Artist Feature: Cecilia Rada Samper

by Nisha Btesh June 18, 2019

Artist Feature:  Cecilia Rada Samper


Tell us about how you became the woman you are today. Where did you grow up?

I grew up in the Basque country, a region on the border between France and Spain. My mother is French, and my father is Spanish, so it was great to be brought up somewhere where both my cultures were represented. The Basque country is known for its dramatic landscape with mountains, waterfalls, oak forests and white sand beaches. Growing up surrounded by such a majestic scenery gave me a fascination for nature that is still very much part of my life and my photography.

Tell us a little bit about what drew you to your medium. Did you choose to work with said medium or did it choose you?

My father is an amateur photographer (and a messy one) so our home was full of old cameras, lenses, books and magazines about photography. Every Sunday we would sit in the living room, in total darkness, and my dad would show his latest pictures on the wall with an old slide projector. Photography has always been a part of my life, so the day I needed a creative medium to express my feelings the choice was obvious to me.

What is the message you're sending into the universe with your work?

“Look right into the eyes of whatever scares you!”

I started my art photography project in a difficult time of my life, as a way to confront my feelings of anxiety and fear. What I couldn’t express with words I recreated with a camera. Through this process, I learned that there are many ways of healing yourself. What worked from me was inviting fear into my life and use it as a creative energy.

What do you know for sure?

“I can handle it!”. We have more strength and wisdom than we give ourselves credit for. 

Give us one of your favorite/ most inspiring things right now.

Following my new year’s resolution of “getting out of my comfort zone” I started improv classes… and I love it! It’s a fantastic way to boost your creativity and reconnect with your inner child. I recommend it to everyone! How do you define your creative gig? Full-time career or side hustle? Explain why you’ve chosen one over the other. 

A few years ago I considered working full-time as a photographer and I took a job in a product-photography studio. Unfortunately, I soon realized that it was not really my thing. It was better for me to separate my love for photography and my career. Today my “9 to 5 job” has nothing to do with photography, which means that I am completely free of shooting when and what I want. I have a lot of respect and admiration for those who dedicate their life for what they are passionate about, but personally, I need this kind of compartmentalization to have the right balance in my life.

What moments in life have influenced your character most?

Looking back, I realize that the moments influencing and forming me the most have been the more challenging ones. For instance: Ten years ago, I moved from France to Sweden and I had to adapt to a new country and a different culture, an experience that is very positive but also full of struggles. Today, I am starting to understand how much these challenges have strengthened me and helped me grow. 

What do you want the younger female artists coming up behind you to know about you, your journey, and the art industry in general? 

From my experience, I have learned that it is important to value your own opinion instead of seeking approval from others. Even if things are much better now, we still live in a society where women are programmed to doubt themselves. This makes it particularly challenging for young female artists. Showing your art is like pouring your heart out to the world. My advice for them is to trust their instincts and stay strong!

What do you know for sure?

“I can handle it!”. We have more strength and wisdom than we give ourselves credit for.

Give us one of your favorite/ most inspiring things right now.

Following my new year’s resolution of “getting out of my comfort zone,” I started improv theatre classes… and I love it! It’s a fantastic way to boost your creativity and reconnect with your inner child. I recommend it to everyone! 

Name 3 of your guilty pleasures.

Eating canelés (a small pastry from Bordeaux) baked by my friend Sophie. The genius and hilarious series “Fleabag”. I have binge-watched it over a weekend! K-beauty facials at “Fab Beauty Bar”, the best place to get pampered in Stockholm. 

Name 3 Artists you would like to see featured on Hola Gwapa next and what you love about them.  

My friend Kerstin Arfwedson is a very talented illustrator and we are collaborating on a photography/painting project at the moment!  Check her out at  @kerstin_arfwedson_illustration

I love the simplicity and the elegance of the photographer Delfi Carmona from Buenos Aires @delfinacarmona 
 
Cajsa von Zeipel is a visual artist from Sweden who creates extraordinary and uncompromising sculptures.



Nisha Btesh
Nisha Btesh

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