by Jazlyn Andrews
How does Colombian culture & family influence your art? Do you have any influences outside of that?
Colombian culture and family influence my art because I paint what I know and what is around me and the people around me. I treat my friends like family as well. I like to paint the people I love and what makes me happy. When you don't live at home, especially in California where you don't find a lot of Colombians, I start painting my family more because I feel closer to them.
What’s your favorite medium to work with? When did you realize it was your favorite?
I love oil. I used to always paint acrylic, I couldn't understand oil at all. I began to master acrylic and I was always complimented on how much my acrylic paintings look like oil but I hated oil because acrylic was so easy and forgiving. But I had someone tell me to allow oil to teach me a new lesson and that's when I opened myself to oil and I can't go back now. Oil is not forgiving, its patience, its taking a breath, its creating a plan, its allowing mistakes and loving them for their unique colors and shapes.
What does your artistic method consist of?
It consists of dancing, lighting candles, setting a mood, making myself feel light. I like to lose control, I like to hypnotize myself with my paints. I try not to think, like I'm meditating. It's easy to pay so much attention to what you're doing that you ruin the painting or the drawing by focusing so much on what you want it to look like, that the process can feel discouraging.
How do you balance your art life with the rest of your life outside of artistic avenues?
Haha I don't. That is something I should learn but I don't think I want to. All my jobs are creative, and that's how I like to work. I've tried working normal jobs and it drains me. I need to always be making art or its just not me. I always put my art before my relationships, so I know that's something I need to keep in mind but my friends know to just show up at my studio and if you want to be my lover I guess you're going to have to learn to understand.
How has your art/art in general impacted your life?
It has been a therapy in disguise. I never realized until recently how art has been a back bone to how I express myself.
What is your favorite piece from this collection?
My favorite piece is ‘Don Ali.’ That was the first painting I started with and it basically triggered all the other ones. I had been in a block for 3 years, I couldn't paint anything I loved. I painted that, it took me around 4 months to finish but after i did I couldn’t stop painting.
Y U cry?
The painting “Sanar” means to heal. I am using my own tears to water myself, the cycle of healing. Baby Rossana is catching the tears, because my inner child is healing, while older Rossana waters growing Rossana.
What do you want to accomplish long-term with your artwork?
I hope to become financially stable enough with my artwork to build a space for the next generation of young artists who are undocumented like me and help them start somewhere. Help them apply to college, or apply for scholarships, grants, find them mentors, internships. For people of color, for people who come from poverty, for kids with parents in prison, for kids with single moms, dads. It’s hard coming to the states, your mom working all day all week and you secretly want to tell her you want to be an artist knowing the disappointment she will have that you don’t want to fulfill the “american dream” that all immigrant parents imagine. I could only wish I had someone guiding me in how to do all this but you don’t, especially when you’re a kid translating for your mom and the advice you get from your dad is through prison bars. College, art, stability all in place doesn’t seem tangible.
What do you want people to think of/feel when they see your art?
I want them to feel reflection, relatable, understood. I want them to feel the hug I gave myself while I create these paintings.
What do you jam to when you’re in the zone?
Honestly it all varies, I have many playlists. But two people I tend to look towards for playlists when I run out on my own is my friend Modi (ig @supermodi) he makes the best valentine's day playlists on his spotify Trillectro. Also, (@9thsage) spotify playlist Sage Plants has been my current on repeat playlist.
Would you say there’s a difference in creating in Houston vs. Los Angeles?
Haha, I like painting in LA because my studio is bright and big. Houston is nice but my studio is smaller with less windows but I can make anything work. I know the city isn’t on here but my favorite city to paint in is San Francisco. There’s something about the conversations you hear outside, and taking walking breaks to your favorite coffee shop or gelato shop that makes painting a little sweeter.
What cereal/milk alternatives do you like?
I hate milk, haha. I would say I like all alternatives, coconut milk is my top choice and then oat milk. Cereal, I like honey nut cheerios. But I have honestly never really been a cereal person, like i dont go out of my way to buy it.
Best & worst things about art school?
Best things: the environment, the people you meet and spend time with, the critiques, THE TEACHERS. I had amazing teachers. Worst thing: haha, the amount it costs to get a piece of paper. College is a scam for artists. Especially fine artists, you can't teach someone talent but you can teach them how to network and work hard. If you can't afford to go to college and you’re talented you have to work harder and network harder.
Name your top 3 favorite artists.
Kerry James Marshall
I want to also add my top 3 out of my peers are:
Favorite showcase you’ve featured your work in?
My friends and I created our own show in college, we held the show in a mattress store and the theme was mattress. I loved that showcase, my painting of a bagel was the cover to the show and I created a poem for the show as well. My friends really forced me to remove myself from my comfort zone.
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