Fernando E. E. Correa González (Her Campus at the University of Puerto Rico in Mayagüez) writes about Jimena Lloreda Droz, a Puerto Rican visual artist and designer. Here are a few excerpts:
With the internet being so easy to access, it has become easier for independent artists to find an audience and let their work be known. As a result, a variety of movements, collectives, and scenes have found a way to pave their path. The independent art scene in Puerto Rico is no different. Recently, many artists from a variety of disciplines have found platforms that have made it easier for them to share their work. In addition, small businesses such as Electroshock in Santurce and Rio Piedras, bars like Off The Wall in Mayaguez, and libraries like La Casita Books and Gifts in Aguadilla have provided up-and-coming artists a space to display their talents. “Puerto Rican Women Killing It in the Independent Art Scene” is a series of interviews that provides a glimpse at some of the women who have recently gained recognition in the art scene. Though the artists are asked similar questions, some are asked queries surrounding their work, specifically.
Jimena Lloreda Droz is a plastic artist who has developed a unique way of designing costumes, puppets, and mix media. She also has a digital comic called “La Arruga,” which “explores topics of my everyday life like education, motherhood, politics etc.”
What got you into mask and costume design?
I have to say a group called Poncili Creación. When I was younger, I did illustrations and photography. I was working and studying art in the UPR (University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras). One day this art collective invited me to experiment with theater. This was followed by two tours around the United States that started with an art residency at The Bread and Puppet Theater in Vermont. I visited farms, unschool programs, anarchist spaces, independent bookstores, independent festivals and travelling families. This experience made me believe that dreams were possible. Later on, I traveled to Taiwan for the same purpose, finishing an art residency with the Dream Community in Taipei, Taiwan meant to build a carnival.
What got you into making comics?
As an artist, I experiment with all kinds of art forms. Since I was a teenager, I had multiple sketchbooks with writing and drawings. If I don’t publish them, they will be in my diary.
[. . .] How did you develop your style?
My style is related to my personal life and personality. At the beginning, my illustrations were messy, had lots of colors, textures and even stains; something like Ralph Steadman or Basquiat. I was hanging out with punks, listening to their music, going to music shows and working a lot. This teenage encounter with the city got me into wheatpasting the streets, writing dark poetry and drawing portraits of weird people. Later on, as I studied art in the university, traveled around and met other artists, I saw those cartoons turning into puppets and masks. [. . .]
What do you think about the current state of the independent scene in Puerto Rico?
In these times where communication tools are highly developed, I see people switching to independent business more and more. Still, there is a risk because there is hardly any help from the government, but we can see the scene succeeding little by little. It creates a community with their own economic system based on exchange and we should aim for that. [. . .]