We had the good fortune of connecting with Latin for Glory and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Latin for Glory, how do you think about risk?
I am who and where I am right now because I took an essential risk. I made the decision one day that I rather risk everything I had – and I mean everything – to become what I was always meant to be: an artist. The calling to pursue art became stronger than the false sense of security I had. The fear of losing the opportunity to chase my dreams grew worse than the fear of facing financial struggles and failing. So I took the leap without looking back. The moment I quit my job, was the freest and most aligned I had ever felt. A month later, I was painting in my art studio and preparing for my first solo exhibition in the Miami Design District. To this day, I continue to take risks that push me out of my comfort zone and as a result I have found my freedom, voice, and growing career. My advice to anyone hesitating or afraid to pursue their dreams – take the risk. Do it. If it is in your heart, then it is already yours to manifest. Even if you “fail”, you will be stronger, wiser, and more aligned with your true purpose.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My work at its core is an exploration of the human spirit and its ability to achieve power and glory. A series of traumatic events during my early 20s led me to discover the Bull. It was during the dark moments that I came across the Bull, and became fascinated by its history, culture, and symbolism. Its representation of power, perseverance, and divinity inspired me to make art and overcome challenges. It was then that I dedicated my practice to awakening the inner Bull in audiences around the world. I merge visual art with my professional background in interior design to create collections of multimedia art and design both residential and commercial spaces. My current artistic process is research heavy and experimental as I continue to interpret the complexities of the Bull and its identifying elements. About the journey: I am Dominican American, born and raised in Miami. The arts have been a part of my life since I can remember. In addition to always painting and drawing at home, I practiced ballet and other dance forms for thirteen years and studied classical piano for eight. I had the privilege of visiting Europe at the age of sixteen, where I fell so in love with architecture that I needed it to become a part of my career somehow. I then studied Architecture at the University of Miami and was awarded a Bachelor of Design in Interior Design from the University of Florida. It was in my senior year at UF that I developed Latin for Glory as the artistic name to present my architectural, interiors, and art portfolio. I worked the following few years as a professional interior designer, project manager, and press coordinator until I purchased a one-way ticket to Madrid to join my now husband, in his educational endeavors. While in Madrid I focused on the development of my artwork, particularly the series “Running of the Bulls”, along with freelancing and commissioned projects. Upon returning to Miami a year later, I went back to work as an interior designer and marketing coordinator for financial reasons. I continued to create art and commissioned pieces on the side. It was a total of three challenging years balancing work for others and Latin for Glory. I then reached the point of complete unfulfillment, knowing that my true calling was just a risk away. However, I was afraid of losing the little financial security I had, and of failing. It took a lot for me to muster the courage to quit, not just a job, but a stable profession, in exchange for my dream of becoming an artist. I ignited the Bull within me, harnessed my strength and made the best decision of my life. I opened the first Latin for Glory studio in 2018, showcased two solo exhibitions, “Seven Fires” and “Let There Be Light”, and in 2020 merged my art and design practice. Everything I create and do is originates in the Bull and its representation of power, perseverance, and hope. The journey has been challenging from every angle – mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically. Equal in magnitude, have been the rewards. I exchanged everything that was holding me back for my ultimate freedom and fulfillment. I would say that both the biggest obstacle and only solutions along the road have been myself. Being an artist and creative is as internal as it gets, and the best way to unleash our true potential is to let go and soar. That is what my art is about, freedom. I found freedom in my strengths, and aim to use artwork as the tool to assist others in finding theirs.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
When it comes to enjoying Miami, I always aim to plan activities that involve the outdoors if the weather permits. One of my favorite areas nearby is Sunset Harbor in Miami Beach. When friends are in town, I suggest spending a later afternoon until sundown, paddle boarding through the beautiful homes followed by happy hour at Barceloneta and dinner at Sardinia. Another great spot in the area is Lucali, known for their incredible pizzas, and the connecting bar Bay Club. On a full day of activities, I love kicking off the morning walking or running around South Pointe and grabbing lunch, specifically the stone crabs and fried chicken at Joe’s Takeaway! If in the mood for a more formal lunch, Smith & Wollensky has delicious food and an equally amazing water view. A great area for a full evening of activities is Wynwood, where visitors can enjoy blocks of street art, galleries, local shops, and restaurants. It feels like there are new spots opening every week, but my personal favorites are Kyu, Bakan, and Buya Izakaya + Yakitori. If we’re not too full, I like to top off the night with some ice cream at Dasher & Crank where they offer the wildest of flavors such as Watermelon Goat Cheese, Salty Beach, and Salmon and Cream Cheese (not kidding). When guests are in town, I always take them to Miami Design District for some extravagant window shopping, a tour of amazing galleries, outdoor art installations, and happy hour at the Mia Market. Little Havana is the go-to to feel a burst of Latin culture and salsa dance the night away. If we do not go there, we usually dine at Ironside Pizza – where its BYOB, and grab drinks afterwards at my favorite bar, the Anderson. On Sundays we go to Homestead. I grew up in Kendall and enjoyed the famous cinnamon rolls from Knaus Berry Farm for years, but recently have converted to the monkey bread at Phil’s Berry Farm. I daydream about the monkey bread a lot. When in Homestead, my husband and I go “taco hopping”, and grab a variety of tacos from different local Mexican restaurants. Afterwards, we burn the calories by checking out plant nurseries, picking strawberries, or walking through the many parks.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I want to dedicate my shoutout to the family and friends that have supported me along my journey. Those closest to me, have encouraged me, lifted me up, and given me their time and energy when I needed them the most. They have stood by me even when my crazy ideas and challenging pursuits seemed impossible. I have always been horrible at asking people for help, but somehow my family and friends continue to see straight through that and are always there for me. My most recent art exhibitions, “Seven Fires” and “Let There Be Light” would not have been possible without the contribution of my close friends and family. They are the ones that have helped me transport and install my paintings, set up and dismantle events, host visitors, promote my work, sponsor their services, and keep my spirit up along the way. I am thankful for my husband and parents who helped me take the risk to become a full time artist. They were ready to lift me up if I fell too hard. Not only did they never doubt my capabilities, but they encouraged me to follow my heart. I also want to give a big shout out to Tiffany Chestler and the Miami Design District team for all their help and resources. They believed in me enough to provide me the spaces to show my work, and supported the exhibitions from beginning to end.
World Red Eye Ramon Olivieri