Creative Crush: Interview with Ana Victoria Calderón
I’ve been learning watercolor lately. I am super excited to share this interview with Ana Victoria Calderón, an artist based in Mexico City who is coming out with a new book this December called Creative Watercolor: A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners--Create with Paints, Inks, Markers, Glitter, and More! She’s also teaching a master class on December 15th at our NYC studio! We can’t wait!!!
Below is an interview with Ana about her creative inspiration, how she got started, and advice for other creative entrepreneurs. We are really inspired by Ana and her approach to creativity. Enjoy!
When did you first start doing watercolor?
I began painting with watercolors at a professional level (like, making a living off of this) around 2011. I have loved this medium since I was a kid but I really started getting into it more because I took a class in college — more than a decade ago — where we made our own watercolors, this made me realize how pure and true to pigments the medium is. I also just love how easy watercolor is to travel with!
Why did you decide to pursue being a creative entrepreneur?
Mostly because I longed to be my own boss and be responsible just for my own success and not have to worry about anything or anyone else. Before being a one woman show I was part of a graphic design studio, with partners, clients, rent and employees. I was miserable and all I wanted was to paint all day and night. So I did what I had to do, shut that business down, moved from Cancun to Mexico City and began selling my art at local craft fairs. You could say the rest is history!
Where do you find inspiration for your artwork?
Everywhere!!! Travel, books, podcasts, meditation, memories, just thinking, and letting my mind wander, Beatles songs, nature, in conversations with friends, and sometimes buying new supplies brings up a new idea too.
How do you overcome a creative block?
I used to get worried and stressed out when this happened, as it does to all artists I think. But I began to realize that creativity and the actual desire to create comes back naturally with time. I noticed that when I was blocked I was doing too much and all I needed was to relax, take a few days off.
How do you define creativity?
Following your curiosity over fear. Living in a state of enchantment. Making stuff that makes you happy.
What’s one thing you do every day?
Cook! And wash a million dishes haha.
What’s it like living in Mexico City (I’m Mexican-American and only in the past few years went to Mexico City)?
Ahhh how cool! Living in Mexico City is amazing. I am Mexican-American, too, but I have lived in Mexico for my whole life. I love that my parents decided that my sister and I should grow up here and travel during summer break and holidays. We would visit my grandma in Denver all the time and spoke English at home, so we had a strong US culture growing up, but we were raised Mexican at heart.
I have lived in Cancun, Cholula, and Mexico City. Each place is amazing in its own Way. Living in this country is SO amazing. I love the spontaneous nature, freedom, sense of humor, food, friendships, folklore and stunning beaches.
It makes me sad to see so much negative press in US news about Mexico. It’s really not like that at all. Like every place, it has its negative aspects, but that should not prevent anyone from traveling to this magical country.
I went off about the country in general, ha! But Mexico City — Mexico City is a huge city, with tons of diversity, different neighborhoods, parks, it’s lively, full of culture, food is incredible, and there’s so much to do. It’s a fantastic place for artists. I owe so much of my early success to this amazing city.
What one piece of advice would you give to a creative entrepreneur and/or artist just starting out?
Invest in guidance and do everything you can to find your own voice. Don’t copy other artists and if you do for practice, try not to share that!
Find your creative community, collaborate, meet new people, be authentic. Know that it’s not easy and there is no off switch but it’s totally worth it!
What’s your favorite cocktail?
Does coffee count?
Tell us about your book! How did it come about? How can we get it?!
Ahhh! My book! The reason I will be at your wonderful space in December!
I was approached by Quarto Creates to write Creative Watercolor in 2017 because of my popular online courses on Skillshare and Domestika. We’ve worked so hard on this book and the content is super fresh! We also mixed in fun embellishing to add some extra magic to your watercolor projects. I can’t wait to craft with you guys!
Thank you Ana for the wonderful interview and hope to see you all soon at her master class in NYC!