I've been interested in using this blog to spotlight different women in the DFW that inspire and create. The first person that came to mind was Valerie. I've known her in passing just from being out and about. When you meet her she radiates a positive energy which draws you in. Valeria let me play with her hair and talk with her earlier this year about her son and her art. What I find inspirational about her story is despite any setback she uses positive outlets to channel whatever it is she's going through.
When I proposed the idea of doing a piece on her and her life, she was immediately on board and excited about the project. So last week she invited me into her home and I did her hair and makeup while she showed me her art work she has throughout her house.
"Well...I've always been involved in a form of art ever since i was a child...a baby, " Valerie said. "In middle school was when I started to focus on dance. I would take MasterClasses on saturday at Arts Magnet. I like to credit my mother for everything because (saturday) was her day to sleep in and she'd wake up at 6am to take me to downtown dallas and come back to pick me up later. And because of that I was exposed to wonderful teachers. These classes should have been so expensive- I'm not sure if they still do. But they offered that for free. One of the coordinators, Dr. Roseanne Cox, asked me to audition. And I was being a middle school student and like, "No! I don't wanna. I want to be with my friends!" But that... that was the best choice so far."
"I was in dance for about a year and then I hurt my knee...They couldn't kick me out but I could apply for a different cluster. I actually prepared to be in the visual arts cluster. But my insecurities got the best of me. So I just put up my portfolio and walked in for a cold reading for theater and did theater. Which i loved. I did costume design mostly and playwriting. Then i weaseled my way into visual arts by being like, "oh i should totally take visual art classes so i can perfect my thumbnails, etc. And I worked it. And i won. So I ended up taking sculpture classes and ceramics."
I really had no idea she was into SO many aspects of art. As I walked around her house while she was rushing around trying to feed her son and clean up a bit, I observed a theme of sadness/darkness to her art. Her personality is so contrasting in our conversations. Even when I'm rambling about the unfair living wages and rent prices in Dallas, she takes a step back and says that its not that bad. It made me smile because she has a good attitude about things.
"this is going to be really unfiltered...ten years ago? I would say, "don't have sex with him!" Valeria said while laughing, after being asked what is something you'd tell yourself ten years ago. "ten years ago, fifteen years ago...I would have said, youre good. youre fine."
When asked what inspires her art lately she answered, "this one right here." Referring to her son Elias. Together they were so sweet. We went to Cibo Divino and shared a couple slices of pizza per Valerie's recommendation. I loved seeing an insight to another's life. Valerie was warm and open to showing me around and talking about each of her pieces and what they mean.
I'm hoping to do a biweekly spotlight on different DFW women that inspire and create so if you or anyone you know would like to be involved, then send me a message!