We had the good fortune of connecting with Cecilia Beaven and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Cecilia, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
It was always clear to me that visual arts had the ability to communicate complex ideas, sincere thoughts, and deep feelings in a way that no other media could do for me. My strongest voice is my visual voice, and I am loud, bold, and bright. I pursued an artistic career because I believe in social changes through art and culture. I want to share drawings, paintings, murals, comics, animations, and sculptures with as many people as possible and spark conversations, reflections, and well-being. I think that art and art education are my best tools to contribute to society at large.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My work includes painting, murals, drawing, comics, animation, film, and sculpture, and I have a particular fascination with big-scale projects. Through my work, I develop a speculative mythology with unique visual narratives. I’m excited with the potentials of visual storytelling and how stories can unfold in space. My career has been built through insistence, patience, and a lot of artwork. I was trained both through art education and through personal experience. I hold an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (coursed as a Fulbright scholar) and a BFA with honors from La Esmeralda, in Mexico City. I’ve been working as an independent artist for 11 years and I have found all sorts of opportunities, from advertising campaigns to gallery exhibitions and public murals. My career is a little unusual, compared to other artists in the US, but I have really enjoyed drawing my own path. It’s never easy to be an artist, I’ve needed a lot of self-discipline. I am constantly searching for opportunities and thinking ahead. I’m also an art educator, so that provides some structure to my time and a constant source of income. Besides, art education gives me the opportunity to be in touch with younger artists and new ideas, which is always necessary and refreshing. I like this life-balance right now.
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.
I am from Mexico City and I live in Chicago, but I guess we’re talking about Houston? I would recommend Cuchara Restaurant on a Sunday to enjoy the delicious and authentic Mexico City brunch with live music and… my murals! I painted 4 murals for Cuchara in 2012 and I’m very proud of them. I would also recommend visiting my favorite art spaces: the Rothko Chapel, the Menil Collection, the Menil Drawing Institute, the Dan Flavin Installation at Richmond Hall, the James Turrell’s “Twilight Epiphany” Skyspace at Rice University, the Station Museum of Contemporary Art, the Contemporary Arts Museum, and the Museum of Fine Arts. Finally, I would recommend dancing at Numbers, Barbarella and Etro. I really hope all these places survive the pandemic.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
The people that deserve the biggest credit are my family members since they recognized and supported my creative passion and called me an artist since I was a kid. So, thank you mom (all the way to infinity), dad and sisters. Special shoutout to my sister Ana, who truly has supported my career all along. Love you all.
Studio portrait by Griffin Goodman