We had the good fortune of connecting with Abigail Peña and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Abigail, do you disagree with some advice that is more or less universally accepted?
I’m not quite sure if it’s conventional everywhere, but in Mexico it’s quite common to hear people saying “Fuck school, I learned everything from life” and I really disagree with that. While I understand that the scholar system isn’t for everyone, most of those people advising to get out of school learned at least something from it; wether it is technical stuff, the basics of a trade or even meeting people (or maybe they learned that school wasn’t for them haha). But instead of saying “Fuck school” try to make the most of your school years, talk to you teachers, ask questions, meet your classmates, ask more questions, use the school’s resources and ask even more questions!
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.
We’ll I’m an illustrator and what I’m most proud of is that I found my voice through illustration. I’ve always been a quiet and shy person, but still somehow had very strong opinions and values I just wasn’t very good at saying them out loud or standing up for myself. When I started illustrating I found my own voice and how it resonated with others around me, that made me so much more confident and able to rise up to fight for what I believe in.
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?
Ohh this is tough haha I live in Tijuana and the best thing to do here is to go eat! I would definitely take them to CECUT which is our local museum and arts center, there’s always a local artist exhibition and a bigger national or international exhibition to go see. Would definitely take them downtown to 6th avenue, that’s where the oldest bars are and even if the don’t like to drink there’s a good chat and some people-watching guaranteed. There are also some smaller art galleries and local artist’s shops downtown which are great for little gifts. I’d take them to Telefonica which is a foodtruck garden of sorts, full of different options, to El Mazateño for the best seafood in Tijuana and to Las Ahumaderas for some pretty good carne asada tacos.
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 always thank the women in my life, I cannot even count all the times I’ve been in trouble and they’ve saved me. They’re most of the inspiration behind my work, my family members, my friends and even random women on the internet, thank you! I’d also like to thank my partner Adrian Orozco who is always there to help me remember why I started. And obviously my mom who is my first and favorite feminist!