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Your work is quite dark with muted colours and draws from everyday scenarios—Do you tend to create from personal experience or from observing the experiences of others? Also, can you please introduce yourself?

I’m Citlali, graphic designer and illustrator from Mexico.

Most of my work comes from my personal experience, but I also tend to create these scenarios in my mind. Since I was a little girl I made up stories about everything and about myself, I’m THAT person who’s always daydreaming, so it’s kind of a mix from dark reality and a romantic fiction or vice versa.

What are you working on a the moment? Any big plans coming up?

I’m currently working on several different plans, suddenly life gave me a good friend and partner and we’re like a rock band but in art and design projects, and we’re building a small studio. We’re currently working on something called Sadlovers, where we do live drawing sets about love and breakups, but it’s all with dark humor, so it’s really fun for us and we have had really a good response from people.

Have you been met with any challenges as an artist along the way?

I think we all have faced challenges of different nature. I think I’ve had it easy mostly, I have a pretty average loving family who supports me, I’ve always had the things I needed to create, but my biggest challenge is my own mind because I’ve been struggling with anxiety and depression since I remember so sometimes the tiniest things seem difficult.

What does body confidence mean to you? Is it something you’ve ever struggled with and why?

I guess anyone can say all those beautiful words about self-acceptance and beauty not being defined by standards but everyone’s affected by those standards because we have been exposed to those concepts of beauty all of our lives since ages ago, so it’s hard to just wake up one day and suddenly love your body and accept every inch of your “imperfections” so I think it’s a constant work of reminding yourself that you’re not just a body that has to be perfect, I guess that when you get to love your mind, the body becomes something secondary in this matter.

What inspires your raw style of art? What are the best ways you've found that have refined your practice?

When I was younger I was always seeking for perfection, I thought that being a good artist consisted of making everything look perfect. Understanding that simpler traces and dirtier techniques can also look beautiful and that what really matters is the content helped me to understand these things in life too and change a little bit my view of perfection. That's what inspires me the most, those ephemeral sensations while creating and always wanting to do something new, different and better. 

When it comes to female support – what comes to mind for you? Is it positive or negative?

I’ve had both. I guess that when you start loving yourself and understanding that there are different kinds of love, and you feel happy when you see someone succeeding you look for that in people near to you, so as you start changing, your interests do too, then the people you want around you change for better. I’ve been surrounded by very powerful and beautiful women lately, and I feel very proud of them, and that inspires me the most.

Your work is very female/body inspired – have you ever struggled with those inspiration and references affecting your body image perception? Do you think social media has played a positive or negative role in your perception?

Of course is hard, because somehow we have attached to our minds those references of beauty, and social media just increases those doubts and it’s always giving us more and more images of this “ideal life and body” and we’re suddenly living in a generation that’s getting all this pressure of being perfect and having loads of money, and we need to be beautiful and successful because we have to prove it on Instagram and Facebook, and all that makes me sick, so I just post dogs, memes and drawings.

Do you have any mantras or words to live by?

Live and let live.

What advice what you give your 18-year-old self if you could?

Learn. To. Love. Yourself.

Your dream job/project/collaboration – tell us about it?

My dream job is just to keep creating and not worrying about secondary things. And about collaborations, there are so many artists I admire, but I'm currently working with my best friend and that's very rewarding, but it would be interesting to find that chemistry with other artists, let's see what life brings.

What the biggest risk you’ve taken to date? What were the pressure points and was it worth it?

I think my biggest risk was moving away from my family to a bigger city. It challenges you to find yourself with your own demons and forces you to learn to be able to be with yourself and your mind. All this attached to the fact that in this times it’s really hard to be an artist.

But I’m really proud and happy to keep listening to my gut and following my dreams, even in the darkest moments.

INSTAGRAM: @citlali.haro  +  @sadloversmx

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