I’m delighted to introduce the artist of the week: Deborah Velásquez!  She is a pleasure to know online, always encouraging and witty.  Deborah is a highly trained artist who has a wonderfully defined artistic style, currently blending the world of words, paint, and nature.  Personally, I am very drawn to her work…clean, poetic, fresh, and soulful.  It’s a refreshing mix of contemporary and traditional vintage. Explore her blog here which is full of charm both with the written word and visual prints. You can also visit her Facebook page and don’t hesitate to drop by her etsy store for her beautiful prints! 

For now, sit back, grab a cup of tea and enjoy a special peek into the artist behind the art. Her advice for those just starting a creative path is right on target….I’m taking her advice! Oh, and make sure to read the last image…too funny!

1. As a creative person, how would you describe your expression of creativity? Do you focus on one modality or many? 

My expression of creativity has taken and continues to take many avenues and is represented in many forms. As of late I have been expressing myself through word art. I have always loved typography and I am always inspired by letters, their shape and form.  Now that love of word comes through with my thoughts and messages on paper or canvas. I strongly believe it has come to the forefront because of my blog, which I started in August. I am most proud of the bilingual aspect that has made its way to my painted pieces. I at times think in Spanish and now I have a place in my art to express my other language and culture.

My creative history contains art school and creative jobs in design. I worked in the fashion industry before kids and my jobs have included graphic design, textile design and millinery. I continue to learn and explore different mediums of art to express what I feel and think. My collection of work is like a canvas in itself and it has been translated into a line, a brand. This aspect of my work has happened purely by accident or should we say organically!  For example, when I did my first art and crafts festival with my cards, notebooks, paintings and mobiles my booth seemed empty so I added painted ceramics. I pulled color and graphics from the cards into decorative touches on the ceramics. My handmade owls evolved from making crafts with my oldest son, he wanted to sew, and so we did. We made handmade owls and birds as gifts for his teachers at Christmas. When I did my first show I had the ceramics, the cards and the owls but the area in the gallery needed more punch so I created my large flower paintings. It has been a process of adding more to my canvas sort of speak.

Presently I have a line that features a stationery component with cards, magnets and notebooks. I have a tabletop component with painted ceramic vases, dishes and coasters. For the home I offer decorative pieces such as paintings, textiles (hand printed tea towels and such), handmade ornaments and mobiles. My dream is to do a trade show. My ultimate dream is to design rugs.

I am consistent in my style and color choices; my creativity comes from a deep place within. I know this is what I am meant to be doing and have known since a young age. I wanted to go into medicine, I loved chemistry but at the same time I loved making art. My mother was very supportive and she always said to “live life without regret” I have always said that making art for me is like a relationship. It is like being in love.

It brings me to another level, to another place.

One of great joy.

2. For you, what does it mean to you to be on a creative path or journey? 

To me, to be on a creative path or journey is to choose to make art, evolve and grow as an artist with knowledge through learning, build your body of work, create a style all your own. Your work is the essence of you, is it not? Be you, be true, be.

On your journey you might have to get off the bus or even change buses for a while due to family stuff, other commitments or just to deal with what life throws at you. Just remember the creative path still awaits you, the road is still there to follow. You have made it to your first destination though and that is in choosing to be artist.

3. I’ve heard different stories of people who suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere decide to focus on being creative, others who were interested, but yet decide not to nurture it…yet others who have always expressed their creativity. How would you describe your particular experience in regards to realizing that you would dedicate your time and energy to making art?

I enjoy being creative, nothing lights me more than making something out of nothing. I have always expressed my creativity with my hands be it sewing, making hats, making mobiles or painting. I always knew I wanted to do something creative and in the arts. I decided early on that I would take this path. I guess I really made the commitment when I applied to college; I made a plan to learn what I needed to work in a creative field. The decision to focus on my own art came about because I was laid off one of my creative positions due to company restructuring. I used my severance package to start my adventure in creating a body of work, do art shows and get into stores. At some point after that I was given an opportunity to work with a retail design team in New York. One of the best experiences of my life. I had the opportunity to work for two fabulous women who have affected my life in many, many positive ways. I chose to step away from my own art for a while.  I would eventually come back to making my own art after my first child was born I became a stay at home mom; I became that “artist mom”. I created art side by side with my son as he grew and my body of work grew. That is how it all started.

I am inspired by my children and because of their sense of wonder I enjoy and see the beauty in every day. It is not always easy to make art as a stay at home mom. I find myself making art in bits between naptime, playdates and school pick up but I do get to do what I love and that’s a good thing.

4. What are the three pieces of advice that you would give someone just starting out on a creative path?

 I actually have five! I think about this a lot! Z: Even Better!

    • Don’t let fear cripple you. Make him a friend; make him a welcomed guest at the table of your success. Don’t let fear turn into regret, as I said earlier “live life without regret”.  Thanks mom!
    • Put yourself and your work out there. Take a chance you might be pleasantly surprised. If you don’t ask you don’t get. Everyone has or will have a customer, a client, a “their person” with whom their work connects with and speaks to.
    • Make art everyday, it can just be a doodle. I have an exercise I do in the morning, takes seconds. I take a sheet of paper and put the pen down once to make a continuous line of scribbles doodles never picking up the pen till the page is significantly covered with creative marks. Voilà! Your first masterpiece of the day!
    • Don’t let anyone tell you it is only a hobby! Or you don’t really work because you make art! Or it’s not a “real” job.
  • Keep learning and share your knowledge to inspire others.

                        All images were provided by Deborah Velasquez

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