Maria Flores is a wonder woman.
A Melbourne based artist /maker/creator, Maria is also a radical mum of two. Her artwork, executed in screen prints, embroidery and illustration under the moniker Say Hola! is a celebration of all things vibrant and detailed, capturing her love for colour and quirk.
Maria embodies so much of what Radical Yes! is about and is influenced by many of the same loves as we are; patterns, unexpected colour clashes that somehow work, and with a point of view that is built first around family and then a creative lifestyle.
Maria's work is often inspired by the craft of palm reading and the intention of the hand of Fatima. Using different techniques to help tell her story, every hand develops its own unique pattern and colour expressing that we all follow our own path.
For this photo essay, shot by Yes! Journal Chief Photographer Breeana Dunbar, we were lucky enough to met up with Maria in her wonderful light filled studio filled with family, colour, inspiration and total radness!
Tell us a little about your work, what do you do? Why do you do it?
I’m at my happiest doing what I do, I’m connected to my inner self, the present and the universe that surrounds me with so much inspiration. My work takes form in a mixture of mediums, such as screen printing, embroidery, painting and illustration…I find that using different techniques helps me tell my story. My work is constantly evolving and growing. I love colour and usually when I start working on something, it just happens…it’s a beautiful thing to watch it come alive. My work celebrates everything I’m passionate about.
Tell us about your creative process. Do you have any work rituals or habits you follow?
My creative process kicks in late at night… when my brain is still. I have a craving or a need to create something and I just go with it…I never question it or stop it, I just say YES! There are a couple of things I need before I start working. My studio has to be clear in every way or I just can’t find the flow (or the scissors!) and that frustrates me! I clean my bench, light up some incense and make a cup of tea. It all calms me and helps me centre my thoughts. I’m a true Scorpio, always pushing the boundaries and sometimes this works and sometimes it doesn’t but for me as long as I’m in my space and doing what I love, I am safe and happy.
Describe your work environment. How does the space influence you?
I am lucky to work from home. My little sun-filled studio is just perfect, surrounded by all my favourite things including my little familia. I am a collector of treasures from pom poms to plants. All this inspires me and makes me smile as I remember where and how I found it. My space is happy, colourful, busy yet peaceful and usually filled with tea cups and adorned with sweet garden flowers or lovely drawings from my little chicas…it’s perfect, it’s my temple!
What is one thing in your life you are proud of?
Our two little chicas, Allegra (7) and Matisse (5) they are real and true, colourful and perfect. We made them with love and that’s the most beautiful form of creation ever! Without them, I wouldn’t be able to do what I do, I learn so much from them and for that I am thankful.
What does being ‘radical’ mean to you?
Radical is an empowering word. To me it’s when you are so passionate about something that it’s like a burst of energy inside you just busting to come out, and once it does you radiate, shine and sparkle from the inside out!