Pilar Alvarez: Graphic Designer/Illustrator/Painter

Pilar Alvarez hates going to bed.

“It always feels like I’m being grounded,” says the artist/jewelry designer. “I have to sleep at some point though, so I usually force myself to turn in around four in the morning and get up again at noon.”

It’s not the kind of schedule the nuns at her old catholic school would approve of but Pili has come a long ways since her youth, spent between Madrid, Spain and the forests of British Columbia, Canada.

A childhood love of art and jewelry (she used to get hung up on fences playing cops and robbers because of all the necklaces and bracelets she wore) blossomed into a career in fashion design but the nocturnal artist soon branched out, learning everything from acting to graphic design, tattooing to mural work before finally settling into a nice groove painting acrylics and producing digital art.

“Everything affects everything else,” she admits. ‘If I’m acting in a horror movie (she’s starred in three award-winning shorts) or a music video, then the next thing I do will be influenced by that medium, even if there is no logical connection.”

Logic or not, her artwork, known for its candy shop palette, bold femininity and striking line work has been turning heads everywhere from Vegas art shows, Paris nightclubs and New York spas to the living rooms of London roller derby girls. Recently Pili’s art has been featured in­­­­­­­ an oversize art book published out of Milan, Italy, called Pink Attitude by Happy Books/ Ginko Press.

Influenced by Holly Hobbie and Spanish animation (“They’re different than over here, more classically illustrated,”) as well as church imagery and “anything to do with fashion, including pin up girls” Pili currently divides her time between running errands (“a good excuse for a walk”) stumbling around the internet (“for a look at all the cool stuff in the world”) and pulling long shifts at the easel or jewelry table, piecing together art-based jewelry for her new company Oyster. To relax, Pili seeks adventure– she’s certified to dive with Great White sharks and has recently fallen in love with downhill skiing, a sport she’s disliked since youth. “I get it now,” she says.

“But everything makes me happy these days,” Pili admits, a smile beaming through her long, dark hair (which is split by a bolt of natural white, a la Cruella DeVille.) “It’s like I’m infected. I find happiness in the smallest things.”

Except going to bed.