The Spanish artist monoperro describes his house with his partner Anak, also an artist, as a “playground. It’s full of art – it hangs on all the walls”. Here, we talk creativity, fatherhood and how to earn a living from your art work…
monoperro lives in Madrid with his partner Anak and their four-year-old son Cosmo. He works as an author and illustrator and leads workshops on monetising your art practice.
Do you remember your first piece of artwork, as a child?
I’m not sure. I think it was a drawing of my family.
What inspired creativity in you when you were growing up?
In the beginning my friends and my social environment. Then, as I was growing up, learning about myself – and my spiritual search.
Were your parents artists?
My father was very creative but he just expressed it at home. He is a natural born in-home artist. My mother was a classical singer. I think she is an artist, but only in her professional field.
What was your childhood home like?
It was a very indoor childhood. With many invented games. We made many art and crafts with my father, and small creative pieces of art.
Did school nurture you, artistically?
Not at all.
What piece of artwork do you remember feeling particularly proud of as a child/teenager?
A video that I recorded and mixed with just two VHS videos. And as well some drawings I made.
Did you go on to study art?
When did you begin focusing on art as a career?
Very late. At the age of 33.
Can you describe your work?
My work is always changing. These days, I draw. My way of drawing is based on old archetypes, and religious symbology in my own way. I also spend a lot of time giving educational workshops and private sessions related to using drawing and creativity as a self knowledge tool. I specialise in helping people to unleash and unlock the creativity within themselves.
Is it difficult to make a living as an artist?
In the beginning it was difficult, but not now. Now I realise that I can use my creativity to make money.
When did children come along, and how has this impacted your practice?
At first it was time, there was no time to work!. And now I think that Cosmo, my son, gives me focus and energy, but more orientated in creating a business out of my work.
Where do you look for inspiration now?
In old religious books and images, mostly, and in my own knowledge.
In what ways do you encourage creativity with Cosmo?
I try to stay away and don’t interfere with his games. I don’t put any pressure on him when it comes to creativity.
What is your home like now?
It’s a playground. It’s full of art – it hangs on all the walls. Our own works and a lot of anonymous pictures and religious symbols.
When do you spend time on your artwork?
All the time. Except when I’m outside with my son.
Can you describe your workspace?
It’s very simple, just a big table at home.
Any tips for other creative parents looking to make a living from their work?
Actually it´s my occupation these days, so I can say a lot about it (I have an eight-hour workshop about it!). So I’ll try to say just a few tips.
1) It’s possible to make a living being a artist. But if you don´t believe it then it will not happen.
2) You can use your creativity for your art and later for your business. It is the same creativity.
3) If something is not working then you need to change your beliefs. So start thinking that maybe you don´t know everything.
Stay in the game. And share my message with as many people as possible.
For more on monoperro: