“My work is a reflection of my childhood in the Caribbean, full of adventures and magic, treasures and new cultures. To me, painting is a way to keep my memories close to my heart, a way to stay true to my roots. I want my pieces to reflect my emotions and to spill over to make you feel and breathe color, joy and optimism. I use organic shapes to create an exotic, surreal world, that blooms all around you like the Amazonas Jungle.
In fact, my work is a print of my inner jungle”
Maria Montiel (b.1981) is from Venezuela and arrived in Spain in 2007 to study Textile Design. For her, it was the best way to mix what she loves the most: illustration and graphic design. She describes herself as “an artist with a tropical soul in a Mediterranean land”.
Now based in Barcelona at the vibrant Barrio of Gràcia, Maria completed her degree in Graphic design with a specialization in pattern design in Madrid (Instituto Europeo de Diseño, 2009). With a grandfather who was an art collector and her parents architects, she developed an artistic soul from an early age.
She takes inspiration from her memories, her Dad’s orchid garden, and her travels. The jungle of Latin America with its vivid colors and rich textures blooms in her organic and colorful illustrations. Maria mainly uses watercolor to create imaginative worlds full of warmth and magic, aimed at infecting everyone with joy.
When living in Venezuela, she fell in love with the “Cayena blanca”-flower (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis) on an excursion with friends. She therefore started to brand herself under that name to create products with her prints (smartphone cases, notebooks, stationary, accessories).
In 2018, she was invited to Brooklyn by Ag Gallery to showcase her work in a solo exhibition.
She regularly proposes creative workshops in her studio, and works on commissioned work.