Barcelona-based photographer Martina Matencio offers a glimpse into her home studio and maintaining creativity during the lockdown.
Martina Matencio has developed a reputation for the beauty and fragility of her work that often plays off themes of the human body. Like many creative professionals, however, the Barcelona-based photographer has had to adjust her routine practices during the lockdown, where she’s confined with two close friends. While remaining productive can be a challenge these days, Martina sees the situation as an opportunity for growth and discovery. “I’m getting to know myself from another perspective,” she says. “This has given me the opportunity to see myself from another angle – another Martina.”
Thanks to her home studio, Martina has been able to continue working without skipping a beat. She recently took us through her personal space and provided a glimpse into the “new normal” of her day-to-day life.
What does an average day look like for you nowadays?
I’m confined with two friends whom I love very much. Spending so much time with someone isn’t always easy, but with them, it’s been a wonderful experience. Our days have been pretty similar to one another in an unconscious way, we set some routines and it’s been a good way for us to spend time and see the days go by.
I’m always the first one to get up in the morning and I calmly prepare breakfast for the three of us. After breakfast, we all do a bit on our own – read, work and rest. Later, we exercise, shower, eat and drink coffee in the sun. In the afternoon, we usually take photos and work a bit. Usually around 7:30 or so, it’s our time to come and to delve into our detained but yet active lives. In fact, my day-to-day life has not changed that much. The only thing is I can’t do is go outside.
Tell me a bit about your home studio.
My studio is a nice and quiet place, and I feel really good here. I think it’s very important to feel comfortable where you live and work, as I spend a lot of hours here. For me, home is as important as feeling good about yourself, it’s part of myself.
How are you staying productive during the quarantine?
I’ve had some bad moments. I feel like the quarantine has brought out the best and the worst in us. It has been a moment to spend time with ourselves, with nothing else to do rather than what we were allowed to. But in turn, my constant need to create has been the same as always. I think I couldn’t live without taking photos, it’s my oxygen, the map to find myself.
Has working from your home studio impacted your photography?
In my case, I don’t think the impact was so noticeable because part of my work was already done at my studio. I have noticed though, that people were surprised at us taking so many photos! The truth is that I’ve spent my confinement with two friends, both very sensitive people and artists, so you can’t expect less!
What’s the thing you love most about your home studio?
What I like the most about my studio is the light that comes in. Luckily, I have a large space with lots of light throughout the day. It allows me to create with amazing natural light, which is essential for my work. Besides, I have many materials and resources to use in my photographs. This space makes me feel free and very calm, it’s here where I truly feel better.
Any tips on staying creative while at home?
For me, the most important thing is feeling the need to create. If you experience this urge, then you just have to do it, it doesn’t matter where and how. In my case, I felt like I wanted to create all the time and I was “lucky” to have everything I needed to be able to do it. As I always say, “the only thing that never changes is that everything changes.” Despite the fact that the world has stopped, for me, this has been a moment of not stopping and continuing to create. This is the only thing that has kept me alive and active – this constant need.
What’s been inspiring you lately?
Reading. I’ve been reading a lot. Another unexpected source of inspiration has been the connection with myself. Being able to analyze and understand parts of me that I didn’t know. Also my two friends, and my boyfriend. It has been the first time I’ve photographed a man’s body in such an organic way, I was able to discover beauty in the man’s body that I’ve never explored before. I’ve always felt attracted to the woman’s body only, odd but true.
It has been the first time I’ve photographed a man’s body in such an organic way, I was able to discover beauty in the man’s body that I’ve never explored before.
What’s one thing you’ve learned about yourself since the lockdown started?
More than learning about myself, I’m getting to know myself from another perspective. This has given me the opportunity to see myself from another angle – another Martina. I’ve never experienced a situation like this before, so I think it has been an exploring path in many ways, although the unknown sometimes scares us, it’s also the springboard to keep on living.
What are you looking forward to once the lockdown ends?
What I most hope is to be able to go to the sea, bathe and read in a hammock. Be able to go to Cadaqués or Menorca with my friends. I expect work and I wish peace for all, or at least for all those who want peace.
Any projects you’re currently working on?
I’m currently working on a book, in which there will be photos and phrases that I have written throughout these years, and during these months of confinement.