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we talk to this Valencian artist who paints with Microsoft Paint



If you try to imagine the digital artist of the moment, perhaps a young person can come to your imagination drawing on a tablet, looking for inspiration on Pinterest and sharing their illustrations on social networks.



Concha Garcia Zaera It fulfills this last part, but the Instagram of this 90-year-old Valencian is full of works created exclusively through a program that currently is usually the target of jokes and memes: Microsoft Paint.



I have had the opportunity to interview her, and the first thing that caught my attention was the vitality and freshness that her voice transmitted over the phone. With almost 300,000 followers, Concha is an influencerBut she is not interested in making money either from her works or by promoting third-party products.




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Life and work behind Paint



It begins by confessing to me that she's a bit bored of being "always asked the same thing" and that it seems that "the only thing" that interests people is to know their relationship with a tool as archaic and minimalist as Paint.



She draws from a very young age, but when she was still very young she began to work in a photographic laboratory, where was in charge of "lighting" the black and white photographs. That meant I had to hand color everything in those snapshots.




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While today it is possible to do it with a couple of clicks and, thanks to artificial intelligence, with surprising results, Concha had to do research and consultation to find out what color the dresses were wearing, the skin of each person or the weather that day was.







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At the Popular University she trained to paint in oils, but her relationship with Paint began when her husband fell ill and had to start spending more time at home. His children gave him a computer and it was there when he discovered this mythical Microsoft program.



Limitations as the gasoline of creativity



Confess that "I had never touched a computer"But when he "started fooling around with Paint" he felt there was a challenge there. "It's a pretty basic program," but Concha says she likes to imagine ways to try to recreate volumes and shadows with this software. Less is more, and it is that sometimes limitations are the best ally for creativity.



An iPad gives us so many possibilities that we may feel overwhelmed when creating a drawing or end up procrastinating on social networks or with a game. "Go to PhotoShop you would get precious things"They advise her, but Concha admits that she "likes that little point of hers" of stubbornness for getting it with such a simple application.




He likes the challenge that Paint gives him: "otherwise I would have been bored"




Make it a challenge it is the key to this long-lasting relationship (hers with Paint): "I like him for that, otherwise I would have been bored by now." Behind these pixelated and colorful works there are many hours of work, and he declares that sometimes he has to redo them dozens of times so that they are to his liking.













At the age of 90, not only has he become familiar with the computer and Paint, but she herself manages her Instagram account. It is the artist herself who is in charge of uploading each new work to her profile and she responds to the hundreds of messages (like mine to ask her for this interview) that she receives both publicly and privately.



Here I'm curious if you use this social network merely to spread content or if it also falls into the procrastination spiral that Instagram introduces you to. It is something that is more associated with young people, but Concha confesses that thanks to this platform she has made a large number of friends, and she spends a lot of time answering all the messages of affection that come to her through this channel.




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Many of the messages you receive they ask you to buy your drawings, but she is not interested (at least for the moment) in making money with her creations. Brands have also contacted her to launch "bags, t-shirts or school supplies" with their patterned pictures, but she has also rejected these offers.



"I do it because I am distracted", but he assures "that they are insisting so much" (his granddaughters encourage him to do so) that perhaps one day he will change his mind and there is a way to take his paintings beyond the screens. What he has carried out (and is something he continues to do) are various exhibitions with his paintings.








In fact, it was one of her granddaughters who made her account on Instagram, and he remembers the day he got scared because his cell phone wouldn't stop ringing. They were notifications from the social network ("patatán patatán patatán"), and since that day his profile has been growing unstoppably, both in terms of content and popularity.



Though manifests "that he has no imagination" and that he "copies everything", the method you have to transform the photos of scenes you like into Paint paintings is striking. To do this, Concha breaks that photo into large pixels, as if it were a cross stitch template, and in this way is able to convert these images into a unique pixel art.



Although there are many other artists on the Internet with greater imagination than her, the reality is that few will dare to limit themselves to a tool like Paint. Concha's story reminds us that it is never too late to recycle, break down barriers and teach the world that with elements that we thought were forgotten, contemporary works can continue to be created.