What comes to mind when you think of the phrase, “Taking up space?” Does your mind go to something large and inviting or intimidating and serious? Too often the idea of “Taking up space” has been reserved for negative connotations - what if we flipped the script? This week’s guest focuses a lot of her time in the studio creating large-scale oil paintings and is no stranger to the idea of “Taking up space.”
My guest is the talented and charming artist, Teresa Oaxaca. Teresa is an American born artist based currently in Washington D.C. She is a full-time painter whose works can be seen in collections and galleries throughout the US and internationally. Teresa’s talent has been recognized and rewarded by museums and institutions such as the American Museum of the Cowboy, The former Corcoran Gallery of Art, The Art Renewal Center, The Elisabeth Greenshields Foundation, the Posey Foundation, and The Portrait Society of America and the Museu Europeu D’Art Modern in Barcelona.
I can’t wait for you to jump in and get to know Teresa - she has some powerful insights that you don’t want to miss!
It’s OK to take up space
On your journey as an artist, you can likely recall those who have built you up and encouraged you along the way - are their voices as strong in your mind as those who were quick to critique? Let’s face it, as artists, it can feel like we have to constantly justify why we matter and why creating art is so important. While that feeling is real - you don’t have to follow it!
Here’s the thing, you can take up space - you have a right to be here as much as anyone else does. Don’t let anyone make you feel small or make you feel like your art has to “Fit” in a certain box. One of the many reasons why I invited Teresa to join me to talk about her experience as an artist is due to her powerful and bold example. Teresa isn’t afraid to take up space with her paintings - literally - her artwork is made to “Take up space.” What can you learn from Teresa’s engaging story? Have you learned that it’s OK to take up space?
Finding your “Voice”
When did you find your “Voice” as an artist? Did you find it as you finished art school? Are you still looking for it? Finding your voice is one of those things that you can’t really teach - you can help, nudge, and encourage but you can’t really lead someone to find their “Voice.”
While studying in a four-year program at the Angel Academy of Art, Teresa started to grow as an artist and as a businessperson. Before long, Teresa had found a way to sell her art and pay her tuition as she finished college. Still, through all this success, Teresa had a challenging time finding her voice - and that sounds like most of us! Success doesn’t always lead to a clear path forward and that’s OK. When advising artists who are just getting started, Teresa encourages them to avoid posting their work online or even allowing anyone to critique it - you need time to find your voice on your own!
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