Born and raised in Spain, Helena Pallarés spends most of her time as a freelance illustrator. Papers, textures, and clippings from magazines are just a few of the many techniques Helena uses for her one of a kind collages. Her creations, which are inspired by the Dada movement and Surrealism, can be found in newspapers, exhibitions and fairs, publishing houses, and magazines. Check out this exclusive interview with Helena to learn a bit more about her background and style!
TH: How would you describe your style of work?
HP: I do handmade collages/illustrations using paper, cuttings from vintage magazines and sometimes I also mix collage and pencil drawing. I have different ways of working with the same technique but I always try to keep my personal touch.
TH: What drew you to get into collage making and Dadaism?
HP: I found Dadaism and Surrealism when I was studying graphic design at the university and somehow that changed my life. I was blown away by how Dada artists used the composition, the typography, and the color. It just matched perfectly my way to understand the aesthetic of design and I suddenly found the answer for many questions about the meaning of contemporary art. I immediately started to use collages as a creative tool, but in the beginning I didn’t know what I really wanted to do. So, most of the works that I did at that time were clumsy compositions mixing photo and oil painting.
TH: Did you always know you were going to be an artist?
HP: Not at all. I never realized I was going to be an artist. That is something that came with time, very little by little. Since I was a child I have always enjoyed any kind of artistic expression and I dreamt of becoming an actress or a singer, but I guess I didn’t realize that it was actually possible to make a living with art.
TH: When you’re not creating art, what are you doing?
HP: It probably shouldn’t be like that but the 80% of my time I’m creating... sometimes because I have to work on a inquiry but as soon as I finish it, I keep on working in my personal projects. And I have always someone in mind. My studio is at home so sometimes I have to force myself a little to leave and do something else. But of course I love spending time with my friends, going for a walk in Paris when it’s sunny and also swimming! I love going to the swimming pool and by the way it’s an excellent way for completely breaking away from my cell phone.
TH: What inspires you and your pieces?
HP: I get inspiration from cinema and the rock and jazz music from the 50’s and the 60’s because it’s a cultural moment that I love. Jazz arts or the movie posters from that time inspire me a lot, and also the Dadaist and the Suprematist colors and compositions.
I’m inspired by many things that I see everyday, even the music that I listen to or the people that I meet inspire me, but maybe not in a conscious way. Anyway, I feel that we all are already over-stimulated on social media, even if we don’t realize.
TH: What’s your favorite piece you have created?
HP: One that it’s not already published, it’s a secret :) But, I can tell you that it’s a portrait. That’s my favorite subject since I started to work on it more than one year ago. I draw the main features of the character: the eyes, the mouth, the nose and the ears. And then I use papers to complete the portrait. My second favorite piece is the Brigitte Bardot portrait.
TH: What jobs have you have had before being an artist?
HP: Ohh… A lot!! I have worked as a graphic designer, as an editor for a publishing house, I have worked as an English and Spanish teacher, I have done creative workshops for children in primary schools, I’ve worked as a hostess, as a photo model and even in a luxury fashion brand as sales assistant. And I have done all of that working as an illustrator at the same time.
TH: Professionally, what’s your ultimate goal?
HP: To make a living entirely with my art, being able to work wherever I want and do what I like with no time or money constraints. Is it possible? :)
TH: Are you trying to convey anything specific with your pieces?
HP: My portraits are personal tributes to people that I admire for what they do (or they did) or because of what they have influenced me in many ways.
My conceptual collages usually revolves around important topics to me: the passing of time, the childhood, the woman and the unconscious.
TH: How can people buy work from you?
HP: My prints and some of my original collages works are available for sale in my Tictail online store. However, for special personal inquiries, works or collaborations people can contact me by email or by Instagram.