coherent portfolio with one unique, personal and easy to recognize style, so this aesthetic movement seems risky for my work presentation. Although I see plenty of opportunities to apply this pattern -styled illustrations and show my professional passport at the industry's formal borders.

I think I'm definitely going to give it a try. We'll see how I manage to update my portfolio without getting rid of the previous work, like those inconsiderate refurbishers did with those true moderns jewels.

Carla LComment