We had the good fortune of connecting with Nerissa Gomez and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Nerissa, can you tell us more about your background and the role it’s played in shaping who you are today?
My life spanned both sides of the border through my entire childhood. I was born in Brownsville, TX, but I grew up in Matamoros, MX. When I was a sophomore in high school, my family moved to the Houston area. Both Houston and the Rio Grande Valley make up a huge part of who I’ve evolved into as an artist. It wasn’t always easy, though. Despite all of the love and support around me, I have also faced trauma and abuse. It took me a while to realize this, but I have found that I can overcome those hardships and grow through my creative process. By exploring the strength of survival and perseverance in my work, I have been able to develop as an artist and a person.
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 am a painter and an illustrator. I work primarily with acrylic paint and ink. I am inspired by the inherent strength found in the female form, often focusing on their gaze representing a defiant, unyielding, and resolute subject.
My work is recognizable through its precise composition and exact execution. Fine lines and meticulous detail embody my technique. My pieces can be playful, but typically the tone is serious, generally focusing on the grit and determination of the female subject. I like to play with color to bring attention to specific elements and to create a mood or narrative.
As an artist, you need to learn to embrace risk, push boundaries and try new things. I’ve run into roadblocks feeling comfortable enough to express myself creatively. Self-doubt can be crippling! It has taken time and experience to be able to push past my fear of failure. It’s a constant struggle, but the encouragement of my friends and peers in the art community have enabled me to persevere. I have figured out the message I want to send and the artwork that best represents what I want to say as an artist. I am excited to see where it takes me and how it will continue to evolve.
My art has served and continues to work as a metamorphic medium. It has encouraged me to work through the trauma I’ve experienced in my personal life. I seek to bring attention to the adversity that women face and overcome on a daily basis. Through the representation of conquering emotional pain, my work creates a narrative of strength and resilience. The women in my work represent the protector and warrior we, as women, have inside of each of us.
I hope that my work will find a place among the many voices who are amplifying female empowerment. The bolstering of this movement strengthens us all. When viewers recognize that strength in my subjects’ eyes is when I feel the most pride in my work.
MECA Houston graciously invited me to exhibit my work in a solo show this March! “En tus ojos mios” is a showcase of the work I’ve done throughout the years. It also features several pieces in an ongoing series, in which I am focusing on my real-life friends and family. In these portraits, I am exploring my own story in connection with theirs, as well as illustrating the resilience present within each of these women.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
There are so many great places in Houston, it is really hard to try to narrow it down. For food, I’d say just drive up and down Bellaire for all the Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, and Japanese food you could ever want. Maybe head over to Axelrad for some drinks and some pizza at Luigi’s. As far as nightlife goes, we’d need to hit up Numbers for goth night or a themed night at Barbarellas. We could see who is playing at the Mucky Duck or While Oak Music Hall, if they were in the mood for live music. Finally, if it is still crawfish season when they are in town, we would HAVE to go to LA Fisherman AND The Patio at the Pit Room.
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?
It is hard to imagine just one person or group to give a shoutout to…I’d like to give a big shout out to the entire art community, which I’m lucky to be a part of, not to mention, all my friends and family. Couldn’t do it without you guys! On one special note, I’d like to send love to my late abuelito, who bought me my first and only easel when I chose to change my major from pre-med to studio painting. He introduced me to the arts via classical music and his favorite impressionist painters.
Photos of my original work – Credit to Albert Sanchez Artist Headshot – Credit to Laura Burlton