The Road to Self-Representation
This approach to my work runs contrary to current art-as-business ideologies and understandably so. How can a gallery owner build a loyal following for “inconsistent” work? How can a curator develop an impactful exhibition if there is no clear message? How can an art dealer market the work if aesthetics are all over the map? Short answer, they can’t. Don’t misunderstand me. This is not a shortcoming on the part of these esteemed professionals. Moreover, I adore galleries and spend quite a bit of my free time in them. They are an integral part of building cultural appreciation and social awareness through the representation, exhibition and collection of contemporary and historical art. At this time, however, I choose to pursue my art through an exploratory and organic method that may not culminate into a collection easily palatable by formal art establishments. I’m ok with that. I knew early on that I would champion complete artistic freedom and therefore, self-representation was the obvious choice.
Artist Biography of Cherlandra Estrada
Cherlandra Estrada is a contemporary Canadian artist residing in the Fraser Valley of beautiful British Columbia. Her passion for all things creative started at an early age, although she did not pursue painting until later in life. Believing at first that painting would just be a hobby, her early works were mainly decorative. However, her home was quickly filled with proof of her enthusiasm to perfect the techniques of this new creative outlet. To move her pieces, Estrada utilized the sales and marketing skills that she had honed through years of working in the corporate world. She opened an eBay store and joined EBSQ, an online self-representing artist community, where she won a People’s Choice Award within a couple of years.
During the early stages of her painting career, Estrada returned to school in order to facilitate a move to a more creative professional path overall. With the intention of leaving office work behind indefinitely, she attended the Emily Carr University of Art & Design, as well as the British Columbia Institute of Technology, to complete the intensive Design Essentials program. She did so with distinction in 2008 and immediately started Graphein Studio, her own graphic design and marketing company. A few years of running her business while still working administrative jobs made it especially challenging for Estrada to carve out time for her fine art. In 2015, Estrada decided to turn to creativity full-time, launching her new online home, cherlandra.com.
Since the beginning of her art career, Estrada’s work has been showcased in several municipal buildings throughout B.C. as well as in private galleries within the Lower Mainland. She loves to participate in self-representing artist events and her work has been included in joint exhibitions at independent galleries such as The Glass Onion Studio & Gallery in Vancouver. She often attends community events, such as the Arts Alive Festival in Langley and more recently, the Wine & Art Walk in Abbotsford. Estrada also likes to give back artistically and a highlight of her career was her participation in the art auction fundraiser at the Stanley Theatre in conjunction with the renowned play, Waiting for Godot. Via the internet, Estrada sells to collectors all over the world, although most of her work is in private collections within Canada and the U.S.
Estrada practices under the title of MultiARTfarious which she uses as an umbrella name to refer to her eclectic body of work. This name is a reflection of her personal creative process as well as her approach to personal artistic growth. Estrada allows her inner muse to dictate what she will paint next and this unrestricted approach results in varying styles. From the intricate lines of her cubist work to the free-flowing colours of her contemporary abstract pieces, she believes that the truest connection with creative expression can’t be achieved without complete artistic freedom. Adding to her current collection of abstract and cubist work, she is now exploring pop surrealism, or lowbrow. Estrada explains that her new focus on this style is the result of her need to delve deeper into her emotional states and translate them to the canvas effectively. She believes that the metaphoric undertones inherent in the style will allow for intense personal discovery and create a greater opportunity for individual interpretation by each viewer.
Outside of her painting, Estrada pursues additional creative outlets and her other professional pursuits include acting and singing. She works to dispel the cliché of the starving artist as well as the limiting idea that artists have to fit neatly into one box that can be easily labelled. Along with her personal website, she currently interacts with her Rage Creative tribe on Patreon and hopes to motivate other creatives to use online artist tools to promote their work. As a self-representing artist, she strives to make a real connection with appreciators of her work and endeavours to inspire others to be their amazing authentic selves.
I love horror movies. I watch them all the time. Sadly, I even watch the terrible ones… all the way to end.
I also love science fiction movies. I watch one of the Alien movies at least once a week. Order of preference – Aliens, Alien, Alien3, Prometheus, AVP: Alien vs. Predator, Alien: Resurrection, Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem
Coke over Pepsi, but Diet Pepsi over Diet Coke. Both with ice.
I am a grape addict. Red grapes, green grapes, purple grapes: it doesn’t matter. I am not even deterred by the frustrating seeded grape.
Prince is my favourite musician. A partial quote from Jimmy Fallon poetically encapsulates my feelings:
“…the crowd parts and there’s purple smoke and [Prince] floating towards the stage…”
I’m a morning person (much to the chagrin of my grumpy-pants-morning family) but I stay up late. Most of my inspirational and creative ideas hit me at dusk.
In no particular order, my favourite actors are Gary Oldmam, Ed Harris and Meryl Streep.
I adore Halloween.
I hate cooking but love eating. When forced to prepare meals, I am the world’s messiest person in the kitchen. Oddly, I like baking. The kitchen still ends up destroyed though.
I love stormy weather.
I’m an avid reader. One of my favourite series is The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan. Another is The Outlander Series
I’m terrified of spiders. I had a hard time searching for the icon graphic for this tidbit. Enough said.
I love The Big Bang Theory, not only because it is a fantastic show, but because it makes me feel special to understand all the nerdy movie and gaming jokes.
I’m a proud Trekker. I once had the pleasure of speaking with Nichelle Nichols who informed me that Martin Luther King Jr. once told her personally, that he was also a fan. Cool beans.