We had the good fortune of connecting with Katt Naz Viloria and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Katt Naz, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
I pursued an artistic career because I LOVE to make things that spark a connection. Growing up I always thought I’d go to college for business or something, like everyone else but the cards had something else in store for me as an immigrant. This life changing event pushed me towards gigs in the fashion, production and beauty industry which influenced me greatly to become the 31 year old woman, I am now. I’ve met and collaborated with all types of artists, seeing some of them follow their dreams during their free time made me realize that just because I have to work full time to pay the bills, if I manage my time wisely, I can also follow my dreams. So I did.
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.
My story is way too long but maybe one day you’ll read about it in a book, lol. About 7 years ago I started Naz.13 boutique and during that time I was more focused on making jewelry, flower crowns and up-cycling thrifted clothes to sell at pop-ups around town. After 2 years I moved to LA for a short year and then I continued my journey as an artist in Asheville, NC where my artistry deepened immensely. I even had my 1st group show in Winston-Salem, NC and was found through instagram by Shabaka James an amazing soul who believed in me as an artist. This was a big moment in my life because for the first time I saw how the audience reacted to my paintings, I was scared but during the event I realized there was nothing to be scared of besides me overthinking nonsense. Later that year my wife and I had to move back home to Miami and the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. 2 months into us being back I began getting work as an assistant painter for murals and that just opened up a whole new perspective and a lot of new like minded friends in the community. I’ve now worked multiple artist assistant jobs and hope one day I can paint my own mural too. Divine timing has always shown up for me when I least expect it but that doesn’t mean I’m sitting around waiting for opportunities to just fall on my lap. The biggest lessons I’ve learned is that no one will believe in you, if you don’t believe in yourself first. Just because you’re not getting work right now it doesn’t mean no one is looking, keep working on your craft even if it’s just 10 mins of your day, build up that portfolio like that when you get contacted you have stuff to show. Don’t stop creating most days, it’ll only get harder to get back into it. Take advantage of social media (I know it can be scary but like I said before if you don’t believe in yourself no one will) and let your artwork be seen by people all over the world, you never know who it will connect with or who will contact you. Last make a schedule and breakdown your day like that you can keep track of how much time you’re putting into your craft and you’re also aware of eating, this is very important because when I’m creating I totally forget to eat (I know super unhealthy). These lessons I’ve learned by trial and error and I hope anyone reading this finds it helpful. Like I’ve said before, I want my work to tell the story of a woman that never gave up on her dreams even when life kept trying to keep her down. That embracing your darkness shouldn’t be viewed as bad but essential for us to all grow into our best true selves.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
IF it wasn’t for Covid these would be some of the places I’d take my friend through out the week: -Wynwood Walls & gallery -Walk around the Wynwood District to check out murals -Wood Tavern -Gramps -Churchills -Miami Design District -Perez Art Museum -Artechouse -The Bass Museum -Ocean Drive -Palace Bar -5th st beach -Broken Shaker -85th st beach -Haulover Park -Oleta Park -Vizcaya -The Kampong botanical garden.
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?
I have many friends to thank and my wife Xue, she’s been a big part of my growth as a human and artist for the past 7 years. But my shout out will always be to my mother Araceli Monagas, she is the reason why I push myself hard everyday to become successful being who I want to be. I hope that one day we can experience the fruits of my labor together so she can see the beauty of life and can finally face life without the constant worry of money. This woman sacrificed her passion of singing and shining to give me a better chance at life in an other country, leaving our family in Venezuela behind and never getting to see them in person again. We all deserve to experience a life that is about enjoying our lives, not just about working to live. Maybe one day I’ll get her to sing on stage again and then you’ll all witness her iconic voice but mainly I want her to feel like herself again.