i first met amy vázquez at the bow tie making workshop at the museum of craft and folk art back in april, where she kindly shared her scissors and tips on bow tie execution with me and a friend. about a month later, she was working next door to us in the park life room at the artpad fair at the phoenix hotel and graciously lent me her iphone charger! she even volunteered to be my intern, which i, unfortunately, failed to take her up on before her schedule filled up with other opportunities.
the bottom line here is that amy is not only an incredibly generous person, she is also sweet, friendly and quite a talented artist! hailing from miami, amy studied art at scripps college in southern california and now lives in san francisco. she works primarily in watercolor, gouache, and ink, producing meticulous drawings that emanate tropical plant vibes and explore combinations of crystalline structures, minute nature-inspired textures, and washes of rainbow colors. i am thrilled that she agreed to this interview- for someone who gives so much, it’s nice to throw a little love back her way.
Name: Amy Vazquez
Hometown: Miami, Florida
Where are you right now? How’d you get there? Right now I’m in San Francisco and so grateful to be here. So far (in the last two years I’ve been here) it has been the most welcoming and nurturing city for art-making and being inspired. I sometimes wonder how I did get here…but when I look back it all makes sense!
Where are you going? I hope to be going forward, forward with making more work and exploring new concepts and mediums within that. For the last two years, I’ve been working mostly on paper for its manageability in size, portability and its appealing lack of forgiveness…but I want to expand on that and incorporate more collage elements in my paper pieces, and work on some paintings again. Hopefully going bigger too!
What will you be doing when you get there? I hope to be making work constantly, and pushing myself. Right now I’m trying to explore the concepts of chaos/control within my work. I’m always drawn to the fine line between juxtapositions like the feminine/masculine, chaos/control, organic/geometric, so I plan on exploring those more and working on a larger scale.
Who/what/where was the inspiration that lead you in this direction? The inspirations are countless. My mother is a floral designer so I was constantly surrounded by flowers growing up. I think that has definitely seeped in to my work in the organic/floral imagery that always pops up. I’m always inspired by colors, textures, and patterns in the urban landscape, especially the evidence of the human hand. Inspiration is everywhere.
How are you feeling? Are you excited? Nervous? Terrified? Thrilled? I’m feeling excited and grateful!
What kind of expectations do you have? I try not to have too many expectations so there isn’t any disappointment when I get there…but it’s hard not to. Above all I expect to always be doing something creative and feel fulfilled and excited to keep pushing forward.
Are you scared of anything? Yes. I’m scared of earthquakes and falling off my bike (I can be pretty clumsy), but there’s no point in worrying so I’ll just wear my helmet.
How does working in galleries affect your own practice? Does it affect your relationship with the arts community at all? Working in galleries has really provided me with really valuable insight to what it’s like to be on the other side and gives me a good perspective on the kind of artist that I do and don’t want to be. After leaving my job last year at the gallery of a school, I really realized that working with artists that have a good attitude above all makes all the difference. Some people can be so difficult to work with, and it’s always a good mental note: ”Don’t ever be like this guy! Don’t ever take yourself this seriously!” Now, I work part time at Park Life (one of my favorite spaces/galleries in the city) and I’m always inspired by the work that is shown there. I always go back home with the desire to work on more stuff.
Some of your more recent drawings are in a pretty large format considering how small and detailed your works are. What plays into your choice of size and scale for your work? I think for me it’s an enjoyable/tedious yet meditative process to make really detailed work. There is something so satisfying about making these tiny little marks that eventually become a new and interesting form when placed together or multiplied. I think that’s what I enjoy the most: stepping in and out of that view of seeing things in a micro scale and then stepping back and seeing the larger picture.
Are you going to make more coasters?! Yes! I’ll make you a set, pick some colors!
What’s the worst thing that could happen? The best? What IS the worst that can happen? I don’t think anything! The best is that I can be continuously inspired, around good company, and happy to be there.
What are you taking with you/leaving behind? I’m taking with me my curiosity and passion. Leaving behind all inhibiting self-doubt and fear.
What did your friends & family say when you told them? My friends and family have always been supportive of pursuing what I’m passionate about. I feel so lucky to have their understanding and support but also to be around people who are so creative and inspiring in their own ventures.
Yes I am!