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Carlos Ortega Delgado is a Colombian painter who specializes in the art of watercolors. Much of his education was received in Guayaquil, Ecuador, although he currently lives in Bogota. This painter often participates in the most important exhibitions of paintings in Colombia.
Toonari Post (TP): Tell us a little bit about yourself and your career.
Carlos Ortega Delgado (COD): Well, I am from Cali and I’m 37. I studied art at various sites, not only here in my city, but also in the neighboring country of Ecuador where I grew as an artist with many efforts. Due to my immediate needs to live in a foreign country when I was 21 years old, I began to paint in the embankment of the beautiful city of Guayaquil.
Once back to my country, I started to study graphic design at the prestigious Academy of Professional Drawing, where I learned many things, and currently I’m teaching what I learned during almost three years of stay in Ecuador.
TP: How did you find your passion for painting?
COD: Since my childhood, when my parents began to notice my penchant for artwork and manipulating the clay. I made incredible things like Christ paints and religious images. Somewhat surprising for a child of 7 years.
It was at that moment, when my parents decided to give me unconditional support to a successful career.
TP: Which painters have been the greatest influence in your life?
COD: There are several painters, but the most influential have been the great Colombian artist Luis Caballero. Another is the great Spanish artist Joaquin Soroya from the nineteenth-century, and now I have a significant influence from many watercolor artists who are the major figures in watercolor in the world, such as Steve Hanks.
TP: What kind of painting do you prefer?
COD: From watercolor, which is my specialty, I make all kinds of themes such as nudes, portraits, landscapes and so forth.
Commonly, I try to leave a message of reflection about the problems that weigh down our country.
TP: Why do you like the style of watercolors?
COD: Once in the school, I had the opportunity to meet a great teacher who introduced me to this lovely art. He told me that I had a lot of talent to be a great watercolorist. From there, I began to deepen into this technique, then I started to investigate its secrets and its greatest exponents.
TP: How do you know when an artwork is done?
COD: Never a work of art will be completed. Well, personally, no matter how beautiful that I see a painting; I will always have a “but,” and for that reason there will always be something missing to make this come to perfection.
TP: It is well known that Colombia is a country where the activity of artists is undervalued by society. Tell me, how have you developed your profession this type of situation?
COD: Actually, it was not easy. But I’ll tell you; sometimes you have that angel and destiny, even if you are not the best in the guild to achieve transcendence in this profession. But my merit, I think, is not giving up to my job, no matter how difficult the circumstances.
Another detail is to know how to look up contacts and sell.
TP: What advice would you give to young people who want to develop their art?
COD: Well, if they feel it in their heart; they need to have perseverance, and never give up for the difficult conditions in our country. Anyway, there is a famous saying that says: “There is no evil that lasts 100 years, there’s no body that can resist it,” and in the future in our country, conditions will change; and those who have managed to stay on the road to their dream of being great artists will achieve the greatest success of all. If it is not to achieve a work of art, it is making their lives art for art’s sake.
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