INTERVIEW: KAREN CANTUQ

KAREN CANTUQ


 

DESCRIBE YOUR WORK IN THREE WORDS.

Feelings, art, stories.

What does your art focus on?

My art focuses on visual feelings and stories.

What triggers your imagination?

I am a very emotional human, lol, so all these emotions trigger a lot of stuff in my mind, With time I learned to convert them into art instead of more feelings that were causing me an emotional crisis.

Who’s had the most influence on your artistic growth and why? 

More of a ‘what’ than a ‘who’. And the ‘what’ is all the stories I have lived, the good ones and specially the bad ones. Those are the ones that have influenced my artistic growth. Every great artist has a closet full of shitty stories in their lives.

Besides your computer/phone, what is the one thing you cannot work without? 

My iPad pro and a Starbucks a day keeps my doctor away. (or at least that’s what I’d like to believe).

Has Instagram influenced your work?  

Completely! I started uploading my art without any expectations, I just did it for myself to keep ‘my stuff there’ and now it makes me so happy to see that people get inspired by it. It makes my art serve a purpose. 

Name three Instagram accounts you follow religiously.

@rupikaur_

@thedesigntip

@natgeo


Tell us about your biggest failure.

Trusting the wrong kind of people caused an emotional and physical crisis. I was so sick I had to change my life completely in a matter of a few months, and that included me dropping my fourth year in med school (yes, I was in med school). I was so depressed I was desperate to find something to “entertain” my mind with instead of my own thoughts I used to make whole life scenarios that where causing me more pain than my own reality. It took me a while to understand myself and to learn to control it, and I began by “channeling” all these thoughts and feelings into photo manipulation I started using ‘Photoshop’ to create ‘unrealistic scenarios’ instead of my own thoughts. And I learned to wrap my feelings in works of art. 


Your five all-time favorite movies?

Inside Out — this is my favourite Pixar movie ever, I feel that this is what is exactly going on in my mind haha. 

Camino a Marte — this is a Mexican movie, it has an inspiring story, some love, juvenile madness, comedy and reflections about our place in the world. Is not for everyone tho, it has a very specific mood, but it has been one of my favourites lately.  

The Wolf of Wallstreet — who doesn’t love a good Leo movie? 

The Pursuit of Happiness — this movie really got me the first time I saw it (and every time really) as it makes you acknowledge and appreciate hard work. I mean I just cried the whole movie.

Nosotros los Nobles (We are the Nobles) — this is also a Mexican movie and is so funny yet real about appreciating what you have and how people need to work to own what they have in life, not everything is served on a silver platter. 

Your all-time five favorite music tracks?

Atlantis – Seafret

Blue Jeans – Lana del Rey 

Into Your Arms The Maine

Cecilia and the Satellite – Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness

Everybody Hates Me – The Chainsmokers

Who is your dream collaboration?

Making the art cover for a single or album for The Chainsmokers or Zedd! 

What keeps you going?

I want to do something splendid, something wonderful I still don’t know what or when, but I promise I will astonish. 

PhotographyEli Rezkallah