We had the good fortune of connecting with Cecilia Bencomo and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Cecilia, why did you pursue a creative career?
I’ve always been creative growing up. I would imagine scenarios and stories and then I would love to draw them out in story form. As I got older and started college, my university offered a new program in graphic design and I instantly fell in love with it. My first career was advertising and marketing. I was a graphic design for 20 years before I fell love with woodworking and now power carving. Power carving is a new avenue to pursue my artistic abilities and designs. Using an angle grinder to shape a piece of wood into a sculpture or jewelry piece is so exciting. The possibilities are endless. I’ve only been power carving for a few years but I love the ability to imagine and reimagine things by telling a story through carving. I’m very fortunate to see a piece of wood and instantly know what it should become. I find the beauty in discarded and forgotten pieces of firewood and I challenge myself in creating something useful and beautiful with them. I’m fortunate enough to have such a rewarding second career in power carving and I’m very excited to see where it takes me.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Power carving is fairly new in the woodworking industry, being a female power carving artist is even more rare. The ability to use a powerful and dangerous tool as the angle grinder to create a delicate and fragile piece of art is very exciting. It’s taken me a long time to feel comfortable enough to create my own style and identity in my carvings and longer to feel comfortable enough to call myself an artist, but today I’m completely comfortable with both. I love to explore and incorporate my style and designs in sculpture, wall art and jewelry. I challenge myself to find every day items to reimagine and redesign by power carving them and giving them a unique identity.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Obviously Balboa park would be first. I love the diversity and artistic vibe the park gives with all the museums and shops. Old town also gives that historical ambiance that I enjoy sharing. Coronado Island is a family favorite. I love going to the beach and enjoying the gorgeous sunsets. Another favorite spot is Cabrillo National Monument and the cliffs overlooking the ocean are so magical.
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?
My biggest support has been my family. My father was the one who introduced me to a power saw and other woodworking tools that I still use to this day. My mother’s strong personality has given me the strength to try new and different things and never doubt myself. My husband and best friend of over 20 years has always been supportive of my pursuit of finding a creative outlet. My now teenage triplets have also been supportive of my work, even if they don’t completely understand what I’m doing most times.