I recently rejoined an Etsy Team called Horror Couture where I met an amazing artist named Lupe Flores. To say this lady is extremely talented would be an understatement to say the least! I recently got to know this artist a lot better and if she doesn't fit the concept of being sweet and twisted then I don't know who does!
My name is Lupe Flores. I was born and raised in Compton, California from Mexican descendants. I am a self-representing and full time artist. I graduated from Lynwood High School, were I met my mentor and art teacher Mrs. Christensen. She was a huge inspiration for me, and used to say, "Follow your own instincts, be yourself” and “Do what you love, and trust your gut”. I don't think I would be the artist I am today without her influence. I love to spend my days at the studio: painting, sculpting and stitching rag dolls while watching Dexter or re runs of Seinfeld.
1. How long have you been making Day of the Dead and gothic inspired art?
I have always been interested in the darker side of life since I can remember. In 2003 when I shared my artwork in myspace and facebook and I was approached by Bill the curator from Hyaena Gallery to be part of his Artist pack. I was honored and without question I accepted. Since then I haven’t stopped. Day of the dead inspired art come later around 2007, being of Mexican descendant I knew about the yearly tradition of visiting the cemetery, taking flowers to your ‘muertitos’, and praying. I wanted to incorporate that part of my life in my paintings to show my love for my culture.
2. Why did you choose this style to experiment and create art with?
When I was younger I was drawn to that. It was an instant connection. The gothic lifestyle was a place where I could just be me, even if my family thought I was worshiping the devil or something like that, lol. But I was far from that, I was just inspired by it. Nothing wrong with being a bit eerie.
3. I can see some familiar faces behind your art such as Bettie Page. How do you decide what type of character or persona you are going to make over with your edgy style of art?
Most of the time the idea comes out of the blue or like my first Bettie Page painting, it was inspired when Rick Castro curator of Antebellum Gallery invited me to be part of an exhibition called “Day of the Dead Erotica” is when I thought about the sexy bombshell Bettie Page. She was sexy to the bone and mysterious making her my perfect muse.
4. Do you do custom art or prints? If not, would you consider it?
Yes, I try to do as many commissions as possible, it’s interesting to see what my clients want, and how our ideas come to life in one work of art. One of my latest commissions was designing a rag doll for the heavy metal rock star Piggy D. It was an awesome experience! I was commissioned to do a limited first edition of 26 Piggy D Dolls for him. Dolls are selling like candy at his online website.
5. After seeing your work I am 99% positive that I could pick your art out of a box mixed with other artists work. What do you think it is about your work that makes it stand out so well?
For an artist is very important to have your own style, it’s what sets you apart from your fellow artist it’s also an extension of ones creative soul. This is what I do… I paint from my own ideas and follow my gut feeling I am not afraid of making mistakes and what you see is my interpretation of my thoughts and feelings. I am glad you noticed that about my art
6. What is your favorite item that is currently for sale in your shop and why?
Right now I have for sale day of the dead masks exclusively online at Black Willow Gallery. These masks are not mass-produced; they are hand painted by me, each one with a different design, making them one of a kind.
7. Is there anything new that you are working on that you would like to share with my readers?
I have always wanted to have my own shirt line, I currently have 3 designs but hopefully by December I will have available more designs to my shirt line of wearable art.
8. What advice would you give to someone that is a new seller on Etsy?
Etsy is an amazing site to sell your handmade items. I have been selling there for about 4 years now and I haven’t had a bad experience. My advice to any artist who wants to sell their art there is don’t be afraid! Go for it! Esty has so many features for all type of handmade artists. What I also like about Etsy is that they have “how to guides” if you ever get stuck they are there to help you out.
9. Since you are a member of the Horror Couture Team I am going to ask, what's your favorite scary movie?
One of my favorite movies is May a psychological horror about this young lonely girl who desperately attempts to connect with people and at the end she creates her perfect companion. Must see!
If you are interested in seeing more art by Lupe Flores you can check out her Official Site, her Etsy Shop, and you can also find her on Twitter and Instagram @lupesart.