Kathy, Crafty Chica here! I’m so thrilled to be stepping in for a guest post on Julie’s fabulous blog!
My post is about a recent experience I had, where I had to just let the “feed dogs” of life guide me through to the other side.
Early last summer I was invited to submit a piece of art for a show called Chicano State of Mind at the Mesa Arts Center. I knew it was a big deal because the show was going to kick off a 10-year birthday party for the Center AND it was going to run in tandem with a bigger show by the owner of the largest collector of Chicano art in the world, actor Cheech Marin. Did I mention they only invited eight local artists to contribute?
I agreed, quickly - out of excitement. But my gut churned with self-doubt. I did the very thing I preach to others NOT to do - I thought of all the reasons why and how others were more deserving. A Chicano art show often springs into heavy territory of social issues, a multi-layered history and more. And here I am, all happy and glittery. I haven’t experienced a lot of the struggles others have in my culture.
I submitted my sketch, still weary of the whole thing and how I could fit in without looking like a delusional poser. At one point I even decided to see if I could pass the opportunity along to another friend who I felt really deserved the spotlight for her work.
Then one night I stopped myself. I told myself that perhaps they invited me because of my point-of-view. Because it was different from everyone else’s.
Chicana State of Mind!
I’m third-generation Mexican-American - puro Chicana! This art piece and would be MY state of mind. I finally came to the conclusion to allow myself to embrace and enjoy the experience!
For my piece, I created a fabric collage of the Aztec Warrior Angel of Love. She is strong and mighty, and rules with positivity with a purpose. Once I let go of the self-doubt, her story came alive through my hands! She wouldn’t let me stop. I made the entire piece in one day, non-stop.
I created the background in black and white because I knew she would be colorful. Then I found some cotton lace for her wing, and when it came to her skin, I loved this white fabric embossed with flowers. I used a skin-toned copic marker to bring her to life! The dress is made of different fabric scraps.
I had everything in place, except for her face. Argh! So much pressure! I practiced on paper and then nailed it down to three expressions - and I shared them on my Snapchat feed and let my followers choose for me. I made it a group effort!
The show opened and thousands of people attended (Los Lonely Boys provided the musical entertainment!) And look, one of the local papers wrote about it!
I’m really proud of this piece and the mini-breakthrough I had with it. My message to all of you is to own every opportunity and use it SHINE in your own signature way. It came to you for a reason, so make it count!
You can see more of me over at my site, CraftyChica.com!
Kathy Cano-Murillo is an author, artist and founder of the award-winning site, CraftyChica.com. She is a social media powerhouse and is known for spreading the gospel of glitter – literally through her art & craft, and metaphorically via her presentations & books! She has been a brand ambassador for companies such as WordPress, Disney, Lowe’s Home Improvement Stores, Big Lots, CoffeeMate, iLoveToCreate, and many others. Her Crafty Chica product line is carried in Michaels stores every fall season, and she is a former craft columnist for The Arizona Republic and Gannett News Service. She has authored nine books, two of them novels. She has been featured in The New York Times, USA Today, HGTV, DIY Network, Lifetime TV and more. Known for her “Mexi-boho” style, her hand painted creations have been carried in more than 300 shops across the country including Bloomingdales and Target. She is a third-generation Mexican-American, a native Phoenician, mom of two, wife, with five Chihuahuas!