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Artist's Story: Marianne Angeli Rodriguez

Name: Marianne Angeli Rodriguez 
Occupation: Painter Illustrator 
Favorite studio tool/supply: C-Thru Ruler
Artists you love: Erte, Matisse, Picasso, Paco Gorospe, Papa Ibra Tall
Sources of inspiration: Tropical climates and cultures, anything colorful and unusual, ethnic textiles, linguistics, Dhamma philosophy, Metta
Favorite time to paint: Anytime with sunlight and late at night after midnight
Most unexpected quality: I spent my childhood in West Africa, in Burkina Faso and Senegal. French was my second language.

How did you come to be an artist? I went down a number of different paths before arriving where I am presently. It took me a while, but the detours were necessary in affirming my passions. A defining moment came the year right after finishing design school. It was a precarious time for the industry, for the economy in general, I linked up with some large design houses but none of them wanted to take a chance hiring a fresh grad with a foreign visa. I began painting a lot at home; it was a powerful outlet for me, even though I never did study fine art. I just built on what I had learned in the 2-3 fashion drawing classes I took at FIT. That same year I traveled to Kenya. I spent the summer teaching fashion design and fashion illustration to an HIV/AIDS women's collective in the Kibera slum. I did it all on my own- the experience changed me completely.


"I spent the summer teaching fashion design and fashion illustration to an HIV/AIDS women's collective in the Kibera slum. I did it all on my own- the experience changed me completely."


What does your average day look like? I begin my day tending to my pets (I have two rescues; a tabby cat named Tiger and a pit-bull mix named Buddha), cleaning up and making sure they get their food and love. Luckily, my studio is set up in my home so I will either go straight into creating, picking up on projects in progress, or planning out new pieces. At noon, Buddha and I take a 2 mile walk for fresh air in the neighborhood. I prefer to be completely immersed when I'm creating, so I separate my tasks and plan days for painting only and other days for admin such as web updates, photo-shooting, editing etc. I spend an average of 10 hours a day in my studio. I'm not strict about start or end times, I go with what feels right and follow the energy of my body and of the day.

How would you describe your creative process/how do you go about making art? I'm still discovering my creative process - it's intuitive and experimental. I'm working on being better about keeping a journal, I'm guilty of overusing and hoarding post-its. For the most part, I am hands-on with new ideas, if I think of a beautiful silhouette, for example, I will go straight into drawing and cutting it out with an exact-o knife. I've learned to open myself up to combing techniques rather than just sticking to one traditional approach. I enjoy looking at beautiful images for inspiration, but I also try to remain mindful of all the things directly around me.


"I've learned to open myself up to combining techniques rather than just sticking to one traditional approach."


What is the hardest part about being a creative entrepreneur? The hardest part has been teaching myself how to fill all of the roles outside of the creativity aspect; editing, marketing, time and business management - being good at each one respectively and simultaneously.

What tips would you give someone looking to buy art? Invest in art that has the ability to tell guests who visit your space something about you even in your absence. Buy art that reminds you of something beautiful from your past, or informs you of an ideal or feeling you've hoped for - you'll cherish it wherever you go.

What would you say to someone who is convinced they lack creativity or artistic ability? Try something new and completely different, something non-creative even, it could unlock something profound. There's that quote by Joseph Chilton Pearce; "To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong". Start there, and remember to have fun along the way.

We totally agree! Head over to Marianne's website for a little creative inspiration.