Alejandrina Herrera is an artist based in Monterrey, who has been painting for 11 years. Her precise and meticulous watercolor technique allows for detailed and sensitive compositions, as seen in her ‘Tiny Memory’ series. This sensitivity accentuates Alejandrina’s relationship with nostalgia and her interest in times passed. She draws inspiration from personal experience, her belongings and collections, her family – this explains the deep sensibility imbued in her painting.
Where are you from and when did you start your art practice?
I am from Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, which is an industrial city located in the north east of Mexico. I started my art practice while studying my Bachelor of Arts, but formally after I graduated in 2009.
How do you describe your vision for your work?
I always tend to give a nostalgic feeling to every piece I make. I like to talk and analyze diverse social aspects and sometimes comparing situations from other times against what we are living now with all the technology we use daily.
What are your artistic/creative inspirations?
I get inspired by everyday situations, my son and daughter – their points of view, my vintage toy collection, my dogs, animals in general (I’m a hardcore animal lover).
Are there other emerging artists you can recommend?
Sure! You should see the work of Henrique Da Franca (Brazil), Cassandra de Santiago (Mexico City) and Julia Diaz Garrido (Oaxaca, Mexico).
Tell me about your process.
I usually start with an idea of something I saw in my house or a particular experience I recently had. Then I make a composition with stuff (I used to draw lots of portraits but now I’m having like a still life phase) I have in my house (or not) and take pictures. Only after this I start drawing or painting (watercolor), and depending on the size of the piece it could take up to 3 months to finish one.
Do you think your work has a message? How is it received?
Sometimes I worry that the message I’m sending is too personal for everyone to get, but then I think if it is so personal then people should (and will) identify themselves in my work. I always speak from a very personal point of view that I believe is simple to get familiar with. I’m very glad to say that the very last project I presented (before Covid-19) “Lost and Found” talked about postpartum and I felt it was very well received and supported.
What do you like about the artistic community of today? What do you dislike?
I like that through social media one can get to know very talented people from all around the world and get in touch. But I really dislike the power of a post with many likes can have against one with very few. Sometimes the one with less attention, is in fact great content.
What is safe and/or dangerous in terms of experimentation?
For a person like me who works slowly, to think about experimenting is usually a scary thing. I don’t want to feel that I’ve lost time on something that didn’t turn out as I thought it would. But with the years I’ve learned that you must take risks in order to succeed. Maybe I put some days of the week to just experimenting and the rest I keep working on my regular projects so in that way I do not stop producing.
What is one lesson you’ve learned in your artistic career that you would pass on to an artist who is just starting out?
I think that the most valuable lesson I’ve learned until now is simple but true: never stop working on your projects. Even if you feel nobody cares or looks at it, you should keep doing it and I’m sure then, someone will notice your work. To be persistent is really important.
Where would you like to see your work in 3 years? What goals do you have for your practice?
I would like to have more exhibits out of Mexico. Specifically I would like to show my work in Europe, but let’s see what happens while we are in the middle of these strange times, I hope everything works great!