Stemming from her fascination with myths, fairy tales, and mysteries, Laura Castellanos began her journey in a career of pop surrealist art after creating a background in toy design. Entranced by big eyes from a young age, Laura incorporates them into all of the faces and figures of her art. Eyes, to her, are windows to new worlds and souls. Laura also goes by Opal Unicorn as a form of symbolism to her beliefs to always endeavor towards evolution as an individual.
Dive deeper into learning about this rare gem and what makes her tick as an artist in my interview with Opal Unicorn!
I read in the bio on your website that you began your career with designing toys. What made you desire to switch from Toy Design to painting?
Yes, I used to design toys for a living. I decided to switch to painting after working in the industry for a while. I always felt at home painting and it was always in my heart.
What inspired the name Opal Unicorn that you use for different platforms as a creative alias?
I always loved unicorns and opals since I was young. It came naturally to me to join my two favorite things together.
Where did the style of giving your character’s enlarged eyes (in paintings) come from?
I always loved big eye art since I was young as well. This has always fascinated me. There is something magical and endearing about it. Some people might find big eyes scary, but not to me. It’s adorable to me!
I noticed on your Instagram that you posted a picture with an old painting you did in a different style; what made you change to the style that you currently paint?
After designing so many dolls and using so many enlarged features, it just started to evolve in my mind with the eyes getting bigger and bigger.
What is the ideal work space for you when you create?
I like to work in my office; it is set up with all the things I need, and I love the peace I get while working.
Do you tend to plan out your work or do you find yourself adding spontaneous elements along the way?
I believe I’m a mixture of both. I like to have a plan sketched out and let it flow naturally as I go along.
What tips do you have for artists trying to emerge in the industry?
I would say to follow your happiness. Do what comes naturally to you.
What is your favorite piece of work that you’ve ever completed and why?
I don’t have a favorite piece of work; although I am always striving to have one.
Last, I have a bit of an odd yet fun question for you. Due to your alien-like paintings and your alien-bot series, how do you feel about extraterrestrial experiences? Have you ever experienced one yourself?
Cool question! I don’t know if there are extraterrestrials but I am open-minded to the possibility! My alienbots are more of a what does alien actually mean in our society and what does it say about us. The robot part is the concept of what it means to think of robots as a service to humankind, and the ways this idea can be extrapolated from existentially.
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