Charlie Smits is a Spanish artist whose visual designs have brought to us a fantastic universe that has made its way into our world. You will notice that it looks like its creations are really among us, and his art is a sort of lens that lets us see the marvelous reality we are missing out on due to the fast-speed type of life we have been getting used to.
With his art, he manages to combine fancy colorful characters, mythological creatures, aliens, monsters, pop culture y social issues like inclusiveness, acceptance, and feeling good with who you are.
But, pay attention to this: in the universe of Charlie Smits, everyone is welcome, loved, and free to express their true colors.
Keep reading to get into the wonderful and colorful universe of Charlie Smits, and do not miss his wholehearted advice to the youth.
Musing about art
Q: According to you, does art make the world a better place?
On a personal level, it helps us get to know each other in a deeper way, positively and negatively. It also helps disadvantaged groups and minorities to develop safe spaces (economically and socially) making more visible other cultures and realities different from ours.
Q: What do you answer when people ask what your occupation is? Do you consider artists deserve better?
I suppose I am an artist, at least that’s how people read me, but I never close myself to anything; I like to experiment. Also, I think that the work of artists should be valued much more, not only in terms of recognition, we pay the rent with money and not with promotions, so visibility it’s essential for an artist career, but we also need money to live and invest in our artworks.
Q: Despite the use of some not conventional or provocative images, your art is full of positive messages, how do you manage the balance between being nice and naughty?
I don’t really have any balance, I just do what I want at that moment regardless of the reaction of the one who’s going to see it; so, maybe, everything I do has a naughty touch, since I do it without thinking too much about it.
Q: What are your thoughts about creativity and innovation?
I feel more identified with creativity, it is what we have inside, something more spontaneous than we devise ourselves; on the other hand, innovation is more about turning the idea into a product that enters a market.
A world where every individual is welcomed
Q: Are there aliens, monsters, and mythological creatures among us? What else can you tell us about the whimsical world portrayed in your creations?
Absolutely, in many people I see angels; in others, elves or even aliens, and monsters too, but in a fun way, not negatively. It is not that I see them literally, but they serve me to represent a person or environment in a more abstract way as I perceive it.
Q: There are several items sold out in your store; how does that make you feel? Any message for your supporters?
It is a pleasure. I am always grateful to everyone who values my art and supports it so much by buying or writing a nice message; if I can inspire or motivate someone to start creating, I’m already happy.
Q: What can you share with us about your upcoming projects?
I have many on the way; one of them is a capsule collection that I put out with the brand called Freving, based in Madrid, with the illustrations of my next illustrated book.
Q: What would you tell those teenagers who are secretly drawing or thinking about pursuing a career in arts?
I would say: Keep going! I have always been told that I could never work or live from art. Since I was a little kid, I received comments like that, and I know that sometimes it’s hard to believe in what you’re doing and you constantly ask yourself: am I doing what I should do? But, I knew it was my passion and nothing else made me so happy. It is not easy to make a living from it, but like any other job, the essential thing for me is to work on my goals a little more each day; so, start discovering yourself, and seeing your reflection in everything you do.
Q: Anything else you would like to share with Vanity Teen?
Life is more absurd and simple than we think; the only thing that matters is the love that we give to ourselves and to the ones that surround us, the rest is superfluous; although, we live in a world in which it is difficult to remember that.
Before we go
There are times most of us feel like misfits, but thanks to artists like Charlie Smits, we know there is a place for all of us and arts can take us there.
Finally, please, do not forget the advice Charlie Smits gave us: everyone deserves love, recognition, and proper payment; nevertheless, the primary thing is feeling identified with what you do and embrace yourself and the uniqueness that makes you so special.