Spanish artists Concha García Zaera, an 88-year-old grandmother from Valencia has become an Instagram sensation.
Concha García Zaera, an 88-year-old grandmother from Valencia, Spain, has become an Instagram sensation.
Her Instagram account @conchagzaera – which has more than 162,000 followers – features her extraordinarily meticulous artwork, all created using Microsoft Paint.
After looking at Zaera’s work it is now possible not to underestimate the long-standing basic graphics editing program – first launched in 1985.
Shapes, colours, perspective and shadows; the artist makes beautiful pictures with the image editing program developed by Microsoft. And although for some it may seem a bizaare hobby, for her it is something completely natural.
"I love drawing," Zaera told Euronews.
Although her account on Instagram has only been up since October of last year, her passion for digital painting started more than 10 years ago.
It all kicked off when her husband fell ill and she had to abandon painting with oil, which was her speciality. "I was at home taking care of him [...] but he could not stand the smell of oil. It smelt very strong."
When her children gave her a computer, she discovered Microsoft Paint. She started drawing simple things and "little by little" she went on and added details to her creations.
Today, the "millennial" grandmother has become a reference for many artists and is known worldwide.
The Spanish artist never imagined that she would know such success. She says that her granddaughters always insisted she should share her talent on social networks, without success.
One day, one of them took the initiative and created an account on Instagram, where she published the first drawing.
"I did not understand what was happening. (The followers) started to go up, up, and up and I was wondering what was going on," recalls Zaera.
Twitter user @femilimon shared a screenshot of her account. The tweet went viral, and within the last week, Zaera's follower count has soared from 361 to more than 90,000.
Today, the almost nonagenarian manages her social networks and receive dozens of messages and comments every time they make a publication. She says she tries to answer almost all her followers, although sometimes it is difficult.
"Newspapers from all the sites talk about me", the artist told Euronews, although she affirms that "she does it for pleasure" and because she enjoys being creative.
Zaera told Euronews she does all of her work on Windows 7, uses a mouse, and is mainly inspired by daily street scenes and local nature she spots in Valencia.
She admits that she has no plans to change or update the program she uses, although people always recommend more advanced ones to get a better finish.
"At my age (88 years) I am no longer able to start learning anything else," says the artist, saying that she is used to the computer.
However, the artist confesses that using Paint "can sometimes be time-consuming", especially when "she starts to add details" like shadows. And although there are paintings that only need a few days to be finished, there are others that can take "a month or more".
Zaera is definitely not in a hurry as she continues to grow her portfolio of artwork. "Now I am a widow, I am alone and I have many hours ahead of me. This is how I keep myself entertained."