Artist in Residence: Juan Usubillaga

We are excited to announce our second installment of curated art at Cognizant Quick Left!  Juan Esteban Usubillaga (aka Onecho) was born in Caracas, and grew up in various regions of Venezuela. He began studying visual arts at the young age of 12 when he dropped out of his conventional school to attend a private art school. Here are a few thoughts that he shared with me during our interview.



Tara: What’s your background (school/degree)?

Juan:  I went to the University of Venezuela for visual arts, it was a combination of two years of graphic design, and three years of visual arts in a traditional way: painting, sculpting, drawing, esthetics and philosophy classes.


Tara: What led you to the world of art?

Juan: Growing up between a big city and a small town, wondering in the streets of Caracas (Venezuela) I used to walk or skateboard in areas of town that had a lot of Museums and galleries.

Art was kinda in my face, graffiti in the street and lots of galleries, eventually it became a weekly ritual to visit them, the feeling of been intrigued and amused by the amazing stuff that I could see freely from the sidewalk or inside the galleries, planted the seed of becoming an artist.


Tara: How do you do art? What is your creative process?

Juan: Its base on 85% of studio work, painting hours, layering and preparing colors), 10% of research on ideas of interest, and 5% of specific visions or images that give the projects a direction.  


Tara: What art do you most identify with?

Juan: Music and visual arts 


Tara: Why did you choose the medium you use?

Juan: Because it has a water quality to it.


Tara: How do you deal with creative blocks?

Juan: Relax, and have some fun or rest, listen and watch… then get in trouble in ways that might inspire you… 


Tara: What contributes to and influences your art?

Juan: Experience, science, music, mysticism, social issues.


Tara: How has your style changed over the years?

Juan: It had changed with the places I have lived in, inspired by them or as personal need to balance out my environment with the colors and images that I want or need.



Tara: What do you believe is a key element in creating a good composition?

Juan: Fall in love with space, treat it like it has a body 


Tara: What role does the artist have in society?

Juan: Get very, very close to the edge (culture, personal history, or experiences), and come back to tell and show… be an explorer of feelings and ideas, be true with ourselves.


Tara: Are there themes in your art?  Are there themes you pursue or avoid?

Juan: Yes, I always find great inspiration on light, sound, and space, atmospheric images, images inspired in experience of nature and urban environments.


Our office will be enjoying the work of Juan until the 1 March, 2017.  So if you are at Cognizant Quick Left for a meet up or have an appointment here, take a look around and enjoy the color that Juan’s work has brought to our office.