The Artist

Artist Statement

Creative Compulsion

As per the type of artist that I am, it has always been very challenging for me to write about my work as a whole. The eclectic nature of my work and creative psyche makes it challenging to summarize in an eloquently-worded-biography package tied with a tidy-artist-statement bow. I create for the sake of creation and I create because I have to. Even though I love it, it can sometimes be a challenge because it isn’t a choice. If I’m not creating, I don’t feel connected to the balanced side of myself, the authentic side. For me, creating is more than an innate passion; it’s an obsession.

MultARTfarious Musings

In regards to my paintings specifically, I always let my muse take me where she will. Although I have certain styles that I return to, my work is diverse in the extreme. One day I will pick up a ruler and lay down the exacting background lines of my next cubist piece and another day I will pick up a sponge and start bleeding together the colours of my latest contemporary abstract colour work. It’s my opinion that the truest form of creative expression can’t be achieved without complete artistic freedom. That is why I present my work under the catch-all title Multifarious Musings. It is very representative of my creative process and artistic approach.

My Signature Styles

Martinis-and-Music-webMy contemporary cubist work is a visual commentary on my preoccupation with perception: how one person perceives the world around them and the ways that it differs from how someone else perceives it. I’m fascinated by the fact that individuals can look at the same thing and yet each person can see something completely different. We are all shaped by our preconceived notions and our individual ideas, which gives each of us a completely different perspective when we “see” something. How many times have you heard someone say “I didn’t even see that!” after you commented on something you were both looking at? It’s amazing that our individuality colours everything. Our personal observations lead us to have a unique experience with an object that physically presents itself without change to each person. We all make different connections with the visual world around us and we all notice different connections between objects in our visual plane.

The abstract approach to my contemporary cubist work allows me to create an anomalous composition, removed from the constraints of realistic physicality. Overlapping shapes with a mix of continuous and fragmented lines present the viewer with innumerous possibilities for making connections, providing an atmosphere for varying interpretations and experiences. In that respect, it is in keeping with prototypical cubism and its rejection of compositions depicting natural or realistic forms. However, my earlier work has a flattened aesthetic that varies from the multiple-plane approach of many original cubist artists. In my more recent work, I take an even bigger step away from traditional perspective by exploring varying vantage points and losing the rigidity of compositions mostly comprised of perfect geometric shapes.

My pop surrealist work is the result of my need to purge emotions. Often these emotions are very discordant in nature and need an outlet. These overwhelming feelings are almost always the result of a negative experience so the work tends to have dramatic or melancholy undertones. Sadness, anger, guilt and the like move my brush across the canvas and to be quite honest, that release helps me maintain my sanity. I mourn and rage creative through my work because I feel that this approach is a much more constructive method of venting than others that I could use instead. In this respect, my pop surrealist pieces are more personal to me than some of my other styles. At the very least, they leave me feeling more vulnerable and exposed when I share them with the public.

Speaking aesthetically, my pop surrealist style is much more primitive than the work of Mark Ryden or Nicoletta Ceccoli (two of my idols), who show much greater technical mastery and classical influence. The emotion that I’m trying to purge dictates the colour palette for each piece, so you’ll find some compositions whispering somber black and others screeching angry crimson. The work is also riddled with metaphors and symbolism. It can be very therapeutic to paint someone that breaks your heart as an eyeless, hydra-like, baby poo toned, mucus-covered slug-like creature that is slogging around in black, tar-like sludge.

Marblesque - PaintingI refer to my abstract work as my art therapy.  As a Meyers-Briggs INTJ, I tend to be a bit of a perfectionist and in my aspiration to reach such high standards, I can get stuck up in my head, ruminating on extreme details.  My abstract work allows me to access a freer side of myself and I tend to want to create these pieces when I’ve been working on some other tedious project for too long.  As opposed to trying to convey something visually to others, these pieces are more stream of consciousness art than anything else.   Their creation is more about my experience of an unencumbered process.  I focus less on what I’m trying to say with the work and more on the tactile sensation of the textured canvas under my fingers, the feel of the sponge or brush in my hand and the beautiful but random melding of colours on the canvas.  Although I inevitably end up with a finished piece, the work is not about the final composition.  Eventually I would like to have a fuller explanation for these pieces but to sum it up for now, it’s more about the art methodology and the effect of it on me, the artist, as opposed to creating a message for the viewer.

El-PeloI’m not going to lie. Work placed in this category ends up here because I just don’t know how to classify it any other way. It’s not that these works take any less effort or time to create, and by no means are they less important to me than my other work. It’s just that I allow myself the freedom to create whatever I feel like in the moment and sometimes what comes out doesn’t fit in with any of my other styles. The pieces in this category are often aesthetically primitive but have enough detail to keep them from fitting into my abstract portfolio. The colours are generally vibrant and the subjects are often playful but other than that, there really aren’t any commonalities that describe the work as a whole. Although these pieces can take me much longer to finish that work from my other styles, I consider these paintings to be the product of my artist “playtime”.

The Road to Self-Representation

This approach to my work runs contrary to current art-as-business ideologies and understandably so. How can a gallery owner build a loyal following for “inconsistent” work? How can a curator develop an impactful exhibition if there is no clear message? How can an art dealer market the work if aesthetics are all over the map? Short answer, they can’t. Don’t misunderstand me. This is not a shortcoming on the part of these esteemed professionals. Moreover, I adore galleries and spend quite a bit of my free time in them. They are an integral part of building cultural appreciation and social awareness through the representation, exhibition and collection of contemporary and historical art. At this time, however, I choose to pursue my art through an exploratory and organic method that may not culminate into a collection easily palatable by formal art establishments. I’m ok with that. I knew early on that I would champion complete artistic freedom and therefore, self-representation was the obvious choice.

Artist Biography of Cherlandra Estrada

Cherlandra Estrada is a contemporary Canadian artist residing in the Fraser Valley of beautiful British Columbia. Her passion for all things creative started at an early age, although she did not pursue painting until later in life. Believing at first that painting would just be a hobby, her early works were mainly decorative. However, her home was quickly filled with proof of her enthusiasm to perfect the techniques of this new creative outlet. To move her pieces, Estrada utilized the sales and marketing skills that she had honed through years of working in the corporate world. She opened an eBay store and joined EBSQ, an online self-representing artist community, where she won a People’s Choice Award within a couple of years.

During the early stages of her painting career, Estrada returned to school in order to facilitate a move to a more creative professional path overall. With the intention of leaving office work behind indefinitely, she attended the Emily Carr University of Art & Design, as well as the British Columbia Institute of Technology, to complete the intensive Design Essentials program. She did so with distinction in 2008 and immediately started Graphein Studio, her own graphic design and marketing company. A few years of running her business while still working administrative jobs made it especially challenging for Estrada to carve out time for her fine art. In 2015, Estrada decided to turn to creativity full-time, launching her new online home, cherlandracreative.com.

Since the beginning of her art career, Estrada’s work has been showcased in several municipal buildings throughout B.C. as well as in private galleries within the Lower Mainland. She loves to participate in self-representing artist events and her work has been included in joint exhibitions at independent galleries such as The Glass Onion Studio & Gallery in Vancouver. She often attends community events, such as the Arts Alive Festival in Langley and more recently, the Wine & Art Walk in Abbotsford. Estrada also likes to give back artistically and a highlight of her career was her participation in the art auction fundraiser at the Stanley Theatre in conjunction with the renowned play, Waiting for Godot. Via the internet, Estrada sells to collectors all over the world, although most of her work is in private collections within Canada and the U.S.

Estrada practices under the title of MultiARTfarious which she uses as an umbrella name to refer to her eclectic body of work. This name is a reflection of her personal creative process as well as her approach to personal artistic growth. Estrada allows her inner muse to dictate what she will paint next and this unrestricted approach results in varying styles. From the intricate lines of her cubist work to the free-flowing colours of her contemporary abstract pieces, she believes that the truest connection with creative expression can’t be achieved without complete artistic freedom. Adding to her current collection of abstract and cubist work, she is now exploring pop surrealism, or lowbrow. Estrada explains that her new focus on this style is the result of her need to delve deeper into her emotional states and translate them to the canvas effectively. She believes that the metaphoric undertones inherent in the style will allow for intense personal discovery and create a greater opportunity for individual interpretation by each viewer.

Outside of her painting, Estrada pursues additional creative outlets and her other professional pursuits include acting and singing. She works to dispel the cliché of the starving artist as well as the limiting idea that artists have to fit neatly into one box that can be easily labelled. Along with her personal website, she currently interacts with her Rage Creative tribe on Patreon and hopes to motivate other creatives to use online artist tools to promote their work. As a self-representing artist, she strives to make a real connection with appreciators of her work and endeavours to inspire others to be their amazing authentic selves.

Latest Work

Beneath Branches
Beneath Branches
Ida’s Legacy
Ida’s Legacy
Just a Drink?
Just a Drink?
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