Puerto Rican Women Killing It in the Independent Art Scene: Camila Buxeda

With the internet being so easy to access, it has become easier for independent artists to find an audience and let their work be known. As a result, a variety of movements, collectives, and scenes have found a way to pave their path. The independent art scene in Puerto Rico is no different. Recently, many artists from a variety of disciplines have found platforms that have made it easier for them to share their work. In addition, small businesses such as Electroshock in Santurce and Rio Piedras, bars like Off The Wall in Mayaguez, and libraries like La Casita Books and Gifts in Aguadilla have provided up-and-coming artists a space to display their talents. “Puerto Rican Women Killing It in the Independent Art Scene” is a series of  interviews that provides a glimpse at some of the women who have recently gained recognition in the art scene. Though the artists are asked similar questions, some are asked queries surrounding their work, specifically.


Camila Buxeda (@cocodrilox) is a freelance illustrator.



What got you into visual arts?

I’ve always been interested in art, my mother owned a gallery/concept store in the 1990’s, and my father collected political screenprints, since the 1970’s. I loved museums and going to galleries from a very young age, and was intrigued by my parents eccentric artists friends, they always seemed different and interesting to talk to.


How did you develop your style?

I think I finally developed a “style” my first years of college (Escuela de Artes Plásticas in San Juan). I was about 16, very rebellious, secretive, and sexually curious, like most teenagers, and I started making stickers of different types of women and women’s bodies, even famous cartoon women, but in my lineal style, and would put them up all over town in random places. I feel like my illustrations have definitely evolved over the years, but I’ve stuck with a theme throughout.   



How has it evolved through the years?

My lines are more precise, less shaky, I’m more confident when I draw now, and they are way more elaborate than they used to be.



What are some of your influences and inspirations?

Humans and nature are obviously a big inspiration. Humans, like nature, are emotional, and deal with day to day chaos, changes, and whatever is thrown their way, and are forced to deal with the cards they’re dealt. I’m very inspired by people in general; what they accomplish, their moods, triggers, how they act towards certain situations, the ugly and the beautiful. I find humans and nature fascinating. I’m inspired by women, the amazing women who surround me, the women that are no longer in my life, but at one point in time where great professors of life. My sisters, especially my youngest sister, her energy and vibe is almost enviable, and of course, my mother, the greatest of the Goddesses. She was one of my biggest inspirations,  her independence was definitely something to look up to. She also was the only person I knew who had an odd collection of naked figurines, and erotic classical art; she even gifted me a deck of cards of famous renaissance paintings, called “El desnudo en el Arte”, when I was very young (which I still have till this day), in an indirect way possibly inspired me to do what I do now. I’m also influenced by photographers like Dafy Hagai, Ren Hang and Andre de Dienes, and for a while was really into Laurent Benaim, who is a French erotic photographer who concentrates on amateur models and “unusual” sexual tendencies.



Is there any other form of art you wish to pursue? If so, what field and why?

When I was younger, I made a lot of ceramic sculptures and figurines. I would like to go back to that, and polish my sculpting skills. I was never any good, but I really loved the mess.



What do you think about the current state of the arts in Puerto Rico?

Puerto Rico for me has an unbelievable amount of really amazing artists. There is so much talent, in such a small island, and everyone has something to say, and the world should listen. I’ve travelled and worked in Art Fairs all over, and for me Puerto Rican art tops all of it. Any field. I dare anyone.



What do you think about the current state of the independent scene in Puerto Rico?

Equally amazing. There’s a lot of hard working independent artists on the island. They’re all astounding and people should be giving them their money!


If a young girl came up to you and said she wanted to be an artist, what would be your advice for her?

Do whatever you feel, and discipline yourself to practice your trade on a regular basis. Don’t make art just to make it, have emotion behind it, make it mean something, not for others, but for you.



What is your biggest goal right now?

In the last couple of years, I’ve reached a lot of my goals, so for now my goal is mental stability and peace. Teach myself to go with the flow. Eventually everything ends up where it’s supposed to be, and I’m ok with waiting it out, and see where things take me.



What do you seek to achieve with work?

Same as my goals.


All of the pictures in this article were provided by Camila Buxeda.