Sunday, 3 April 2011

An interview with Spanish artist Zoraida de Torres Burgos

Spanish artist Zoraida de Torres Burgos, Flickr name Arsaytoma, draws inspiration from the supportive Flickr community.
Through her membership of JKPP, she says she has become “addicted” to portrait painting and has now proposed a JKPP meet up in Barcelona in the Spring when the city is “particularly beautiful and there are fewer tourists than in the Summer”.
In her drawing (left), inspired by a photo by Martin Beek taken at the London 2010 JKPP meet up, she is pictured to the immediate right of the pillar. She speaks here about herself, her art and her involvement with JKPP.
Tell us a little about yourself
I live in Barcelona and work at home as a literary translator. I have no formal art training. I adored drawing when I was a little girl and used to paint occasionally in my adult life. In August 2009, when I was 45, I signed up for Flickr and discovered a never-ending source of inspiration and a supportive community that has encouraged me to draw and paint more and more.
Tell us about your art
My approach to art is intuitive, a way to express, without reflection, what I see or what I have in my heart. I tend to make simplified images, without perspective, volume or shadows. I use bold lines and flat colour surfaces, sometimes with decorative patterns. I love to paint people, or the everyday objects related to people's lives.
Tell us about your technique
I don't have a favourite technique. I can draw in black and white with markers, colour a scanned sketch or produce something from scratch with a graphics tablet, paint with acrylics... The subject determines the medium selected, always in an unconscious way.
Tell us about the reaction you have had to your work
At various moments of my life, a number of my drawings have been used to illustrate stories, posters etc., but it has been mostly since joining Flickr that my work has been seen outside my circle of relatives and friends. I'm always very pleased to see people's comments!
Tell us about who inspired/inspires you
The styles that inspire me most are naive art and all kinds of primitive, folk and outsider art. I'm also interested in cartoons, illustration and graphic design. And in photography, particularly press photos and the work of great photo portraitists, such as Seydou Keita. See
Tell us about you and JKPP
I discovered JKPP in July 2010, and I've become addicted to portrait painting! In addition, JKPP is a great place to enjoy the work of so many interesting artists. I've also taken the opportunity to meet wonderful people at the London meet up in December. Unfortunately, I missed the recent Oxford meet up but there will be further opportunities, since I hope there will be another JKPP meeting in Barcelona soon.
To see more of Zoraida’s work visit her Flickr photostream
To find out more about the Barcelona meet up visit


  1. I love that group drawing and thankyou for a really interesting interview! I particularly like the description of your art :-)

  2. I also love the pictured group portrait. It's also so interesting to learn what other fields people are working in.

  3. Very good. The interview was great!

  4. It is good to know more about yourself here. But I felt is was too short! I wanted to know more about who inspired/inspires you, not only in photography but in illustration. Would you tell us more about?

  5. Hi, people. Thanks all for commenting!
    Marga, here are just a few and eclectic references, from different times and with very different styles and type of work:
    - Aubrey Beardsley:
    - Helios Gómez:
    - Arístides Maillol:
    - Mitsumasa Anno:
    - Asun Balzola:
    - Ana Juan:
    - Marjane Satrapi:
    - traditional woodcuts from different countries, among them Brazil:

    Of course, I could post a much longer list! But I hope this helps.

    1. Zoraida, las chicas del cosmo quieren verte, llama a Alicia que tiene el mismo telefono

  6. Great, bravo to interviewer and interviewee.