We had the good fortune of connecting with Lys Santamaria and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lys, what do you think makes you most happy? Why?
Following my inspiration and curiosity truly makes me happy. As an artist, I’ve learned to prioritize my energy and to listen to the way that my body feels. If I’m tired, I rest. If I feel energetic, I dive into a new project. If I lose interest, I let that project rest and focus on what is interesting. For me, this has been the best way to protect and cultivate my creativity. Although it might seem a bit counter-intuitive, it is surprisingly the best way for me to be productive.Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I make intricate and beautiful beaded jewelry and artwork that makes people feel happy and powerful. Creating is a spiritual practice for me and I intentionally infuse my art with the energy of love and joy. My process closely tied to the way that I feel as I believe that there is something really magical about objects that are made by hand. My clients can feel this energy when they see, buy, and wear my hand-crafted works – the energy is amplified! As I have uncovered more about my ancestors, I have discovered the deep lineage of skilled women makers in my family. It has been an honor to carry that innate wisdom forward in my artwork.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 would arrange an art and nature tour with them! First, I would take them to The Mosaic Workshop to do a workshop with artist, J Muzacz. Then we would walk over to Mr. Natural for a delicious vegetarian meal and the best vegan chocolate donuts ever. We would take a stroll through the eastside or town lake and end the day with dinner and drinks over at Ramen Tatsuya. The next day, we would take a picnic lunch for a day trip to Enchanted Rock. We would make wishes at the top and take hilarious pictures on top of the boulders. The next day, we could visit the Blanton to see their latest exhibit. We would then head to Pho Please for delicious pho and bubble tea. On our final day, I would arrange a studio tour with Haley Lebeuf – a wonderful local jewelry maker. Afterwards, we would then check out 85 Bakery for some amazing asian baked goods – and more bubble tea. We would wander around the outdoor mall that’s there and check out the bookstores and even the new Japanese dollar store – Daiso. We would end the day with happy hour dinner and drinks at Mour Cafe – so delicious!The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My success is all thanks to my community. This includes my family, friends, and even strangers who support my work and encourage me to keep going. From the beginning of my business, I made it a priority to connect with other artists and entrepreneurs too. Being a part of a support system was also instrumental in sharing ideas and getting advice. This year, I joined a virtual coaching group which has pushed my business forward in so many ways. Community is key to success! And of course, a super special shoutout to my wonderful fiance, Steven Galvan, for always believing in me, encouraging me, and loving me through it all!
Lucero Archuleta-Valle (only needed for the beaded shoe picture and my headshot). The rest of the pictures are taken by me.