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Autor: Alegría Olmeda (@alegriaolmeda) | We enter in her Instagram and surprise! Among the first photos, María Lemus, Víctor Alonso, Laura Vandall and her, Amanda Portillo. The artist, illustrator and ghetto (nailz) girl who, although she keeps her figure in the shade, moves like a fish in the water in the top environment of the national fashion scene. But… Who is this Spanish talent of coveted friendships?
We wanted to ask her and here’s the answer: “A curious, observant girl, who looks around looking for beautiful things as far as no one can believe there are“. There is nothing that inspires her more and makes her happier than Disney, bets on national fashion brands linked to art such as Palomo Spain or Maria Escoté and confesses to having always painted what she likes.
We look back a few years, until 2014, to return to the I Luh Yah Papi de María Escoté. The designer of the unobvious who collaborated with Amanda in this collection (which was not the only one, far from it). Amanda, in that time made hand-painted jackets for publishing houses and commissioned, but it was with her, with María Escoté, that she connected art and fashion. Since then, nothing and nobody managed to break this bond that began by stamping some of the garments with their peculiar drawings, which justified the exuberance and all the excessive imaginary of reggaeton that the collection emanated.
A few weeks ago we saw her at one of the most special events we’ve ever seen, along with Nike and Sita Abellán, in Milan. Celebrating the already known to all ‘Breaking News‘ of our spoiled it girl. She has been one of the fortunate ones to use as a canvas the iconic Nike Air Force 1 (which Sita has been wearing all time) to claim the feminine force. It’s an honor for Amanda to be able to work for the brand every time it claims her.
A whole tour full of great works that, curiously enough, have not given him all the recognition he deserves. He tells us that the reason is none other than the lack of time to compile all his work on the same platform.
Below we leave you the conversation we have had with her: -) and we invite you to get to know a little better one of the illustrator with more potential of the current panorama.
Highxtar (H) – Briefly explain to us Who is Amanda Portillo? in the third person, raise that ego! – 😉
Amanda Portillo (A) – I hate to talk about my third person, it’s from crazy people, very Aramis Fuster, with all due respect to Aramis. I’m going to try…
Amanda Portillo is a curious, observant girl who looks around her nonstop; looking for pretty things that nobody can believe there are. Amanda doesn’t stop and her mind works at a thousand an hour, sometimes she wants to hoard so much that she might get blocked. In the end she always succeeds, because nothing resists him, hence he works in many different fields of art.
H – We always read about you, designer and illustrator How much do you have of each one?
A – I’m not a designer. I suppose that I design illustrations and designs in my head where to put them or where they could fit better, maybe it’s in a garment, a wall, a piece of furniture, a shop window, I don’t know! I don’t care, anywhere I enjoy watching my work, it’s just as satisfying.
“I feel very fortunate and proud to see that all those around me now reap the rewards of what they have been doing for years. We’ve all been very crazy but very hardworking.
H – Your illustrations are sinuous and imaginative What are your references or sources of inspiration?
A – With instagram a universe of inspiration has opened up, it’s wonderful! I’ve always painted what I wanted and worked with people who gave me a lot of freedom in this, but I have to admit that instagram opens your mind. You can discover artists you would never have met and take inspiration. All of us artists have been inspired by each other since centuries ago.
This is now, but since I was a little girl my greatest inspiration, and that sounds like a topic, is Disney. Nothing makes me happier than Disney, it’s a dream! Older, I like it better. Now watching a movie, you understand things you didn’t understand when you were little. Today it’s different, but they keep the same magic from the past.
H – We know that you have studied fashion creative direction, in the current panorama the creative directions are increasingly unique and diverse… Of the brands in our country… Which ones do you think have adopted the best positioning and what do you like about them?
A – I studied fashion creative direction, but it’s not the career that most marked me, far from it. Thanks to her, the subjects were quite common to design and styling, I was able to learn a lot. I studied Humanities where my passion for art sprouted, and later animation cinema and cartoons. I think the mixture of all this has made me who I am today, for me it’s the perfect mix of fashion, art and illustration.
As far as the brands of our country are concerned, I value very much those that bet on art such as Palomo Spain or María Escoté are marvelous in that aspect, on an artistic level. But in the end, as the Pantoja once said – “the best is the one that sells the most” – hahahaha.
H – You work hand in hand with Maria Escoté providing your illustrations… How did you come to connect your art with fashion? How does it come up this creative binomial?
A – I have collaborated with her in several of her collections, she has been my friend for years, I love her work and she loves mine. I already made hand-painted jackets for publishing houses and on commission, but it was with her that I connected art and fashion more professionally. María “es la pera” (it’s a typical expression of her.).
H – From the inspirational jacket in Back to the Future or Javis to the customization of Sneakers and nothing less than the AIR FORCE 1 on its 25th anniversary… Sita doesn’t stop showing off her AF Mid with your artwork. What’s behind the design and illustrations you’ve drawn? How about experience with a giant like Nike?
A – I do a lot of work on request, but these request and editorials have come after see my work. Things I had done in my spare time for myself and for my personal closet. I have a little 90’s style, I born in the 80’s but I grew up in that decade of the 90’s, wonderful in all visual aspects. For me Nike is very nineties, and although the AF1 were born in the 80’s I think the boom gave it in the next decade. Time in wich It was also very important customize the clothes by painting it.
I have been very inspired by the world around me: my friends, the music I like, etc. It has been a cool result, it has been an honor to be able to work with them, they always call me to do things… Who don’t like a pair of Nike?
H – Sometimes we have the feeling that you like to be in the shadows, we haven’t been able to find a website where we can delight in your work and get to know you a little more… humility or lack of time: -)? Can’t you imagine the Amanda Portillo brand?
A – Above all, it is a lack of time. I’ve had a website, but because of the amount of work and the short amount of time I always have to carry them out, it’s almost impossible for me to collect everything and put my new stuff in. It’s hard to classify them all, my style is now more defined and soon you will can see all what I do, I can’t wait!
H – Barcelona has always center of a movement but nowadays we see that Madrid has a fashion scene, music, etc. really interesting and seems to have overtaken the city Condal… You are right in the center of this new movement, how is it perceived from within?
A – In fact I now live in Barcelona for work, there is a lot of textile industry here and my work is highly valued, although I do consider myself to be and have always tried to be at the center of this movement.
What you can see now is freshness, Madrid has made a complete turnaround, you breathe a wonderful air, I feel very fortunate and very proud to see that all those around me now reap the rewards of what they have been doing for years. We’ve all been very crazy but very hardworking.
“I’ve always painted what I wanted and worked with people who gave me a lot of freedom in it.”
H – About the present… What are you currently working on? Is there any collaboration on the way?
A – At the moment I work doing illustrations for different brands. I make collaborations customizing products for brands like Nike or Carolina Herrera. For the past two years, I have also been collaborating with many great brands in artistic way, making large murals that bring out my most artistic part and the one I like best. I am very happy in general, and now I also embarked on a very nice project of which you will have news soon….
H – To finish, let’s throw away the cliché… Where do you see yourself and what would you like to be doing in two or three years?
A – In 2 or 3 years I hope to be able to continue the way I am: happy, being able to live what I like and watching my project grow. I don’t usually think about the future, I’ve learned to live to the fullest of the present and do well what I have to do today, always looking to the future but without obsessing. Continue to learn and improve.
And if the question was a big cliché then the answer too, hahaha.
Thanks a lot, guys! 😉
instagram: @amandaportillo – #mustfollow