For many of us, art is a source of pleasure; for Rachel Demetz, it has been a lifesaver. Plagued by chronic depression at the age of 18, she decided to enroll in Serra i Abella, a small illustration school near Barcelona. There, she began experimenting with techniques that combined different media.
“I had a deep depression and turned to art to survive,” she says. “I painted a lot when I was a kid and started to play with photography as a teen. Mixing them is a very important part of what I do.”
Demetz found commercial success quite early in her career. Right after she graduated from art school, she received a surprise commission from Costalamel, a streetwear brand based in Barcelona—and she has been an independent artist ever since.
“I really didn’t expect that,” she says. “All my life I thought I couldn’t make a living through my art, and I’d never seriously thought of being an artist.”
Nonetheless, four years later, the 25-year-old Demetz regularly receives commissions for album covers, T-shirts, and fashion marketing—often via her popular Instagram account. She also has a broad portfolio of personal work, in which she explores the relationship between darkness and light.
“I feel very attracted to light, but I know that I have been in dark places and states,” she says. “I think of light as something that you can live with, not just observe. I appreciate the clarity in my life, but I don’t want to leave my dark side; the two have to live together.”
While it is perhaps too early to discuss her career arc, these days Demetz is trying to move beyond the confines of the computer. Counting among her influences not only painters and photographers, but also artists like David Bowie, Bill Viola, and even Billie Eilish, she has hopes of soon becoming a multimedia artist and set designer for musicians.
“I like the idea of mixing paint, photography, and video,” she says. “I want to explore new ways to show my art in physical ways and with music.”
Given how well she has done with her surreal and mysterious images, one can only wish her luck as she moves in new directions.