Hello Dear Desiree Ruiz. Thank you for giving us the chance to Interview with you. Our first
question is how the “Covid-19” affects your art and what is your expectation for the year
ahead of us?

I wasn’t a full-time artist prior Covid. I was involved in the art industry as an art
consultant/advisor working at art galleries in Central Florida. Been constantly surrounded by
artists and art motivated me to reconnect with that part of myself that had not painted for
years. I would paint here and there, but not consistently. Covid made me lose my day job, or
so they would say, leaving me unemployed for months. I took advantage of the free time I
had in my hands, and I just painted almost every day.

After months of been basically self-employed, focusing on my art, I was finally able to land
another job in the work force, again as an art consultant. However, this new job was solely
commission based. I had to hustle to represent and sell other artists’ works. It was insanely
stressful, exhausting, and frustrating when sales didn’t even happen. No matter the hard
work I was putting into it, at the end of the day, if I didn’t make any sales, I simply wasn’t
getting paid. It made me question myself. I felt like I was wasting my time, struggling to sell
other artists’ works when I could be doing all this for my own work and for my own career

In 2020, precisely during Covid, I started exhibiting my work at art galleries, museums, at the Orlando International Airport, and at festivals. Even artist PJ Svejda invited me to do monthly pop-up exhibits and paint live at Studio Art Farm, her new art gallery in Mount Dora, Florida. Not being in the work force due to the pandemic, allowed me to focus solely on art and in the business aspect of it. Last year, I started participating as an art vendor at the Winter Garden Farmers Market every Saturday. I even took it upon myself to organize and curate my first solo show, “UNCERTAINTY REALMS, The Art of the Unknown”, single-handedly as an independent artist.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and what drove you to choose art as a career?

It wasn’t planned. I kept doing it without thinking anything of it. Art wasn’t something new to me. I had always pursued it even as a kid. Funny enough, what I did envision myself doing as a career was fashion design, which I did go to college for, yet it wasn’t as accessible as art is, especially here in Orlando. I did art and I kept doing it out of love and out of necessity almost to my being. In my senior year of high school, I was in between choosing a bachelors for visual arts or fashion design. I chose the latter truly because I never wanted to see art like an obligation or a duty. I didn’t want to take away the enjoyment of it. In the future, however, I do envision myself pursuing both fields by somehow combining art with fashion.

Could you describe your normal day as an artist?

I find myself wearing multiple hats throughout the day. Sometimes I feel like I’m managing the business aspect of it all more than I am painting. I pay close attention to my engagement with social media for marketing purposes while also keeping my website up to date with fresh content. I could easily spend hours working on a painting. Once I’m done with it, I go ahead and prepare all the marketing material for it, such as taking high quality pictures, adding them to my website along with the story behind it, and drafting social media posts for it. I’ve been actively focusing on doing a Zodiac Sign Series as well as getting everything ready to launch my first NFT collection with OpenSea.

You are fascinated by occult sciences. What was the first thing that made you curious
about this subject?

I had to take two art history courses in fashion school, one of them introduced me to Romanticism. The art movement steered away from depicting what was perceived superficially. Imagination, even spiritualism, played the lead role. Artistic expression was relative to the mystery of nature, the search for answers, the mind’s capacities, the representation and interpretation of dreams, the interest towards the mysteries of existence, and the obsession towards otherworldly beings. I got obsessed with the principles of the movement. To this day, I heavily relate with how its emphasis was upon using imagination as a gateway to transcendent experience and spiritual truth. It’s fascination towards the strange and the marvelous, towards the dream world, divine realms, and the occult still fuels my work to this day in some aspect or the other. An occult science that’s also very present in my work is the study of crystals due to their metaphysical symbolism. I believe crystals have a way of speaking to us. Funny enough, in my experience, they always have something significant to say. Whenever a crystal would call my attention and I wasn’t entirely sure why, I would always research their meaning. They would always make me discover something about myself or my life. Perhaps something I might have been subconsciously aware of. They truly have an interesting way of bringing answers and clarity. That’s why you see so many crystals in most of my work. The Romantic art movement encouraged me to dive into spiritualism, tarot and oracle readings, pendulum dowsing, and crystal healing; occult sciences that I incorporate in my own art to this day.

What was the most challenging project that you worked on?

“UNCERTAINTY REALMS, The Art of the Unknown” was by far my most challenging project. It was my first solo show, which I went ahead and organized all by myself without knowing the first thing about planning an event, let alone about curating an art exhibition. I thought, screw it, no art gallery wants to accept my solo exhibition proposals, so I’ll just do it on my own. I’m one to believe that if nobody wants to give you an opportunity, you create and give that opportunity to yourself. So I did. I single-handedly curated my first solo art show, exhibiting over 42 original works of art. I did a few venue walk-throughs to find the ideal place for my exhibition. Once I did, I set up a date for the event four months in advance, and things started moving from there. And no, it didn’t go smoothly at all. It was confusing and stressful, specially when I was seeking out sponsors and media coverage to help me fund and promote the event. I did a whole pitch deck along a press release, yet I had no luck in those aspects since my requests were either ignored or rejected. So I had to do everything within my grasp to market and advertise the exhibition by myself. I had to design and distribute the invitations and all the promotional material. Thankfully, word of mouth played a huge role leading to the night of the show. The amount of people that showed up exceeded my expectations. Of course, there’s always that fear of people not showing up, so when the night came and people did... That made it all so worth it. I had hired a DJ to play during the event, which was also phenomenal. Even though it was one hell of a challenge, it was insanely fun to organize, specially when I had to do a mock-up of how the paintings would be arranged on the walls and throughout the venue. I still feel immense pride in knowing that I organized something that big without experience, with very limited budget, without sponsorship, and without media coverage.

What do you like most about being an artist?

I love hearing people’s interpretations of my works. It’s fascinating. Sometimes they see
things I didn’t intend on purpose. I love when they get curious and they ask me about the
choices I made throughout the painting, especially when it comes to the subject matter and
the story behind it, which I’m big on. Storytelling is another thing I deeply enjoy about being
an artist. Almost every single painting I’ve done has some sort of narrative while some have
poems. It’s almost impossible for me not to give them a story and meaning.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

To keep going, regardless of what people say, regardless of how many times you get ignored or rejected, regardless of whether people like your work or not. Keep going for yourself because we both know that you’re always gonna find yourself doing art professionally or out of pleasure.

Anything else you would like to mention or add for the readers?

I dived into the art world not knowing beforehand it could be a possibility. It just happened. I’ve said it before and I will always say it to the artists I meet along the way: “don’t wait for others to give you opportunities. Create them for yourself. Work with the resources that you have. It’s possible. Everything is. If you’ve always been wanting to have a solo show yet never have been able to because nobody is willing to trust in your work and invest their time in your career, do it yourself, and yes, without an art gallery. It’s one of the most empowering things I’ve ever done and I’m sure it will be for you too. Best thing yet, whenever your work sells, the commission is a 100% yours.”

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