I came across a post in the Logan Square community group from an artist looking to share her work. Being the art enthusiast that I am, I wanted to help get the word out. Since our current method of contact is through the internet, I initially connected with her on Instagram. Valeria was amenable to the interview, so we had a one-on-one via email.
Valeria — in her own words
“I'm a painter from Garden City, KS. Growing up I learned that I derived a lot of joy from making art and playing the saxophone. I was allowed to go to college with an art scholarship, and I attended Fort Hays State University. Once I graduated, I moved to Chicago to be around incredible artists, and to learn from all the bright people around me."
"My paintings have been an exploration personality and portrait. I have a never-ending interest in the people around me and what their personality would look like if it was visible to the eye. Ever since I can remember, I've been enamored by artwork with the human figure, especially portraits that don't skip a beat with the details. Painting people in my life is perfect because I want them to see themselves the way I see them. I also want them to see how much their personality radiates, so I try to use the shapes and colors that seem to surround who they are in different forms."
Self-Portraits can be a good lesson
"I also loved to use myself as a subject, mainly because I was always available to take reference photos. Self-portraits have always been incredibly freeing to paint because I get to play around with different objects that have had some sort of imprint on my life and figuring out how to make them lay in a work to work harmoniously."
"I've been working on a new body of work, moving towards imagery that just makes me feel electric. Once I graduated, I had a hard time connecting with my work and I wasn't sure why. I was stuck in this rut where I felt there was a formula for making art. But there isn't, and I have finally been rediscovering what I want to make I've wanted to blend realism and contemporary elements together, and while it's been challenging, I've learned a lot about the work I am creating, and why it's been so important to let go of what I thought was necessary to be a successful piece. I am incredibly happy to bring new art to my world and share it! I am using this time of being inside all day to wrap up all the paintings I have going so I can also properly document them."
Q & A
Do you have a studio?
I do have a little studio in my apartment.
Are you interested in painting outdoor murals? If so, are you willing to collab with other artists?
I would absolutely love working on outdoor murals and am very willing to collaborate with other artists.
Chicago has a plethora of galleries and art-related events. Do you aspire to take part in opportunities like this?
I would love to be able to be in galleries, have opportunities to make art for companies on a larger scale, and maybe even work in a gallery.
Is there an artist who has particularly influenced or inspired you?
I think I’m influenced by painters Dorielle Caimi, Michael Reeder, Jen Mann, and in general, music that’s bright and sparkly.
I find Valeria's work colorful, unique, and thought-provoking. During these peculiar times, art momentarily allows us to escape the "real world" and I love that.
Valeria is finishing up some new pieces and taking commissions. Interested parties can contact her via Instagram or email email@example.com.