We had the good fortune of connecting with Alexandra Garcia and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Alexandra, what’s the most important lesson your business/career has taught you?
The funny thing about the most important lesson my career has taught me is that I still haven’t fully learned it. I have to keep re-teaching myself this every single day. The most important lesson I’ve had to learn is to be 100% true to myself all the time. Being authentic is the priority, not only in business, but in every day life as well. When you are true to yourself, you attract the situations and people in life that are meant for you, and things become almost effortless. Pretending or trying to be who you THINK others want you to be brings so much stress into life. I’ve had to learn that in life, all I can be is myself, and I will do everything I can to be the best version of myself. Comparing myself to others isn’t productive or helpful because every person is on their own journey that has nothing to do with me. Instead of focusing on what others have that I don’t, I try to appreciate my own achievements. From my experience, when I am authentic, everything falls into place.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
When I was in college, I had a professor who always said that your art is always personal. It doesn’t matter if it’s based on someone else’s writing, if it’s a commission, or even if it’s someone else’s logo. It’s personal because YOU made it. That client chose to hire YOU because of what YOU put into the illustration or design. That realization changed so many things for me. It changed how I saw the work I made for others. Everything that I have created for clients is not simply a reflection of their vision; it is a reflection of myself. I am very emotionally connected to what I make for others. What excites me the most in my illustration work is having the opportunity to work for writers. I’ve always loved to read, so seeing my work in books is a dream come true for me. Just last year I’ve had the pleasure of working with 3 amazing writers who have inspired me throughout working together. I became officially published in print over the summer after illustrating “A Singer’s Compass” by Cassandra Claude, a singer and vocal instructor in Miami. For the past few years, I’ve been working side-by-side with my mother, a psychologist, while illustrating her upcoming self help book, “The Reflections of Your Mirror.” I’ve even had the amazing opportunity of turning the “Thecla: A Dark Romance” Trilogy by Miami writer and poet, Zorina Frey, into a graphic novel! Making these extraordinary women’s dreams turn into reality also turns my dreams into reality. Having them open up and share their stories with me, and then making art from what they give me, is what excites me so much about being an illustrator. The fact that they chose me for this intimate artistic experience is what makes it so personal. In the artwork I make just for me, what excites me the most is nature and animals. They are just so beautiful that I have to draw and paint them. In 2019, I had the opportunity of making a painting of animals for a show School of Visual Arts was having in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, France. Seeing my painting on those walls in France was a reminder that my vision of the beauty of nature was worthy of being shared with the world. One day I hope to make my own book of animal drawings and paintings, so that children can learn about animals, and grow to appreciate and love the beautiful planet we live on. When it comes to challenges in my business, I am the one who puts the most obstacles in my path. These obstacles come from perfectionism, lack of self trust, and imposter syndrome. By working on being more true to myself in my business, I know that each day I will put less obstacles in my path. Taking on these challenges is what has helped me grow in my journey, and it has gotten me where I am today. I have learned to throw myself at projects and opportunities that scare me, and try a bunch of different things, so I know what works and what doesn’t. I never want to stop learning.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
My favorite places in Miami have always been outdoors. My mom is a very outdoorsy person, so she turned my into a nature lover! First, I would take them on a little tour of the South Miami area, where I live. I would show them Tropical Park and we could have a nice little picnic by one of the lakes and go bike riding. Then we could get lunch at El Chalan on Bird Road. They have the best ceviche. Another one of my favorite spots to eat in the South Miami area is Yumbrella at Sunset Place. Their comedy nights are also really fun! In South Miami there’s also Taco Craft. Their margaritas and tacos are so good. Another day we could go biking in Coconut Grove, and have a drink at Monty’s while watching the sunset over the sailboats in the marina. One day I would also love to get up early and go to South Pointe beach. The beach is my favorite place in the world. That beach has the most gorgeous water in Miami, in my opinion. We could spend the day there and then have dinner on Lincoln Road in one of the many restaurants over there. Another one of my favorite places in Miami is Wynwood. I love to walk around the Wynwood walls and show off the amazing art that Miami has to offer. In Wynwood, there’s also Upper Buena Vista, which is one of the cutest locations I’ve ever seen in Miami. It is so beautiful and relaxing. There is such good energy there. While we’re there we can grab a bite to eat, check out the little shops, or just hang out and enjoy the scenery! Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would be nowhere in life without the support of my family, my best friend, and my partner. They are the ones who have encouraged me to build a career out of my creative talents, and taught me that anything is possible. They remind me to be true to myself and trust myself in my endeavors. They are the ones who I call when I panic about saying no to someone, or charging more than I think I deserve to get. I am so grateful for their unwavering support, and for always telling me the truth when I need to hear it. That’s something you get from the ones who truly love you. I’m also grateful to my teachers and professors at DASH and SVA who have taught me so much, and have always pushed me to do more.

Website: https://aquaticalex.com/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/aquaticalex_art/
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/alexandra-garcia-15949a134?trk=public_profile_browsemap_mini-profile_title
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aquaticalex97/
Other: My VIDA Shop https://shopvida.com/collections/alexandra-garcia?rfsn=3796858.ac4679c&utm_source=refersion&utm_medium=affiliate&utm_campaign=3796858.ac4679c/ “HerStory 2020-2021” https://manhattanarts.com/herstory-2020-2021-exhibition/

Image Credits
Iris Pitaluga

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutMiami is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.