Puerto Rican Women Killing It in the Independent Art Scene: Magdalis Marrero

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, book stores like La Casita Books and Gifts in Aguadilla, Libros AC in Santurce and Libros 787 online, and independent festivals like Feria de Libros Independientes y Alternativos and Tintero: Festival de Cómics y Arte Independiente de Puerto Rico 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.

Magdalis Marrero focuses on visual arts and digital art.

What got you into the visual arts?

Same as most people. Ever since I was a kid I was always interested in it. As I was growing up it was hard for me to choose this as a career since society has this bad image over a college student being an artist. The usual quotes of “You’re going to die of hunger” and “That’s not a career”; it was frustrating and stressful to pick a career I was passionate about, that only I could of was art. If it wasn't for the support and acceptance of my loved ones, I wouldn't be doing what I love.

How did you develop your style?

My style has changed in so many ways; first from cartoons, then anime, to finally trying human anatomy. It’s all a mix of everything and since I do both traditional and digital,  since it’s not the same technique, I’ve developed two types of art styles with different medias.

How has it evolved through the years?

My talent has evolved in many ways through the years. In my high school there wasn’t an art class so I was self-taught, watching tutorials and looking up artist’s works. Now I study in college to achieve my bachelors degree in the arts.

What are some of your influences and inspirations?

Many of my influences and inspirations are either long dead or very much alive, in the visual arts: Leonardo Da Vinci, Francisco Oller and Vincent Van Gogh, and in the digital arts: Jacquelin de Leon, Joe Quinones and Jen Bartel.

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

For now, I wish to pursue the field of animation. I love seeing the hard work it takes to fulfill a good set of layers in results of a cartoon to flow as if it was real person. I also have stories that have been a thought for many years and I hope to bring those notes into a movie that everyone can see to appreciate my work and it’s story.

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

They are highly under appreciated; the recognition that it deserves isn’t present at the moment. Although, I’ve seen many art associations that do many projects to educate, spark interest and make people learn it’s value. In a near future, this will bring everyone to be fully aware and be respectful towards artists and their works, but for now we are just starting and still in the lower process of that.

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

I have no comments to make of this situation. Many have their own opinions. My own will be reserved.

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

Practice and do what you are passionate about; the dedication will provide the final results.


What is your biggest goal right now?

My biggest goal is to keep making art in both traditional and digital and to be able to show my works in exhibitions and conventions internationally.

What do you seek to achieve with work?

What I seek to achieve with my work is for everyone to view and admire what I see and create in their own perspective, to respect and appreciate all fields in arts, to inspire and give hope for others to pursue their goals.


All of the pictures in this article were provided by Magdalis Marrero