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

Hi Stephanie, can you tell us more about your background and the role it’s played in shaping who you are today?
I am from Monterrey, Mexico. I grew up between The Rio Grande Valley and Reynosa, Mexico. in the summers when would cross the border to my grandparent’s house in Reynosa, Mexico. That is when I was exposed to different worlds through atlas and books that my grandparents had in their library, this inspired me to create. I was also exposed to art through my grandfather. He would watch Bob Ross videos religiously and i would go inside his room and watch as Bob Ross explained how to paint these beautiful landscapes. I picked it up from him. I started with painting landscapes and later moved to abstraction. Those summers spent with my grandparents allowed me to tune into myself. There was no one to play with so I had to figure out ways to pass the time. I fell in love with solitude and painting at a young age thanks to my background. 

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 started creating out of necessity and I have not stopped since. It all started back in my teens. a young weirdo who walked around high school with a tin box of acrylic paints and shirts to paint designs on, I was selling painted shirts to close friends and family and I was really into it. Mr. Bob Ross was really what made me addicted to art and the simple act of creating. It’s all I ever think about now at 32 and all I ever want to be doing. I am at the most peace when I create. I create out of whatever is around me. The act of creating is present in me always. This is how I can best express my feelings about current events or personal experiences. I use various blending techniques and often find joy in distressing the surface to provide a presence in the work. For 2021 I am most excited about continuing to build a body of work, to get closer to my art community, and potentially do some collaborations with other artists and creatives. This year I developed two new painting styles titled: Geometric Landscapes and Earth Forms. These styles have been a new practice for me. A spiritual feeling of being one with the work. In these new styles, I am introducing a more structured approach to my practice rather than working out of intuition. I am also extremely excited to continue to develop my series of light sculptures which I developed last year while attending HBU for an MFA in art. It has not been easy to get to this point, it has taken a lot of work to truly do art full time, but I am now investing in seeking professional help to learn and expand. Some artists are ashamed to self-promote, some might not need it because they are represented by a gallery but I take this very seriously and I self-promote to put the work out because I do not want to wait for a gallery or institution to tell me whether or not I am a good artist. I manage all of my finances, I am a working artist and that is a choice I make every day. I have lost some friendships because I decided this past year that art was it and nothing else mattered. A lot changed when I shifted my energy away from my surroundings and focused on what I could do with my hands. There was a major shift in my perspective of reality. I make money to make more art. It is a vicious cycle.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would take them to Montrose to try pozole from La Mexicana, and Empire Cafe for breakfast. On the weekend I would get some barbacoa from the ladies at “La Familia” meat market in East Downtown. I would take them to the MFAH to see the new art wing and Menil after. Def got to take them to discovery green, buffallo bayou park and the arboretum. We would go to Little Danny’s Speedo bar on the East side of downtown and axelrad for some music. The rest would be spent outside biking around d the city and enjoying the many bike trails installed by the city.

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?
I want to give credit where credit is due. There are a couple of people who have helped me move forward in my art journey. I want to thank My number one supporter, art patron, and mentor Rick F. Rubottom. He believes in my work and gives me the confidence I need to continue with my art path. Patrons have been helping artists since the beginning of time. I am thankful to have him as a patron. John Ross Palmer, and Ryan Lindsay, run a nonprofit organization called Art Launch. I want to thank them for the time spent with them as an Escapist artist in their Escapist mentorship program. I want to thank the people at HBU University for helping me expand into a more diverse visual vocabulary. Blakely Bering, for the time I spent as her art assistant. I learned so much under her wing. Mary and the staff at Circa Real Estate, Rebecca Lankford and the staff at studio 703. And last but not least, I want to thank the people who follow my work. You make my dream possible. Thank you!

Website: Megustapintarsi.com
Instagram: me_gusta_pintar_si
Twitter: @megustapintarsi
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/megustapintarsi

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