Focus: Iria Lopez’s Tube Sketches

By / Nov 20th, 2013 / / No comments
Woman on the Tube (4)

Originally from Spain, but now residing in London, Iria Lopez is taking the mundane world of commuting, and turning it into vibrant, quirky sketches; one trip of the Circle Line at a time.

With a B.A. in Fine Arts, it’s only natural that Lopez started to see the arty side of the mundane on her travels. She says ‘I was commuting to work everyday on the Circle Line (about an hour at a time), so had plenty of time to get really distracted looking at people and drawing them in my sketch book. I love observing people, and the Circle Line is the perfect place to sketch because there is always a place to sit and be comfortable while drawing’. As a fellow commuter myself I can confirm that the Circle Line would be pretty awesome for some fine art time, maybe not so easy in rush hour at Waterloo.

But her method of pencil sketches first, and then ink, watercolour and gouche for the at-home final touches gave her more flexibility. So as an artist, what influences her? Lopez says ‘I think I am influenced mainly by both Spain and London In Spain, I feel really influenced by the mood, the people and the lifestyle, I think the contrast with London helps me to see things that I wouldn’t have noticed before I came here. In London there are so many artists, magazines, exhibitions, creative people… all the things I see and I like end up being an influence on my work’. The simplicity of her sketches is what gives them their unmistakable charm, and their subject means that they are something most of us can understand and relate to, who knows, we could even be one of her subjects…

Lopez explains what it is about these subjects that she enjoys, ‘what I enjoy the most is real people’s stories. How they are, and why they are that way. I love making up stories about people I see on the tube, what are they thinking? Where are they coming from?’ But the real question that we are all really dying to ask is, does Lopez ever get caught out on her secret commuter sketches? ‘Yes… if they notice, they usually look at you, but I get quite shy and stop drawing them if I know they are aware. I’m not sure why I do it, but I think it sort of breaks the magic of observing people. I would then start pretending I am doing something else like writing or something, and only if they stop looking I would keep drawing.’

Currently working as an Animation Director in London, Iria Lopez graduated from NFTS nearly two years ago and has since been represented as a Director at Picasso Pictures. Here you can see a showcase of Lopez‘s work, and you will soon be able to buy her prints online.

This post was written by Ohh Deer blogger Megan Jenner. Meg is a marketing graduate with a passion for food, art and photography. She works in social media and in her spare time can be found eating, in front of the oven, or on long country walks. You can read more about her on her blog 

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