Cecy Esparza

visual artist

@cecyesparzaart

INKTOBER

ACRYLICS

MAKEUP

PENCIL & GRAPHITE

Graphite Portrait Commissions are OPEN! ♡

Contact cecyesparzaart@gmail.com or socials for details

Artist Q&A

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. 

Painting a Costa Rican OxCart Wheel Folk Pattern

Costa Rican oxcarts, called carretas in Spanish, are a large part of Costa Rican history. They allowed for the expansion and increase of exports of many goods including Costa Rica’s main export, coffee. It also is a huge part of Costa Rican culture today. The oxcarts are considered one of Costa Rica’s national symbols.

The Artist Way – Week 7: Recovering a Sense of Connection

Hello and welcome to this Artist Way check in Week 7. The Artist Way is a book written by Julia Cameron that is meant to guide artist and creatives of all walks of life through a 12 week process of self discovery and unlock of your creative freedom. If you’re curious to know more about it, check out my blog where I describe the different components of the 12 week journey and tools included in the book.

The weekly check ins in this blog answer the questions Julia asks to put your progress into perspective. I added the weekly tasks to the list and categorized the questions as follow:

  • Morning Pages:
    How many days this week did you do your morning pages
  • Artist Dates:
    Did you do your artist date this week? What did you do? How did it feel?
  • Weekly Tasks:
    I added the weekly tasks here.
  • Check In:
    Did you experience any synchronicity this week? What was it? 
    Were there any other issues this week that you consider significant for your recovery? Describe them.

Without further a do, let’s have a look at these weeks’ check ins!

Morning Pages

  • How many days this week did you do your morning pages? 5/7

Artist Dates

  • Did you do your artist date this week? What did you do? How did it feel? 

Weekly Tasks

RISK EXERCISE

QUESTION: What would I do if I didn’t have to do it perfectly?

ANSWER: A great deal more than I am. We’ve all heard that the unexamined life is not worth living, but consider too that the unlived life is not worth examining.

THE JEALOUSY MAP, AN EXERCISE

Your jealousy map will have three columns. In the first column. name those whom you are jealous of. Next to each name write why. Be as specific and accurate as you can. In the third column. list one action you can take to move toward creative risk and out of jealousy. When jealousy bites. like a snakebite it requires an immediate antidote. On paper, make your jealousy map:

WHO WHY ACTION ANTIDOTE

______________ _______________ _________________________

______________ _______________ _________________________

______________ _______________ _________________________

ARCHEOLOGY, AN EXERCISE

The phrases that follow are more of your sleuth work. Very often. We have buried parts of ourselves that can be uncovered by some digging. Not only will your answers tell you what you missed in the past; they will tell you what you can be doing now, to comfort and encourage your child artist. It is not too late. no matter what your ego tells you.

Complete these phrases.

As a kid. I missed the chance to socialize, explore, be encouraged to make mistakes.

As a kid. I lacked connection, care, understanding, nurturing, love.

As a kid. I could have used quality time with people to guide me, make me feel accepted and loved.

As a kid. I dreamed of being a performer or athlete.

As a kid. I wanted a balanced connection, happy, stable, functional family. A break from life.

In my house. we never had enough communication.

As a kid, I needed more love.

I am sorry that I will never again see my mom through rose lenses.

For years, I have missed and wondered about my potential.

I beat myself up about the loss of my innocent enthusiasm.

It is important to acknowledge our positive inventory as well as our shortfalls. Take positive stock of what good you have to build on in the present. Finish these phrases.

I have a loyal friend in Leslie,  Valentina.

One thing I like about my town is there’s lots of people to talk to,  nature.

I think I have nice home and soul.

Writing my morning pages has shown me I can be insightful without pain, committed, and consistent.

I am taking a greater interest in self love, self care.

I believe I am getting better at mindful accountability.

My artist has started to pay more attention to being present in life.

My self – care is holistic.

I feel more safe and grateful.

Possibly, my creativity is healing, joyful and powerful.

TASKS

● Make this phrase a mantra: “Treating myself like a precious object will make me strong.” Watercolor or crayon or calligraph this phrase. Post it where you will see it daily. We tend to think being hard on ourselves will make us strong. But it is cherishing ourselves that gives us strength.

● Give yourself time out to listen to one side of an album, just for joy. You may want to doodle as you listen, allowing yourself to draw the shapes, emotions, and thoughts you hear in the music. Notice how just twenty minutes can refresh you. Learn to take these mini – artist dates to break stress and allow insight.

The gift of being sensitive comes with a price. Sensitive people have to take action and become lionhearted to sacrifice themselves for a better world against what we’ve become and what the “lionhearted”, the knives have done. King Midas represents capitalism keeping us tight. 

https://www.songtell.com/florence-the-machine/rabbit-heart-raise-it-up

● Take yourself into a sacred space — a church, synagogue, library, grove of trees — and allow yourself to savor the silence and healing solitude. Each of us has a personal idea of what sacred space is. For me, a large clock store or a great aquarium store can engender a sense of timeless wonder. Experiment.

Art gallery

● Create one wonderful smell in your house — with soup, incense, fir branches, candles — whatever.

● Wear your favorite item of clothing for no special occasion. 

Shoes

Buy yourself one wonderful pair of socks. one wonderful pair of gloves — one wonderfully comforting, self — loving something.

● Collage: Collect a stack of at least ten magazines, which you will allow yourself to freely dismember. Set a twenty – minute time limit for yourself, tear (literally) through the magazines collecting any images that reflect your life or interests. Think of this collage as a form of pictorial autobiography. Include your past. present. future. and your dreams. It is okay to include images you simply like. Keep pulling until you have a good stack of images (at least twenty). Now take a sheet of newspaper, a stapler, or some tape or glue and arrange your images in a way that pleases you.

● Quickly list five favorite films. Do you see any common denominators among them? Are they romances? adventures, period pieces, political dramas, family epics, thrillers? Do you see traces of your cinematic themes in your collage?

  1. Parent Trap
  2. Princess Diaries
  3. Anne with an E
  4. Outlander
  5. Leon the professional 

● Name your favorite topics to read about: comparative religion. movies. ESP. physics. rags – to – riches. betrayal. love triangles. scientific breakthroughs. sports. Are these topics in your collage?

  1. Psychological
  2. Fantasy
  3. Thriller 
  4. Self development
  5. Self discovery

● Give your collage a place of honor. Even a secret place of honor is all right — in your closet. in a drawer. anywhere that is yours. You may want to do a new one every few months. or collage more thoroughly a dream you are trying to accomplish.

Week Recapitulation

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Check-In