Artist Highlight: MsGonzalez

Artist Highlight: MsGonzalez

Posted by East End Prints on 19th May 2022

We caught up with the wonderful MsGonzalez to chat about her experiences as an artist and her Spainish origins. You can read the feature below or explore her collection here.

Can you introduce yourself to our readers?

Hello! I'm Paula (read ‘Pao-la’) aka MsGonzalez, a collage and mixed media artist from Spain based in London.

We can see you grew up in Spain, do you miss your home country?

All the time! I grew up in Ponferrada up in the North West though I also lived in the South in Granada. I miss the sun and the food most. I left a long time ago and lived in other countries (Germany, Russia and India) before moving to the UK. I have been in London for 10 years now though so it very much feels like home too!

Where is home for you at the moment?

I live with my partner and many, many plants in a very bright one bedroom flat in Acton. The plants love it here.

Tell us about the process of creating your designs as MsGonzalez.

It really depends. Sometimes an idea magically appears and I can't shake it off until I bring it to life (that’s the best feeling!). Other times I’m browsing old archives and an image really inspires me to do something with it. In times when I am super uninspired I just open photoshop or procreate and play around - often that becomes something I really like or triggers another idea. I try to not force myself to create because it's such a joyful thing to me and I don't want to ruin it, but it's important to show up and not rely on ‘magical’ inspiration all the time.

When did you first begin making and designing?

I have always been into art but I didn’t start making my own until very recently. My 'thing' used to be photography - I inherited an old film camera when I was 6 and loved taking photos of my travels since. Occasionally I would make other things and get such a high out of it but I didn’t think it could go any further.

In March 2020 this little thing called covid kicked in and I was put on furlough for a few months. All of a sudden I had all this time and virtually nowhere to go. I decided I would have to become an artist instead lol… but it sort of worked! I tried a few mediums and took a few courses and the one that stuck was digital collage. Fast forward two years and I'm super lucky to be doing this full time now. Moral of the story: it's never too late to start something new and if you decide you're an artist then you are.

What are some of the thoughts or influences that are fueling the direction of your current design work?

These days I'm allowing myself to experiment and play as much as possible. It all started as a game and then became my full time job - I really want to keep the playfulness and be open to things evolving (the word ‘style’ gives me so much anxiety). Some things that are intriguing/inspiring me at the moment are colour, women, places and vintage graphic design. Now that we can start travelling again I am curious to see how that influences my work as well.

Do you have a studio? If so, can you describe it in 5 words?

I call it my studio but in reality it's just a desk pushed against a back door we don’t use at home. 5 words to describe it: colourful, quirky, cosy, simple and *mine*.

Who are your favourite inspirational artists, makers or thinkers and why? 

I struggle with this question the most because the list is endless! This is what comes to mind today:

Sophie Calle, Miranda July, Yayoi Kusama - Artists that are so hard to put in a box and aren’t scared to do whatever the hell they want at all times.

Lisa Congdon - Her podcast is great to fight impostor syndrome and demystify what it means to be an artist.

Beth Hoeckel and Frank Moth inspired me to collage.

Yinka Shonibare and Bisa Butler’s intricate textile art. David Shrigley’s silliness. David Hockney’s versatility. Tadanori Yokoo’s crazy designs.

In film I love the aesthetics of Almodóvar, Wes Anderson and Sophia Coppola. I’ll add Werner Herzog in there though I feel he would hate all my stuff. Most recently I adored The Worst Person in the World.

Latest instagram obsessions: Tree Abraham’s book covers, Marine Buffard’s dreamy animations, Hilary Balu’s paintings, Pia Riverola’s photos.

Latest IRL obsession: Hew Locke’s installation at Tate Britain - just mind blowing.

Other: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, George Orwell, García Márquez, Gloria Steinem, Anthony Bourdain (food is my religion).

Special shoutout to a book I had as a child about animals travelling called ‘El Gran Crucero’ (The Great Cruise).

What’s on your glass or mug in the studio?

I'd love to say something sexy like coffee but I can't hold my caffeine so it would be water, or warm water, or some herbal tea #grandmalife

What’s the last book you read?

'Detransition, baby' by Torrey Peters. Loved.


What’s your go to quick lunch? As a good Spaniard I take my lunches seriously and they're never quick! It might be pasta, curry, etc. If it was up to me my lunch would be sushi every day though.

Hot or cold weather? HOT!

What is the best song to play to shake off worries? Frozen's Let it go? Lol. My go-to song when I need to shake off nerves is M.I.A.'s Paper Planes.

If you have to choose between being able to eat cake or chips for the rest of your life, which would it be? Chips, no question.