We had the good fortune of connecting with Nancy Huitzil and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Nancy, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
At the age of four, I was painting on copy paper, scribbling on lined paper, and coloring on my Barbie coloring books daily. Almost all children color early in their life for fun; however, I remember I was obsessed with drawing as I would at least draw 10 drawings a day and give my work to my parents as gifts. For me, it was the bright colors that caught my attention and created an image from my imagination or experience to show both my parents and younger brothers. At an early age, I learned this was my way of showing my family how much I love and appreciate them. I would constantly draw my family together, holding hands in front of the house my parents rented.
One afternoon, my dad Esteban Huitzil, saw me scribbling on my Barbie coloring page and decided to teach me how to color inside the lines by sitting next to me on our living room floor. He turned the page to Barbie dressed a businesswoman and started outlining her with my crayolas and coloring inside the lines as I watched. He taught me to pay close attention to detail, and I remember little Nancy was blown away by the concept of coloring inside the lines. I share this short story because that was my AH-HA moment when my passion for art rose. I think it was then, whether I fully realized it or not, that I wanted to pursue an artistic career. As a child, I realized that I could show those around me rather than tell them how I felt to start a conversation.
Art allows me to be vulnerable, authentic, and transparent through visuals.
Art allows me to be honest with myself first and then with the world.
Art allows me to speak out loud with passion, courage and helps my community.
For these reasons, I also advocated for art education and pursued to graduated with my art degree. I was invested in the arts in the arts early in my life to invest my time, finances, and education in the arts; so that other brown kids like me could see themselves in their art teachers, in museums, paintings, photos, and in history books.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Art is often romanticized in Hollywood movies, social media and described as a natural talent only some can achieve. I stand to say that art for me has been years of practice, study, and self-reflection. I have experienced microaggressions, racism, sexism, and depression thought my life and do not always verbally communicate it out loud. Instead, I process those painful moments on my own time and create positive photoshoots to remind myself and others of self-love, confidence, and spirituality. In my paintings, I design imagery that speaks on my culture, identity, and experiences. The artist in me rebels against injustice and promotes mental health, self-love, and human rights.
As an artist, I feel, observe and design a lot. I see beauty in everything and everyone and easily overlook toxic traits until I have my time to reflect. I use my art to celebrate, self-affirm, and communicate voiceless narratives. For me, voiceless narratives are Spanish-speaking immigrants who can’t vote, can’t always verbally communicate outside their country, first, second, and third generations, as well as what our society calls minorities. The news and media are often quick to pick up tragic stories and not always highlight the other side. The side where mass communities don’t see themeselves achieving or moving up. That is the story I want to continue to highlight and push forward. Through art, I can shift those narratives into a more positive one by using first-person narratives.
My art journey began at the age of four; I was painting on copy paper, scribbling on lined paper, and coloring my Barbie coloring books daily. Almost all children color early in their life for fun; however, I remember being obsessed with drawing and painting. I would draw 10 drawings a day and give my artwork to my parents as gifts. For me, it was the bright colors and the use of my imagination that helped me create my drawings. I quickly learned that art was a way of expressing my love for my family. I would constantly draw my family together, holding hands in front of the house my parents rented.
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 recommend visiting Manny’s Restaurant in Victorville because they have extreme burgers, tacos, agua frescas, micheladas, and even vegan food! You can check out their food on their socials: @mannysresturant or @mannysreloaded. They have a seating area that has more recently opened as dine-in restrictions have opened to the public. If you want to try something new you have options.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My art story stands out because my family has always encouraged me to pursue my art career since I was four. My family firsthand witness my self-determination and talent for the arts from an early age. As a child, I would practice my artistic skills, enter local art contests, and later graduated with an art degree in 2017. I share my victories with my family and with my boyfriend, Vincent James Richmond.
I thank my family for their encouragement, love, and understanding of who I am as a person. I have found art is a personal journey that requires the artist to be honest and face themselves head-on. Honesty is one portion of being an artist, but it’s a life journey that I celebrate with my loved ones, and I can’t thank them enough for being there for me through it all.
I recognize that my mom, Maria Del Carmen Huitzil, in particular, has inspired me and has helped me see the world through the lens of my culture as she is Mexican, Indigenous, and a previous immigrant. It is through her experience that she has inspired me to walk with passion and an open heart. Through her storytelling of my culture that I can proudly speak up and celebrate my culture in my artwork. She also inspires me to be a strong woman as she has come out stronger from her life lessons.
My victories would not have been the same if I didn’t share them with my family and extended those victories with my boyfriend, Vince. As my artwork and ideas have evolved through time, I always share them with my family and loved ones because victories don’t mean much if they are not shared.