On Freeing the Artist Within

I made some new art this past week:

 

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This piece is about being your true authentic self. It is a profile silhouette of a woman, and in it, there’s writing. The writing speaks to a man that perhaps is interested in you.

This painting is for sale, in my shop HERE.

It tells him, just because I am a woman, doesn’t mean that I’m just a pretty thing to look at. I’m more than just an ass and hips and being culturally latina. I am more than just my ethnicity, though I am that as well. I am Latina. But I am so much more. I deserve love from an outside source, it tells him. It tells him to look beyond his preconceived ideas of what a woman is, and simply be present.

As women, we are taught to be fragile. We are taught to sit down and shut up. We are taught to deal with it. We deserved it. These are the things we hear. These are the things we are taught as children, not just by our family, but by society. You know, until I became a mother, I didn’t realize that it still happens now. Turn on the tetelevisionnd see how many shitty little cartoons focus so much on the masculine hero. Watch a movie that isn’t made by Tim Burton (because the MoFo fucking rocks), and see how women are portrayed. If we are career focused, we are shown as a bitch. If we are feminine, we are helpless victims, still to this day. When you’re a Latina, you get so many stereotypes being thrown at you during a first date, that often, I just want to walk out. Being a woman is not an easy task, if you choose to be June Cleaver AND Gloria Steinem.

Why do I choose these two icons? Because I like to cook for my partner. I enjoy cooking and baking for the one that I love, and not because I am supposed to, but because I also enjoy eating, and so cooking is fun for me. Baking is so soothing to me, I love it. I enjoy it. Baking becomes a family event, as I always bake with my two daughters.

Upon learning that I like to bake, men become a hot mess around me. You should see them when I tell them that yes, I’m Latina, and yes I love the Grateful Dead. Actually, really. It is as if they cannot help but view me as a caricature of myself, like something from cartoon-like I have some sort of expectation to live up to.

“So, you kinda have an accent.” he said, smiling.

“Yeah, I lived in Brooklyn for about fifteen years, so the accent kind of stuck with me. It comes out a lot more when I’m angry.” I said, cringing inside, in anticipation of what he’d say next.

“Oh, it’s the spicy latina, then, huh?”

You see, this is when I start to just a bit frustrated. I created this painting, as a sort of message to the world, that I can. I CAN do this, I CAN be me, and live gloriously  without the stereotypes. Without the expectations of men thinking I’m supposed to live and act one way or another.

We women, we make a habit of listening and paying attention too long at what others think we are supposed to be, say, worship and dress like. If only we could all realize that we are only meant to live how we think. Bob Dylan said, “A man is a success if he wakes up in the morning and goes to bed at night and in between he does what he wants.”

I believe this. I believe that we are a success when we are doing what we love. Not when we are listening to a slovenly dressed man tell us what he thinks success is. I don’t listen to the hype. I don’t listen to what other people think I’m supposed to be doing, I do what I’m supposed to for myself and my family. I have that choice. Too often, religion takes that choice away from women. But you are free. You truly are.

Moving to New Jersey was an act of love towards my daughters. I knew that the schools were better, that my family was out there, and that they would be much happier than they’d ever been in Brooklyn, where they had no family at all. So, I’m happy that they are happy. I also came here, because I wanted to really focus on my life as not just a mother, but a writer and artist.

This writer/artist life is a hustle. It is a daily routine of hustle and bustle, and honestly….I love it. I love waking up and being able to do what I love, and having the freedom to write and paint and plan out my future with my girls. But, I do know that at this point in time, I do need support. I need to know from you all, that you’re out there reading, and understanding what I’m dealing with both as a single mother, and as an up and coming artist.

So, I’ve learned in life that often you need to ask for help when you need it. And this time, I do. I would love to know about leads as far as galleries and boutiques, but also, I need financial support. So, if you’re wanting to help me, I’d love that. I’m coming up with a zine, and when I do those that support me, will get a lovely little zine with my art on it, and poems inside! Yes!

The button is below.

 

 


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