We had the good fortune of connecting with Araceli Carrera and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Araceli, what inspires you?
I am constantly inspired by life and everything it encompasses, It is the way life shows up through all it textures and colors that allows me to grow as an artist and pursue what makes me grow as a human. Being inspired creates a space that challenges me, where taking risks and problem solving is present and alive. A feeling of discovery inspires me, especially when I navigate the language of art and dance. I find inspiration in everything that embraces and let’s go of me. As a visual artist I find inspiration in being a woman, mother, and teacher because these roles are filled with experiences that constantly allow me to thrive and pause at the same time. The pause comes from recognizing all that needs to be nourished or shed and I am able to reflect these qualities wholeheartedly and unapologetically in art. Nature is also very present in my artwork and I am inspired by its resilience and perseverance. Nature’s beauty is tangible, and it speaks to me in a way that stirs and opens my heart. As a dancer I am inspired by humanity, we have an infinite ability to connect with one another and that human quality awakens the most inner fibers of the body, awakens the mind, and touches the soul. I am also inspired deeply by Carla Morrison music, my culture and the past, present, and future to create dance.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I wrote these words in my mid-twenties, “La belleza de uno se descubre cuando se habla con la verdad, el arte es mi verdad.” These words have always lived in my heart “Beauty within is discovered when one speaks the truth, art is my truth”. Visual Art has been a meaningful way to process and connect to life and for the most part it has been very personal and private as opposed to my process as a dancer and choreographer. I will take this moment to speak about art, as an artist I have always been one to sketch and create art that stays with me or I am inspired to gift my artwork without feeling overprotective of my work. Curious enough, I don’t shy away when the opportunity to collaborate or present work happens with others. I love sharing these moments of art exchange, but there is a question I am asked continuously, Araceli when will you ever sell your art? But the idea of selling my personal art made me nervous and it was not something I had invested in. In addition, I am always so involved in teaching, collaborating, creating, cultivating, and connecting with the people I love that the concept of time is sometimes hard to grasp. Even so, just last year in 2019, I decided to share an image on social media titled “Siempre”, with a message I had written in Spanish, “La oportunidad de amar siempre existe, La oportunidad de crecer siempre presente.”, on how the opportunity to love always exists and the opportunity for growth is always present. The image is of a woman with leaves flowing in her hair as a symbol of growth paired with the written message above, which I wrote in Spanish. I was honored and filled with gratitude when people reached out about the possibility to purchase the 8″ by 10″ handmade lino cut print art piece. The image of “Siempre” which means “Always” was born in 2006 and it continues to move rhythmically and evolve as time passes. It was first made in pencil as a 4″ by 4″ then jumped onto a mural twice (2’ by 4′ and 5’ by 12′) back to a smaller scale with pastels 12″ by 12″, made with pen as a 6″ by 6″ then carved onto a printing block. The lino print block is only 4″ by 6″ and I started exploring this technique in September 2019 and loved how it challenged me. Soon after prints on paper, I began designing the image on shirts and I feel blessed to continue with this rhythm. The interest and love to purchase the handmade lino cut print art piece created a huge impetus in me feeling at ease with selling it. I let go of my inhibitions and allowed myself to invest in the idea that my art would live in a home, space and/or with people who embrace the process and steps taken to develop it. My art holds a part of my essence and it always makes me nervous to pair it up with the word “sell”. I believe that is the hardest part of being an artist, putting a price on something that is born of self. I am still navigating this challenge, but, like I mentioned, the interest and connection people have with my art strengthens my trust in putting my artwork out en esta vida. I kindly invite you to see my art, and, if inspired by it, get information on how to purchase it at www.danzaimpulseyarte.com
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?
What a fun question! I would start with a yummy coffee and pan dulce from Cafeina Cafe in the heart of City Heights. Conversations of life, dreams and desires would encompass that time spent together. I would then invite them to Balboa Park to take a stroll and admire the spaces that live within it. Grab lunch at Underbelly in North Park and share what inspires us with a kind exchange in our ability to grow. We would then make a stop at Stage 7 where Juan Carlos Blanco teaches his Afro Cuban dance class, taking in the heartbeat of the dancer’s bodies and honoring the rhythm of the drums. Feeling inspired, we would go to The New Children’s Museum and explore Wesley Sam Bruce The Wonder Sound because a reminder of our inner child is necessary and magical. Hungry again? Indeed, so a stop at Plumeria in University Heights for dinner followed by some good reggae music and dancing at North Park’s The Office with uptown top ranking Tribe of Kings Sound.
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 am infinitely grateful to everyone who has supported me in my growth as an Artist and Dancer. My familia, for always honoring the love I have for art and dance. You are all essential to my growth and continue to be a pillar of strength as I navigate the beauty and intricacies these two art forms bring to my life. Connie, I am grateful for you my beautiful sister, you have always fueled my artistic connection with love and encouragement, and to my best friend Erendira for inspiring me with her tangible love of art. To my dance teachers, Debi Toth, Lani Fand, Mary Fitzgerald, and Young Ae-Park gratitude for introducing me to the beauty, power, and inclusive language of dance. For the love and support in developing my teaching voice, thank you Mary Pat Hutt, Kathy Lindholm Lane, and Kathryn Irey you all contributed to my growth as an Art and Dance Teacher. You three nurtured, believed and challenged me to dive deep as an arts educator. To my friends, art and dance community thank you for your continuous support and to my students of all ages your connection to my love of art and dance is embraced and treasured. The beautiful and inspiring exchange I get to experience with all of you every time I teach or create art and dance is invaluable. A shout out to SD Voyager for the opportunity to share my story with your audience.
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