We had the good fortune of connecting with Natalie Galindo and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Natalie, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
For as long as I could remember I have always loved art and anything creative. I was that kid that never wanted to do homework because my head was always in the clouds. You’d catch me always daydreaming and doodling, doing anything and everything but my homework. The obvious thing for my parents to do was to sign me up for after school art classes. I also grew up watching my dad sing (he’s the owner and lead singer of his mariachi Band) and my older brother toured internationally with a Latin-American boy band, MDO. I can confidently say creativity flowed easily in my home! I graduated with a degree in painting at the University of Florida although It wasn’t my first choice. In my first year of college I chose psychology as my major, mostly because I didn’t think Art was a sustainable career. (Thank you capitalism and starving artist stereotypes.) That same first year I took a figure drawing class as an elective and that was it. Without thinking I switched to Fine Arts. I had a lot fear surrounding financial security in this field and if I’m being really honest I still occasionally struggle with it… I’m working on it. So, in this life changing figure drawing class we had live nude models come in. I remember thinking that only happened in movies or in the middle ages when photography didn’t exist you know? Anyway, the experience was vulnerable and in many ways helped me learn more about myself than anything I was currently learning in psychology. I think everyone should take a figure drawing class at least once in their life and then email me their experience. lol I guess that’s it, that was the time I remember truly falling in love with art and its process!
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I think the way we choose to live our lives is art, and I don’t necessarily think that “my” art is mine. Yes I make it and realistically, yes, I own it. But it becomes a shared experience as soon as it comes into life. (Think: Boom. Artwork done. Not mine anymore) Whether that shared experience stays between the artwork and the drawer that it is stored in, or in the hands of someone who purchased the work, or in the eyes of my Instagram followers. It is not mine. I guess what I mean is that I want to be selfless with the creation of art. The experience is better than the product. And I want everyone to know that they are artists too. If you really think about it, It shows in the way we dress. In the way we talk to the people we love. How we listen. How we move. The way brush our teeth or drink our coffee. It depends on your definition of art and your perception of it. In a more grounded response (lol) I tend to make art about the experiences around me and within me. when I was in school my work was about time, self discovery, movement and dichotomies. Currently I still think about those ideas, but it changes a lot and I allow it. Just like everything else is constantly changing in life. I can say I feel really proud of the responses I get when people feel connected to the pieces I make and it’s what keeps me creating! I want the world to know that I am because we are! Make art. You don’t need permission. And you won’t regret it.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Woah ok, lets go! Well first I would welcome them by bringing along the rest of the friend group because they all really know how to have a good time. I’m not even saying this because they are my friends. They truly know how to play and bring out the inner child you forgot existed. Anyway, we would definitely hit up the LNB Grovestand rainbow smoothie spot (currently in Kendall). Great, now my mouth is watering. These smoothies are insanely delicious and exactly what you imagine a rainbow smoothie to look and taste like. Jackfruit being one of the flavors. We would drive to Suite Habana Café in Wynwood for a vegan pastelito and a colada on our way to Miami beach. Hang out at the beach all day… and most days that the bestie is in town. We would Get some dinner at Moshi Moshi or at Love life Cafe. We really love home cooked meals so dinner at home, a picnic at tropical park or at the beach would happen at some point. We would make it a habit to watch the sunset every single day. Take Lots and lots of bike rides, probably around Coconut Grove, or the everglades. Definitely go through the pain of riding over the Key Biscayne bridge. There will be lots of dancing in between bike breaks.. and dancing anywhere really. Oh, for sure hit up Happy Vegan Bakers. We love vegan pastries. A lot of nights would include movies and wholesome conversations, and sleepovers of course. Think the Spice girls movie type of fun.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Haha this question make me feel like I just won a Grammy and have to prepare for a thank you speech. I would like to thank my parents for trusting me and allowing me to freely decide what I want to do with my life. I’d like to thank my manager for believing in me… Just kidding. I don’t have a manager yet. Ok for real though, my family has been a constant support in my life so shoutout to those hardworking humans that continue to push me everyday and make sure I don’t become a starving artist. I also have an incredible group of friends (way too many to name) that encourage me and support me, most of them own an original. SHOUT OUT to the homies. A super special shout out to one of my best friends Jessica Gutierrez, she’s a part-time dream coach and a full time superwoman! I don’t think there are enough words to explain her efforts in seeing my growth. She has coached me and helped me check off my dream in having my art an Art Basel event! My professors also deserve a MAJOR shout out. They provided me with the knowledge, the resources and the confidence to understand some of the more complicated theories in Art, and more importantly to always question why I do the work I do. I agree that without the encouragement, love, and support of others, it can get really difficult to continue this type of work. I genuinely appreciate how supported I am. Honestly, It wasn’t always easy and there were embarrassingly long moments in my life where I didn’t paint or make any type of art. I’ll leave you with this. One of my professor at UF had a quote written down on his chalk board that has always stayed with me. He wrote, “If you stop making art, that’s ok because you can always start again. It is when you give up that creates a problem because that is when you truly quit.” ok… I may have butchered that quote a little bit…but you get the point. That was my attempt at being inspirational. I hope it worked!
Owned by me 🙂