From an early age, Valencia-based illustrator Cuca Berenguer understood drawings as a valuable means of communication and expression of feeling. It’s something not lost in her current practice; one radiant with colour, irony and child-like wonder.
Her practice, Cuca tells us “is a place where I feel safe and can have fun,” using everyday objects, colour and humour to “represent a parallel reality with a kind of emotional touch.” The command of colour Cuca maintains within her visual style results in the element becoming a character in its own right; an ever-present foundation for Cuca to present her thoughts and feelings. “My mother has an obsession with coloured pencils,” Cuca explains, “colour has been very present in my life since I was a child.” This familiar context to her work becomes apparent in her crude, juvenile but incredibly considered mark-making, skilfully resulting in beautiful images rife with a feeling of wonder and nostalgia. Recently, Cuca remarks, the colours and forms in her work have been influenced by “old cereals and old food posters.”
Feeling almost effortlessly joyful, the work Cuca produces is a discipline in practise and refinement. After starting each individual illustration she tells us: “I try to reproduce it in several techniques and create very fun and interesting changes.” Utilising a diverse range of mediums – from digital illustration and design to painting, murals, ceramics, animation and tattoos – Cuca intends to further develop her 3D and animated skill sets. “I like the models I have made in clay or the laser-cut sets I created for a friend’s concert,” she tells us. “I would very much like to continue in this line, even in furniture or toy design! Who knows!”
The process of Cuca’s work is what she finds most rewarding, telling us “the magic result when suddenly it seems that the characters, shapes and colours take on their own life and connect with the spectator” is one of great value and where her work thrives. What she finds most important about her practice is “to make an ironic point of view of problems or concern…” explaining that “I understand problems and concerns are just as important as joys and achievements, I like to put them together in a space where they play with each other.” In doing so, Cuca creates a small world, “where the reality of everyday life ends up transforming into a setting where a certain language and specific characters make sense.”
Cuca’s home of Valencia has become a great source of inspiration to her. “I am lucky that my environment is a great source of continuous ideas,” she says, going on to explain that “here in Valencia, a musical and creative movement is emerging… and being a little city means we all know each other and it is very accessible.” Another key influence in Cuca’s work is music; by listening to songs all day, every day, she often gets “a quote, a word or an idea” stuck in her head and connecting to her in some way; be it the feeling of something she’s going through or even a movie she’s watched. From there, “I can develop the concept that interested me” Cuca explains. “My environment, my family, my friends, are also part of this process,” Cuca tells us, explaining how conversations and chats from her daily routine are “always a course of inspiration.”
“I would like to be able to live from my work in a more stable way,” Cuca tells us, whilst discussing her fascination with entering “the audiovisual world” through installation design, as well as continuing to do album artwork for the other Valencia-based creatives. Looking ahead, Cuca optimistically adds: “You never know what awaits you! Who knows, new things happen every day!”
About the Author
After graduating from Winchester School of Art, studying graphic arts, Harry worked as a graphic designer before joining It’s Nice That as an editorial assistant in March 2020. Feel free to get in contact with Harry about new and upcoming creative projects.