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Before designing a custom Paperwallet product, our featured popular artist wasn't so sure she wanted to grow up to be an artist. Though she grew up as the daughter of both a jewelry designer and costume designer for the opera, Anna-Lina Mattar, was initially a reluctant artist. Born in Germany and raised in Mallorca, Spain, she dabbled in the artistic expressions of her parents, and was often praised for her drawing abilities in school. She was often asked to draw class posters in class or at her first jobs during the summer, which she enjoyed. However, Mattar says it wasn’t until later on, after she finished her sociology degree at university, that she knew she wanted to make art seriously.
She says, “A lot of people wanted me to do art, but it didn’t really work at the beginning. I think it’s because I didn’t really get that there is something more than just fine arts. I wanted to tell stories, not just make something beautiful.”
At age 18, she moved to Barcelona, Spain, where she has resided now for 10 years. She credits many different artists for inspiring her work. When she was young, she loved Tintín from Hergé, Petterson & Findus from Sven Nordqvist, and Asterix & Obelix from Uderzo & Goscinny. Down the road, she began to find inspiration from artists such as Edward Gorey, Camille Jourdy, Cyril Pedrosa, and Sagar Fornies. She says she’s also grateful to the many other young artists in Barcelona who work alongside her, such as Ina Hristova, Rat Mas, and Kenia Rodríguez, among many others.
A Day in the Life of an Artist
A typical day in the life of this popular artist starts around 8 or 9 in the morning, and begins with a hearty breakfast, like the traditional Castilian “Pa amb tomàquet amb fuet”, and a large black coffee. She’ll listen to the news on the radio before she begins work for the day. In the traditional Spanish fashion, she’ll take a siesta (break for rest) midday before visiting her atelier Espai Brut, for workshops in the afternoon.
Mattar likes to fill her workspace with positive and inspiring items she’s collected from over the years. Some of these eclectic visuals you might catch a glimpse of include, a postcard from a Käthe Hoch-Wilsing painting from the Freiburg museum, a little ugly souvenir with two flamenco dancers, a family of plastic pigs, Thomson or Thompson from Tintin, a diorama of a woman with her child in the kitchen in a matchbox, a duck with no beak, a portrait of her girlfriend when she was 5 years old, and an old engraving of some acrobats. At her secondary workspace she keeps it more simple, and works at a big, shared table next to an old printing press.
This popular artist is best known for her skill in drawing, both by hand and via digital art and engraving. She is a self-proclaimed fan of nearly all artistic mediums, even those that venture away from the fine arts.
Anna-Lina describes her typical creative process in the following way: “I normally have an idea of what I want to tell, or a story I want to explain and then work through different possibilities of explaining that idea. I really enjoy working with other people, writers, other illustrators, designers, and historians. Collaborating makes the process and the result much richer.”
She says she’s most proud of her most recent illustrated album, which won first prize at the “Concurso internacional de álbum ilustrado de Gran Canaria”. Though most of all, she expresses her utmost pride and gratitude for her workshop, the team leading it, and how they all work together. Though she usually is very busy working on commissioned pieces for others, like illustrations for books or posters, she enjoys the time spent creating her own projects as well. When working without a commission, she’ll go back to a little notebook where she writes down ideas and makes little sketches. From there she can nearly always find an idea that sparks her imagination and creativity.
Collaboration with Paperwallet
But how did this popular artists’ work end up on your Paperwallet wallet? According to Mattar, she was discovered at her workshop, known as Espai Brut. Elad, the Paperwallet founder, was a big fan of her work, particularly her pieces inspired by comics, like “xiringuito”. Mattar’s design “xiringuito” is inspired by a personal experience from a summer job at a swimming pool bar. Though it was a summer of long hours and hard work, she has fond memories with her friends. One specific memory she recounts involved a post-closing swim in the pool. That piece inspired the direction of her designs for Paperwallet.
You can see Anna-Lina Mattar’s designs and connect with her at www.annalinamattar.com