NEIU Artist Interview
April 14, 2022
What’s your background and how do you think it has affected your work? I am a Mexican American that didn’t grow up with much pride in Mexican culture. I had difficulties with a parent that complicated my relationship with my ethnicity and it took me a while to learn about and accept my culture. In my late teens and early twenties, I started to accept my place in the world and especially with looking like a brown woman, I wanted to be more a part of my culture. I draw a lot of my color inspiration from Mexican culture and art. Mexican art can be so playful and colorful and it’s one of my favorite parts of the culture.
What type of art do you create and what motivates you to make it? My motivation to make art lies in the way it acts as an outlet for letting out difficult emotions. It feels so invigorating to escape from the world for a while and turn tough life stressors into a work of art. I feel like sometimes, it’s not enough to just talk about my feelings and even trauma. In a world where therapy and mental health care is hard to obtain, we are forced to find other ways to cope. I am excited to one day be a therapist and specialize in art therapy to teach others how to express emotion through art.
What’s the purpose or goal of your work? The purpose of my work varies; sometimes my art is playful and is meant to tell a story in my own reimagination. Most recently, my work has been a way for me to cope with life challenges and the woes of mental illness.
Where do you find inspiration? My Mexican culture; I fell in love with the celebration of Dia de los Muertos because of the way afterlife is looked at and especially all of the bright colors involved.
How do you define success as an artist? One thing I find to be very important to my own artistic journey is to stay true to why I started creating art in the first place. I think it’s easy to fall into capitalist ventures and lose your motivation as a creator.
How do you market yourself and your work? I am in the works of getting an online shop up and featuring prints. Right now, I use Instagram as a platform to display my art. I would really like to do something with plant pots and am working on a way to market those. Ultimately, I don’t think I am in a space currently to devote a lot of my time to selling my artwork; and I am okay with that! I do like to take commissions, though.
What do you believe is the role of an artist in society? I love knowing that every artist has a different response to this question and has their own reasons as to why they create artwork. My personal belief it that artists play a role of evoking emotion in people through visuals. That emotion does not even necessarily have to be deep but an emotion, nonetheless.
If you could give one piece of advice to another artist trying to navigate their way in the artworld, what would it be? Art is whatever you want it to be; that’s the point. It’s okay to have rutz and mediums that you’re not good at, but keep creating because it’s where growth happens.
What are your handles, or contact information so people can check out your work? My handle on Instagram is @growingoptimist. Look out for some fun pieces that I am soon to finish!