It is common for human nature to always search for a deeper meaning. A deeper meaning of thoughts, words, actions, and objects. We indeed want to have a purpose, we want to have a higher goal and a hand that guides us. But what if in all that search we forgot to create a life for ourselves? We forgot to do a small act of kindness, we forgot to build a house brick by brick. When it happens, we would recommend to you to stop and search for inspiration. To believe that everything that you wish for you can create, but you must create it with your own hands! In one of those moments we stopped and noticed fantastic work of art. An artist that carved out a whole new family, new nation, new form of life - The Bomo Family. His art pieces are like a remedy for tired eyes, and after looking at them you will notice yourself smiling. We had the pleasure to talk with the artist. A lovely human being that stands behind the Terra Humida brand, Joan Aguilà Cuevas.
Where are you from? Where does the art journey start for you?
I’m from Barcelona, Spain. My art journey started before I could even have a clear picture of what art was about. It started a little while ago, when I was 4 years old and my family brought me to what was my first dance class, since then I have explored different disciplines depending on what needed to be explored at the time.
What is the first emotion that drives you towards creating an art piece? Do you recognize the connection immediately and let yourself flow on the creative process? Or do you "bake" the inspiration for some time?
I would not be able to give you just a simple answer for this question. I have so many different emotions that can lead me to a creative process, so it is almost impossible to pick one. Sometimes it comes from a specific emotion that needs to be expressed, some other times it comes from an external input such as images, textures, stories, a book or even movies. Some days, just by doing my daily routine, an image pops up and I need to run and get my notebook in order to draw or write down the idea or what a future piece could be.
I do not have just one way of creating, it is not one or the other. I have some pieces, in which I just let myself flow and allow the piece to decide its shape. But some others, I do “bake” the inspiration for a while before getting my hands on it. Could be just because I have not enough time to invest on it or maybe because it is not the right moment for that piece to be done. Somehow, I allow specific pieces to decide when they want to be materialized, it is tricky to do otherwise.
What is the backstory of your design? Because every one of us sees the world through separate lenses. How hard it must be to transfer it to other people?
I do not have much of a story behind my design or at least not a long one, I started using clay just out of curiosity and my love for plants, all I wanted was to make some vases for the plants that needed one at that time. And this was the second piece I have created, after the most simple and not interesting square vase that a cactus is owning right now. After that I could not stop making these face motives called Bomo, trying to find different shapes, colors and sizes, at that point is when the Bomo family started to grow.
These faces helped me to get into a meditative state and deal with what was happening then, so this was all that mattered.
Since my pieces were not meant to be a product to be sold I did not feel any kind of pressure to transfer anything to other people, I just wanted to share the empty vessels for people to connect with them the way they wanted or could. I was not expecting any particular reaction from the public, because as you said everyone sees the world differently and I wanted to keep it this way.
When it comes to making a living from your art, what are the main struggles? And what would be your advice for starting artists?
I wouldn’t be honest with you if I told you that I know what all the struggles are about, it is just complicated. Maybe the one that could be a struggle would be the uncertainty, just not having a “stability” or not knowing how next month is going to be like, it is just so demanding. Since I consider myself a starting artist, I’m not able to give any kind of advice, I guess this comes with time and experience. Maybe an advice I would give to myself would be to work on my inner-self, to enjoy, trust, be patient and listen. To remember that life has a different timing, it has nothing to do with what our society wants us to believe. So it is normal that struggle and frustration appears since we are just going against what our natural cycle and rhythm is.
What do you prefer, single pieces or storytelling through a whole project? And what approach do you use in each case?
I guess, since I’m still working on the same design, idea or project, I would go for a whole project. Which does not mean that in the future I will not work on single pieces. Even though this question is tricky for me, because within this over all I treat every single one of the pieces/ Bomos as unique. Regarding the approach I guess it is kind of explained in the first question so many approaches would be possible for both possibilities.
Why do you use certain materials? What connects you with them, and makes you feel they are perfect for your art piece?
Clay is just a channel for me to create with my hands, it is a material that allows me to express myself and the other way around to allow the clay to express itself through me. It is so unpredictable, this is what makes me so curious about it. Its malleability and texture is maybe one of the reasons why I felt clay was perfect for my pieces.
What does ART, in general, mean to you?
This question depending on the period I’m in, or even the day, it would have so many different answers since Art is not just one thing and clearly not an easy one to describe So just to be fare and coherent with myself I will say is a way of living, which you can decide to live with or not and that might take so many different shapes depending on the period. Is the only answer I can give and be able to read in the future and not be surprised by it.
The FOURLINEdesign team would like to thank Joan Aguilà Cuevas for sharing inspiring thoughts with our community.