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. 

Hair Growth Month 3

Wella Professionals Eimi Bold Move Matte Texturizing Clay Paste, 150ml

My Acne Skin Care Journey + Routine

Hello everyone! Welcome to today’s blog. It’s a little bit different from usual but something I have been dealing for a while.

A little bit of history

I’ve been going through my skincare journey for about a year now. Most recently, from the end of 2022, I started actively adding different products and changes to my routine every few months and thanks to my buzz hair growth process, I’ve been able to document it for weeks.

I can’t remember what age it started, but I’ve been dealing with acne from about the time puberty happened. According to Google, that would’ve been somewhere 10 and 14 for girls. I don’t think I was an early acne and puberty bloomer or anything, so I was never concerned when it happened and almost just waited it out, but the truth is that it never went away…

Through high school and university, I was more concerned with other things than I was with my appearance and even my health. Self care was not even in my vocabulary.

I’d say that due to stress, my acne skyrocketed through university, but it is all a blur to me now, so I’d just have to trust that was the case.

I don’t remember acne affecting myselfsteem directly, or being a big worry at any point in time.

Coming from mexico, though, random people making un solicited comments on it was a common ocurrance.

Mainly older people but random and unsolicited people nonetheless from the usual aunty to the university’s security guard (yep, that’s right). They’d say things like: “Have you tried this or that product?” and “You’d be so pretty / much prettier if you didn’t have acne.” Etc.

Moving to Thailand

When I moved to Thailand, the contamination, makeup, and heat-sweat combo didn’t help too much. I was a bit insecure about it at this point. My melted smutched makeup was really disgusting, and as I started taking more and more pictures for my blog, it would become more noticeable to me.

My roommate would comment on my makeup, particularly more things like my eyebrows were too dark and overdrawn (which they were). She didn’t comment on my skin or other things, but the comments directed my attention to my face’s appearance overall.

When I met Jono, we started traveling southeast Asia, and although I was concerned with my appearance for the photos, I was also more concerned with the posing and figuring out how to interact with different environments than the acne since it could all be fixed in post anyways.

Moving to New Zealand

Moving on to New Zealand. I was once again troubled with mental health struggles I had to deal with over worrying for my physical health and appearance.  Even more so with covid.

I was down with depression for a while, cultural shock, etc. See: A year in the blues.

I went into experiencing multiple mental and physical health problems at the end of 2020 and the beginning of 2021. I visited multiple GPs (general practitioner) for a bunch of concerns. One of which was my acne.

Pills & Duac

The GP who picked up this particular concern I was also talking about my mental health concerns and he essentially said “your mental health concern is always going to be there so let’s focus on your acne so that you don’t get scars” which was baffling to me. Valuing and being more concerned about my appearance than my mental state.

He prescribed pills and an abrasive cream.

Since I was dealing with multiple issues at the time, I couldn’t say for sure, but around the time I started these pills, my PMS became so severe.

I always had my period skip a month whenever I’d be stressed, and obviously, hormones are linked to acne in many ways. The cream would also make my skin burn and make everything my face touched bleach out, pillow cases, towels, etc. I obviously decided to stop these, and I dedicated my efforts and energy towards my mental health once again.

Skin Clinic Treatments

At the beginning of 2022, I was six months in a somewhat stable job, and I was feeling a bit more confident in general, so I was able to afford and feel confident enough to tackle this issue I’ve been avoiding and putting in the back burner for years.

I subscribed to a skin aesthetician clinic where I’d get different treatments every month, depending on what the aesthetician considered my skin needed at the time.

The treatments I experienced were directed towards my acne, although they also offered a bunch of things for older skin concerns, body shaping, and others.

Amongst the treatments I received were:

Microdermabrasion

Hydradermabrasion

LED Light Therapy

Sonophoresis Skin Infusion

Blemish Control Facial

Microneedling

Lifestyle and habit changes

Aside from the effects of the treatments themselves, the skincare clinic did give me the confidence to take care of my skin.

Before, I’d feel I’m not worthy of taking the time, money, and effort to take care of my skin and body.

They encouraged me to drink water, add the products to my routine, and change my habits.

In the past, I’d make long lists of to do’s and habit trackers but I’d never get around to actually sticking to it and intentionally taking care of myself. It was more so a task and a burden.

I’ve done some work on this internally but they gave me the last push I needed to make the changes and stick with it.

Check out my skincare routine for all the products I’ve tried and were recommended to me for different price ranges and budgets.

Hydration

After leaving for 2022’s america trip in August, I stopped the subscription with them and at the moment I’m building my work from home so continuing the treatments wasn’t an option I could afford anymore.

Being in Central America with the hot weather and getting sick with a cold right before our flight back made me very aware of my hydration level.

Coming back to New Zealand I found out I was drinking much more than what I used to before. I changed my 750 ml bottle I’d struggled to finish before to a 2 L bottle I take with me everywhere I go.

Although sometimes I only get around to 1 – 1.5 liters, it’s still much more than what I used to.

When I met Jono, I wouldn’t drink any water at all. I was used to drinking natural fruit juices at home and the taste and texture of water I couldn’t really get passed, I literally found it so difficult to swallow so being able to drink this much water consistently without so much trouble now is such a big achievement.

That being said, although it has helped me me feel much healthier than before, this was Jono’s wild card excuse and solution to all my health problems which again, although it helped, it wasn’t the case. There still was a health process to get through. Although I must say, being able to talk about my health problems and not having to wonder if it might just be dehydration is a good feeling.

Zinc

Skincare Routine

CubaDupa 2023

Hello everyone! Welcome to CubaDupa 2023! It’s the first time since Covid that CubaDupa happens in Wellington and it’s the first time I’ve been able to attend. I also live in town so I felt like we were essentially IN Cuba Dupa. If you don’t know what CubaDupa is and what the heck I’m talking about… As the CubaDupa page says itself:

“New Zealand’s most creative and diverse free arts festival” It’s the biggest open festival in New Zealand and it happens in Wellington CBD so the city gets transformed into a beautiful festive arts party.

It’s was held Saturday and a Sunday 25-26 of March and a bunch of streets were closed for it so visitors and performers could roam around freely within the perimeter of the festival. Jono and I only went on the Sunday after going to the Harbourside market. We wandered around and catch a few performers.

My friends from Ollin Yoliztli performed along with Moringa dancers were one of the many performances throughout the whole two days of the event. To get through the list of performances you really had to dive deep and hustle but that only meant that everywhere you turned and everywhere you walked at any time there would be something amazing to look at.

One of the other performances we were able to catch was a very interesting one where the dancers would lead and take the public around through a few different streets. Immersing you to be part of the act.