01 March 2011

Artist Interview: Adriana Almanza

“Art is freedom,” says Adriana Almanza, the brilliant artist behind Dolls Dreams. Born in Salamanca, México, Adriana fell in love with a German man and emigrated overseas to become a dental assistant. Now, Adriana stays at home with her 10 year old son and their many animals and makes beautiful art all day long.

I think her paintings are gorgeous, which is why I signed up for her online class, but Adriana says that her style of art isn’t popular in Germany. In fact, she used to paint more realistic artwork, and she sold it, but she wasn’t painting what she loved until she started painting her “dollies” full-time: “I am happy I can paint what I love, no matter if nobody else likes them here where i live. Now that I do, I feel much better! I may not sell any of my paintings, but who cares? i am happy now painting what i want to!”

I suspect that following her bliss is going to prove to be a very successful path for Adriana, so I look forward to see what’s next for her... if you are curious, too, I can offer a sneak peek of her next painting class: Siren Dreams will be a four month long class of “underwater” artwork. Each month will feature a new painting in a new medium, as well as a host of video-tutorials about beautiful sea creatures like fish, seahorses, and dolphins. The class is scheduled to start in May 2011 and will cost $55. If you sign up for Doll Dreams before then, you’ll get a $5 discount for Siren Dreams.

copyright 2011 Adriana Almanza

Learn more about Adriana by visiting her YouTube Channel, her Etsy shop, her Zazzle storefront, or her blog.

How did you discover art journaling?

I have been writing and painting on my diaries my whole life; the first one was when I was 11 years old!  :)  Is this  art journaling too?  I think so!  My diaries are all full of dollies and drawings. Seven years ago, I discovered some great artjournaling videos on youtube, and i thought, ‘hey, that´s what i am doing too!’  So I started to get into the scene... and here i am!

How would you define art journaling to someone who is brand new to it?

Art journaling is making art without compromises, just for your eyes. Art journaling is soul food!

Why did you decide to start Doll Dreams?

I decided to start the "Doll dreams" class because some beautiful people asked me to do it. It took me a whole year to understand that other people also liked what I  paint! I never thought i could manage all this and I was afraid of it, but with the support of these friends, I made it! I am very thankful for the support.

What's been the best part about your Doll Dreams group?

The best part is getting to meet all these talented, nice people who also love to paint dolls as much as i do!

What's the worst part?

The worst part of it is my English! hahaha! I should take some lessons! I hope I can learn a little bit more everyday, but art needs no language, and i love to teach without talking too much. [Don’t worry, Ady, your English is just fine!]
copyright 2011 Adriana Almanza

What are your "essential" art supplies/tools/materials?

Prismacolors! Also, markers, acrylics, brushes, canvas, art journals or moleskins.

What is the one tool you couldn't live without?

For me,  the  prismacolors!  Just give me my prisma and some paper, and I don´t care about  the world around me!  :)

Where do you find inspiration?

I find inspiration in my childhood memories! When I dream about these memories, I get into a magical world full of balloons, flowers, cute animals and rainbows!  I also read a  lot about the old masters of painting like Da Vinci, Botticelli, Van Gogh, and more. Sometimes I see a nice photo in a magazine and use it as model for a new dollie.

What artists inspire you & why?

I love to paint the female form, so I feel inspired by all the artists who have done portraits and female paintings. I love the art from Frida Kahlo, because she used to paint with her heart and her pain. You can feel this when you see her artwork, and this is very hard to capture on a painting!

What is the most rewarding part of finishing a piece?

 I feel  happy when I have finished a piece! I can get  this happiness only by painting! So this is for me like an addiction; then I paint a new piece every day.

How long do you take to finish a painting?

Not too long, a day or two? But i have painted KLIMT´s "the kiss" on a very big  canvas, and it took me about a week, so it´s not always the same.

copyright 2011 Adriana Almanza
How do you know when you are finished with a piece?

Well, for me, it’s very easy: I know a piece is finished when I see it and I can not add anything more to it, because I love it just the way it is! So easy.

How does your art reflect your personality?

My artwork, my dollies, represent the inner child in me and my personality. With my dollies, I am trying to remember and enjoy my lost childhood.

Do you have an arts background?

I am a self taught artist. I have been painting my whole life. My father used to paint with oil colors and I used to watch him painting. He was not long with us, but i guess that was the beginning of my love for art. I have tried all kinds of  techniques: watercolors, oils, colored pencils, pastels, airbrush, and acrylics, but I never went to any art school, other than some online classes years ago. I have seen many great art videos on YouTube from very talented people, and I also have learned a lot from books. But  HOW  i wish i could  have  gone to a "real" art school!

Do you have any all-time favorite painting / journal pages? 

Oh, yes, absolutely! My fave art journals pages are the ones i made from a fairy in one of my old  art journals, and the Klimt painting i made from a  woman with child. This one reminds me of me and my son, so I will never sell it!

The artist and her work,
copyright 2011 Adriana Almanza
Do you make art daily? Do you have any other daily creative practices?

Yes, I make everyday art! And I need to!!  I also listen to music when I paint, and I  make many ATC´s by watching TV in the evening.

What do you do if you are fresh out of ideas?

I take a long walk in the forest with my dogs! It helps a lot!


Thanks, Adriana, for talking with me about your art!

See all of my Artist Interviews here.


  1. That's an awesome interview Moira! thankyou for sharing it with us!!! :-)

  2. Oh wow!! thank you so much Moira ! i am speechless... °-° love it !! ^.^

  3. Beautiful interview Moira! Thank you for sharing Ady with us! Not only does she paint beautiful dollies, but she is a beautiful dolly herself, inside and out! Hugs!

  4. Wonderful interview! I love Ady....not only is she a wonderfully talented lady, but she's also one of the sweetest too!

    Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of
    God's kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile.
    --Mother Teresa

  5. i 1st discovered ady on willowing & friends. i think her style is distinctly special! i adore looking at her art on facebook.

  6. I love Ady's style and am a new student to her Doll Dreams class. I finished my first pencil sketch of a "doll face" last night and was amazed that just watching a couple of her videos and reading her PDF files and I made something I would never have thought I could. She's an awesome artist and teacher!


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