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

Hi Angela, why did you pursue a creative career?
I was born an artist. As the say goes, « What’s meant to be yours is already making its way to you. » It runs on both sides of my family, mainly on my mother’s side. Too many artists to count.

I didn’t set out to do anything artistic at first and I never formally attended any arts schools. When I was a teenager I dreamt of becoming an architect, a fabric or fashion designer. I come from the islands of São Tomé and Principe in Africa, and growing up I was discouraged from pursuing the medium as “art does not pay the bills”, propelling me into a more traditional career. I chose psychology, and later on IT. I was content working in IT as a QA analyst, “living it up”. Yet something was always hitching ever so slowly, nurturing the passion, calling me back, never losing my creativity. I delved into the realm of artistic creation. I found myself doing crafty things everytime an opportunity presented itself – painting, doodling, embroidering, crocheting, sewing, you name it, all for friends and family.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
One beautiful day, while flipping through the channels I stumbled upon HGTV and a segment on hand painted rugs. So, without direction, particular design or style in mind, armed only with a small piece of white cotton fabric, a few colors of fabric paint and a brush – I begun experimenting. Mixing and brushstrokes, I was producing my very first fabric, finally arriving at a medium I had been craving for and was happy to discover. The fabrics – the designs at first were just a scribble here and there, became more complex and intricate, as I learned the direction I wanted to take – are in turn converted into unique handmade pieces, handbags, tapestries and cushions, hence the motto « No one piece is the same » as they are never recreated or duplicated.

Once in between jobs, I went into a creative binge, producing so many pieces. Friends begged me to do something about it, as the pieces were just sitting at home, gathering dust. Since then, I have participated in various art competitions, which I was awarded second place prize a few times, and showed internationally in Macau, China and Lisbon, Portugal. I delved into other mediums such as wall painting, drawing on styrofoam cups, murals and paper. And lately I have enjoyed sewing, making custom and beading jewelry. I illustrated grade school books and the cover of my first poetry book « Raining in May », which some poems were featured on Essence Magazine. I run a blog, most about poetry and occasionally other literature.

There were trials. I struggled and not understanding exactly which direction I wanted to take, where I was heading, not knowing only made things difficult. I wanted to give up, as matter of fact, I did. I took a breather as I put out fires. I experienced heavy artist and writer’s block, literarily shutting down my creative juices and everything else. Not giving it one inch. There were tears, frustration and lots of prayers.

At my friend Ada’s suggestion, she is a producer, I began freelancing as a Production and Styling assistant. I had no idea what I was doing at first. I was thrown into the job. There were challenges off course but I quickly learned by observing others and asking questions. I am never afraid to ask. I can only get a no but I am always pushing those buttons. Those were the craziest times. I am slowly coming out of the funk and restarting the engine. Working on a project for « home and her », which will debut soon.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If a friend is visiting Miami, so many places to see and visit but we would definitely go to Miami Beach for the vibe and art deco, Wynwood Walls, Design District. For lunch/dinner to Upper Buena Vista great food, ambiance and shopping, and than stop by Fireman Derek’s Bake shop for sweets. And since I am an architect buff, drive by Key Biscane for the beautiful homes and the beach. I love the coziness and the vegetation. And off course to Lady of the Lakes Catholic church to listen to our choir. We are one of the best in town. Psst, we have sang at Vatican and many other famous churches across Italy and Ireland.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
The list is immense but short if this even makes any sense, as there have been many pushing me through but there are two in particular, my sister Milu Aguiar, she has been more then a sister, a counselor, brutally honest but a diplomat, my rock, strong as an ox, who believes in the power of me more then I believe in myself. A good-hearted person. Giving up is never a word she uses but faith we have in the Almighty. We are constantly talking to the Man Upstairs and He listens. Ada Sheerin, a choir member, who has been a good friend, a mentor, an espiritual advisor and an inspiration; a beautiful soul. Shuhh, I secretly want to be Ada. She is there for you!

Website: Blog: ludlumdrive.com

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