Lia Porto’s paintings make me think of magical, landscapes filled with flora — like tropical forests, lush gardens, and underwater worlds. Part of what makes her work so engaging for me is that the organic shapes and patterns still have an abstract quality allowing you to create your own interpretation and your own connection with each piece. And the large scale of many of her paintings make them even more captivating! In her interview Lia touches on how her childhood in the remote region of Patagonia has influenced the composition of her paintings, recounts an unexpected success she experienced early on in her career, and shares her interpretation of what inspiration is. Thank you Lia! -eden
Where are you based?
Buenos Aires, Argentina
What three words would you choose to best describe your artwork?
Has your childhood had a significant effect on your work? If so, paint us a picture of what your childhood was like in words? (If you have an image you would like to share, please do.)
I was born in Patagonia, where I lived during my childhood, so I spent my early years in a very special place, and in an almost never-ending winter. The experience of that silent and mysterious landscape is a background that appears in many of my works hidden behind the colorful layers.
Have you had a formal art education?
I have a law degree and post graduate degree at UBA (University of Buenos Aires). I studied painting and engraving with several masters, but not in a formal context.
Was there a specific moment when you knew you wanted to be an artist?
In my early years I fell in love with writing, especially with poetry, but I got to a point in my life where I just knew I was a painter.
What was the first piece of art that you sold? How did the sale come about?
I don’t remember this exactly, but an important early sale experience was at an art fair where I had my own stand and I practically sold out. It was a surprise for me.
Tell us about what inspires your work.
I usually say that my main inspiration is nature. That is because being in contact with nature always gives me a fresh power to create… and because I use organic shapes….and because I draw on natures’ rhythm. I use this natural rhythm to create the natural harmony that each piece requires. Everything that has an impact on my senses — yoga postures, clothes, landscapes, food, music, feelings, etc. — somehow gets incorporated into my painting.
When you feel a lack of inspiration, how do you find it again?
I believe that painting is a practice. Painting on a daily basis allows you to experience different levels of energy, different levels of vibration. And painting is also a language that gives us the chance to materialize the energy we are in contact with. Because of this, I prefer to not talk about a “lack of inspiration” but just a different level of energy… so the answer for me is just to keep on working.
What materials and/or tools do you use to create your work? Do you have any favorite techniques or processes that you are willing to share?
I love materials! When I am at my studio I normally work with acrylic on canvas, but at home or when I travel, I always have papers and watercolors, pencils, ink, and gouache.
Approximately how many pieces of art do you typically create in a year?
I don’t really know. But I can say that I put a lot of energy into each piece, even the small ones.
How do you make money through your art? Please explain what works for you and why. (For example: selling originals or prints online or in galleries, doing commissions, working with major brands, etc.)
I sell originals and canvas prints.
Do you “make a living” as an artist? If not, how do you primarily support yourself?
Yes, I do!
What have you found to be the most successful way(s) to market your art? Do you have any tips to share?
I have no tips. I just move under the conviction that my goal is not only to paint but also to communicate. I don’t work just for me, I work for others.
How would you describe the “business” of being an artist?
Maybe the main point for me today is that we live in an open and interconnected world. An artist’s work can resonate with anyone — it doesn’t matter in what part of the world they are.
What is your favorite thing about being an artist?
I really have two favorite things about being an artist: the first one is to connect with freedom, and the second one is to connect with others.
Who have been your biggest supporters?
Martin, my husband.
Do you have any current obsessions, art or non-art related?
Yes!! Kapotasana (an impossible yoga pose that is in my series).
What piece of advice would you give other women who are pursuing careers in art?
I always find a kind of power in action — the action of painting and then the action of continuing to paint. The main point is to keep working, and for that you need determination. And you also need to trust in what you are doing.
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