Alvaro Ilizarbe

Do you find inspiration in your everyday life? If so, how?

Yes. Nature is the most inspiring. Witnessing the fibonacci sequence in our surroundings. The golden ratio. When I go on walks with my dog and hear the birds, feel the sun, hear the cars go by. It helps as a restart, a refresher if you will. Helps me get out of my head for a little bit. I re-evaluate things with a fresh mindset when I get back to work.

What would you say is the driving force behind your work?

The never ending need to create. The feeling of completing something I like. Although I might feel different about it the next day or a year from then, It’s an indescribable feeling. It’s somewhat insatiable. 

What are your most important artistic tools?

Pencil and paper. That’s where it all begins. From then the pencil gets replaced by a different tool just like the paper. For Example the pencil can become a router and the paper switches out for a sheet of ply-wood. 

What criteria do you use to evaluate your own work?

That’s a tough one. I take a step back and see how I’m adding or evolving from what I have done previously. Sometimes the work does not evolve as fast as I think it should or sometimes I feel like I might take leaps. It’s all part of the conversation I have with my work. What Is my initial observation or intention. How did that translate into the work. Am I happy with it. 

How do you find balance in your work?

Balance. I try to keep things fun. But the reality of materialization is not always fun. There are steps that are not fun but must be done to achieve the end result. When and if I’m spending too much time on the daunting tasks of the big picture I have to re-evaluatate the balance. Always thinking “keep it fun”.


Do you see your work as part of an artistic tradition? Where does your work depart from tradition and move into new territory?

Artistic tradition is beautiful. As such things start becoming a fine craft. When I find myself in the craft of things I like to take a step back. I like to work in patterns and all that patterns entail. Wether they are landscape watercolor patterns or minimal tile patterns, the art of repetition is fun. You can dive deep in industries of tradition like textile making, ceramic tile making, etc… I admire all of it but I have a hard time spending all my energy in just one. I thrive when thinking on how to make something repeat for ever. There is so much to explore there. From 2 dimensional to multi dimensional, so much.

See more from the artist, here.

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