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Estefania Dominguez Cagigao: Exclusive Interview

 Copyright © 2015 Estefanía Dominguez Cagigao
I am pleased to share with you my exclusive interview with the renowned Galician illustrator, painter and photographer Estefanía Dominguez Cagigao. Born in A Coruña, Galicia, her passion for the arts began very early, with a sheer influence of Galicia and its Celtic roots on her creations. She unveils on each artwork her ancestral spirit with a special devotion to animals, menhirs and dolmens, and the inevitable presence of the forest and the sea.

There is a captivating quality of her works: the choice of colors, the presence of the green, Celtic symbolism and a diaphanous magic that intoxicate us and takes us to a place of dreams.Endowed with a special gift, Estefanía is used to transfer on paper, the magic of the stories and the legendary characters that have always accompanied her as part of the Galician imaginary.

Her musical tastes range from traditional music, through folk, Celtic and "new age" styles. These same genres facilitate a magical and relaxing ambience, perfect for moments of artistic creation. This is how her work is nourished by references to Galician culture. Inspired by the oak tree forests, and the magic of nature and animals that are or was part of her family (she collaborates with many associations that defend animal rights).

 Copyright © 2015 Estefanía Dominguez Cagigao
A theme also present in her photographs, which are mostly portraits of nature, where the vast beauty of the land is shown and through which the defense claims, recovery and conservation of native bush lands, so battered in recent decades.

Her painting and illustration styles are based on traditional techniques such as oil or watercolor, without forgetting the crayons, graphite or contemporary techniques such as digital illustration. It is gratifying to see step by step of these processes of creation in her YouTube channel.

She is graduated in Graphic Design applied to book printing, and was for many years professor of art at the "Youth Association ‘Xacarandaina’". Trained at the School of Arts "Pablo Picasso" from A Coruña, Galicia, she is currently working on several personal projects in the cozy and bright studio of this Atlantic City where she was born.

Among her best known works is the cover and interior art for the last four albums of the acclaimed Galician folk band "Luar Na Lubre", and as a reference of this collaboration is why my interview begins:

Being an all time fan of the famous Galician folk band "Luar Na Lubre"...Please tell us a little about how you turned convened to illustrate the art of their recent albums.
 Copyright © 2015 Estefanía Dominguez Cagigao
"Actually, I am a follower of Luar Na Lubre since its very inception. As a group with origins in A Coruña, I have attended almost every concert in the city. I admire them. They are one of the best folk groups that currently exist worldwide. Their leader, Bieito Romero, saw my works at social networks, and from there came his contact and the proposal to collaborate with them in their last four albums: "Solstice," "Mar Maior", "Sons da lubre nas noites de Luar" and "Torre de Breoghan". Commending my brushes to the service of their music has been a fantastic, wonderful, and very rewarding experience".
 Copyright © 2015 Estefanía Dominguez Cagigao

Since you started drawing as a child... do you sense this as something natural? …or is it a personal quest of your own Galician Celtic roots?.

"The Celtic culture, nature, and animals has always been present in my work. In Galicia we are lucky to enjoy a valuable natural and cultural heritage. We have the duty to protect it. I love everything that is in my land because I grew up surrounded by its beauty. I enjoy the magic of their forests, legends and its Celtic past. It is said that the Celts considered as sacred different landscape elements such as rocks, fountains, trees, and for which held a special admiration... My work is influenced by all this. "

¿When did you discover this wonderful community you keep with animals and nature?.

"As animals are part of nature, therefore they are also present in my work. Whenever I disagreed with how they are treated by humans. They are beings with the capacity to feel and that makes us equal. We must change the way we relate to them. As an adoptive mother of three cats I rescued from the street, (two of them in a poor state), I got more aware of this reality in the past recent years.
I collaborate with several organizations that defend animal rights. In recent times, the consciousness of animal protection has grown in my country. We want a society free from all kinds of abuse and the abolition of those festivals where violence against animals is exercised, as well as the creation of laws that shall truly protect them."

When you decide to capture and create your so called "photo-interviews"... how do you conceive them? ... do they occur spontaneously or is it that you feel a special call of Mother Nature?.

"I try to plan every photo shoot because it helps things go well, not to waste opportunities, and maximize the" good weather ", but not only in a meteorological sense. Aspects such as the quantity / quality / light color, the season, the wind speed and direction, the look of the trees and plants, the amount of water from streams... are all important. But oftenly, when you get to a place, there are always things that surprise you, and it is when you see the image you had in mind or better. As valuable as planning ahead, we should  recognize the right shoot at the right time.  Looking  intently to every detail is a fantastic starting point  to learn about the natural environment as an exercise. You get the energy and magic that flows from  the place you're portraying. “

“What is your creative step for all disciplines you manage, namely: drawing, oil painting, watercolor, photography, digital art, illustration with graphic tablets ... do you think that each of them allows you to develop yourself on a singular creative way?.”

" They are different means indeed, but the creative development is similar. The magic of a brush cannot be replaced by a digital pen, but each work requests a particular technique, depending on technical and aesthetic factors. My digital creations often have the appearance of a work made with traditional techniques because they have a basis of a drawing on paper, and there is also an aesthetic intention on it. The process of creating in traditional techniques and building on them, has greatly facilitated the subsequent adaption to the graphics tablet, which offers a universe of possibilities,  and in many ways it makes work easier. All techniques complement perfectly to each other in my creative line."

Hereby one of her wonderful promo videos available at her YouTube channel...

My special thanks to Estefanía Domínguez Cagigao for sharing her time and thoughts with all of us!  

 Copyright © 2015 Estefanía Dominguez Cagigao

Feel free to take a look at more examples of her work at her OfficialFacebook Page, which she constantly updates with seldom content, as well as these other links:

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