We had the good fortune of connecting with Kristal Coral Marie Molina and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Kristal Coral Marie, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
For as long as I can remember I wanted to be an Artist. My Mother and Grandmother encourage my talents. When it was time to go college I thought and Art Teacher would legitimize my dream. However my fist intro to education classes made it very clear that was not the career for me. After my first child was diagnosed as Deaf. The visual world of art and ASL felt beautiful on my hands. I have participated craft shows and artisan markets for years. I started with crafty projects, various types of mixed media art and jewelry. The craft shows are typically seasonal. It was a fun side hustle . After completing my interpreting training program I began working for the local community college as a Sign Language Interpreter, Then March of 2020 happened and the situation and my jobs ended. I stayed home and painted. I sat in my art studio and painted through the fears of the novel pandemic. I began to post my artwork and friends and family began to ask for prices. I found a community of artisans and knew it was my next adventure. I found a Art Coach Mentor and allowed myself to live my dream. In October of 2020 I signed up for a booth space inside of Local Niche UTC. I worked on getting my facebook (Essential Expressions) page and Instagram (Essential_Expressions_) to reflect my art and interests.

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 love to paint on everything and anything. I rescue furniture and reimagine the possibilities with artisan eco-friendly Debi’s Design Diary DIY clay paint. I love to add colors and textures and look at each piece of furniture as a canvas, I also create mixed media portraits from photos. The mini portraits start at 2×3 inches and include an adorable wooden easel. The challenge is capturing the soul of people, pets and treasured memories with paint. I have been accepting custom work through my social media pages and San Diego’s Shop My Porch on Facebook. Recently a kind woman picked up a painted portrait of her Pug that had passed away and she was in tears as she held the painted memory in her hands again. Those moments are hugs to my heart knowing that my heART brought joy to someone else. 2020 gave me the space to grow as an artist and I gave myself permission to share my art with the world, It is vulnerable to create and share what we make. I feel its my humble responsibility to share my work and I enjoy teaching others how to create as well. .

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I think a taco tour would be the best way to eat your way through San Diego. Some of my favorites is Tacos El Gordo, Quatros Milpas, Salaud (don’t forget the margaritas), and just for fun visit the original Rubio’s near Mission Bay, I love driving through Coronado and getting coffee and gelato. Then we would cross the bridge and look at the murals in Barrio Logan and local artisan studios. We would Kayak in Mission Bay or La Jolla Sea Caves and in the summer hanging out with the Mexican Sea turtles! Did you know there was sea turtles in Mission Bay and La Jolla Shhhh its a secret! Bonfire and sunset at La Jolla shores and if you’re not sick of Tacos yet maybe get fancy and order from Ubereats-Sushi (Sushi Deli) , Hawaiian (Chris Ono’s) or Cuban (Havana Grill) is some of favorite picks. If you need do some shopping UTC is a beautiful Mall has a great store called Local NIche with local vendors.

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 have an amazing of girl group of best friends. I never really had a best friend until college. I craved the connection of soul sisters. We have been friends since we were all single. Now we are all married and have kids (13 kids between all of us). Every year we carve out a weekend to get-a-way and connect. Two of us live in Southern and the other two live in Northern California. We have seen each other through highs and lows of life. We call each other KYTS (Pronounced KITES)-Kristal, Yesenia, Tara and Sara. Our friendships has been the anchor as we have learned to fly in this beautiful world. We cheer each other on, speak truth the the bullshit and trust each other bravely. They know me and they have encourage my career choices.

Website: http://kristalmolina.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/essential_expressions_

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/essentialexpressions/

Other: https://thelocalniche.com/, https://www.instagram.com/localnicheutc

Image Credits
Everin Pezdek, Kristal Molina

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutSocal is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.