We had the good fortune of connecting with Maleny Rodriguez and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Maleny, can you tell us more about your background and the role it’s played in shaping who you are today?
I was born in Nuevo Leon, Mexico. My family moved to Houston, Texas when I was 2 and I’ve been here ever since. Being the oldest, I watched my parents as they built our life here from practically nothing to give me a better future. All of their hard work set a clear path for me and I felt like I had a responsibility to continue this and hopefully pay them back some day. Their work ethic was passed down to me throughout my school years and even as an adult. I learned quite young that I could have the things that I wanted if I set my mind to it. When I started my art journey, I knew that I was the only person holding myself back. Having an art business was strange because there is really no blueprint to success in an art career. This was when I really started to stretch myself and use what I learned as a child watching my parents just figure it out. I use that phrase a lot now “just figure it out” as it keeps pushing me forward. I believe that if my parents were to have waited for things to happen or stayed in Mexico, things would not have happened in our favor as they have. I think this is what has stayed on the back of my mind. When I feel like I am stuck, I remember that if I don’t move, things won’t move for me either. if I can’t walk, i’ll crawl but I know if I move forward I will eventually get to my end goal.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’ve always known I was a creative at heart. Art is what I leaned on during my best and hardest times. When I began taking my art seriously, I was recovering from a dark place emotionally after losing my home in Hurricane Harvey. I passed time by painting colorful things. Anything to get my mind off of the current situation. The colors I used were a distraction from a dark reality at the time. I almost created my own reality that I craved. I slowly started to show off what I had been creating and started an Instagram account just for my art. The hardest part for me was putting myself out for the world to see and risk being judged. I found that there is an enormous art community who is very supportive and there were many like-minded people who had the same fears AND dreams. I was getting a lot of wonderful feedback which encouraged me to continue making these colorful paintings. I then decided to sign up for the local art shows to take it a step further. My confidence grew after speaking to other more established artists and the audience. It got a bit easier each time I stepped in front of someone to speak about my art. I learned to speak from the heart and tell my story of how I made the paintings I made. I found that the paintings would reel my audience in but I would keep them in by letting them see the real me. I’m naturally an introvert, so I have been really proud of what my work has done for me in the sense of stepping out of my comfort zone and seeing what can really happen. The work that I have done since I began has definitely changed in style. I still use bright, attractive colors but I pour more of myself into them with less fear. Each individual piece is made with love and I enjoy capturing moments in time that someone can cherish forever. I’m excited to continue this art journey and have my colorful pieces hanging in more homes. I hope that I can inspire other who are afraid to step into the unknown and see what they are capable of.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’d like to dedicate this to Meredith Ramirez and the Reverie Art show. Meredith has given artists a unique platform to showcase our works whether with social media or broadcasted in our local news channel. I really appreciate what she’s done for us local artist and charities. It’s really brought the art community closer together with purpose.

Instagram: www.instagram.com/arte_de_mal