Who are you and what do you do?
I am Cecy Esparza, a Mexican “todóloga”.
Todóloga – Literally means “to be an everything-studier”. The more English translation is, “to be a jack of all trades”. The word todólogo/a is made up of todo meaning “everything” and the suffix – logo/a which means “one who studies”
My parents didn’t mind what I did or studied as long as I had a career to have the security of finding a job if I needed to. My brother always told me I should choose one thing to do and be the best at it but I just wanted to do it all.
Looking for my definitive definition and identity I’ve had a couple of crisis through the years.
I decided to give curated sections of me including only the relevant parts depending on who asked, “mexican”, “tourismologist”, “model”, “artist”, blah… but the more I look, the more words, and adjectives, trades and experiences I go through, the more difficult it becomes to keep my different “identities” in check.
What’s your background?
I am mainly a self taught artist. People often think because I do many “artistic” or creative things, I probably have an art formation background. In reality I am a Tourismologist by profession (B.A. in Tourism Business Management). I have experience in hospitality, event planning, costumer service and other fields.
The closest thing to an art formation I had were two art class experiences in basic drawing and oil painting during university as extracurricular courses. More recently I had another oil painting class at the Upper Hutt Woman’s Community Centre in Wellington.
My mom’s side of the family, even though not artists by profession either (mainly teachers), do have a fame of being “todólogos” as we say in Spanish. My grandpa used to come up with many ways to sustain the family from photography to selling sweets and snacks to cake decorating.
From there my mom, aunt and uncles developed a sense of doing everything on their own and coming up with creative ways to make a living, leading to me and my cousins with an infamous curiosity to try and do it all.
What’s your media of choice?
Even though I’ve had two oil painting classes I actually don’t really use oils too often. My media of choice are acrylics and ink.
Drawing has always come easy to me and after participating in the Inktober Challenge for two consecutive years, I’ve grown comfortable with pen and ink drawing, loving the finish and look it gives over the traditional graphite or pencil drawing.
Acrylics is the paint that I’ve used the most and in more variety of occasions. Over my university years, I painted two acrylic murals used in the XXVIII Touristic & Gastronomic Show & the 2018 Oaxacan Festival at Ms Millenium Hotel.
Why do you do what you do?
Nobody told me art wasn’t serious or I couldn’t do it but I was never encouraged to pursue it either. Based on my subconscious preconceptions of life and my inherited curiosity for culture and the world (this one from my father’s side) I decided to go into Tourism Business Management.
My father also had his own business (doctor’s office) so my idea of success in life was being my own boss, therefore Business Management looked like the obvious decision and adding tourism to the pot made it a match made in heaven for me at the time.
But as we know, “Not everything that shines is gold”…
After experiencing the idea and the mindset other people had towards the career plus the low pay rate and awful treatment through the different sectors of the industry (in my experience mainly coming from supervisors and managers) I decided this wasn’t going to be a sustainable life and career path for me.
I always tried to push my art and creativity here and there in my former years but was always either put down for my impracticality or taken advantage of.
2020’s pandemic and my mental health issues really pushed me to finally find my way through the creative world. I needed some way of being fully recognized and appreciated for my strengths instead of constantly living through the unappreciated unseen creative extra mile efforts.
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