In what part of town do you live?
Kendall, right around your store.
How long have you lived in the area?
My whole life.
What keeps you busy during the week?
During the week, I’m in Wynwood. I work at a yoga studio. I teach and work the desk. If I’m not there, I’m home painting, or I’m at the gallery. I’m represented by a gallery near the yoga studio. And, I go rock climbing during the week.
Would you share about your yoga practice and your style as a teacher?
I teach Vinyasa and I love teaching restorative. My classes are slow and strong, but lately I’ve been practicing more restorative in style. So, I’ve been trying to bring that into more of my classes.
How did yoga become a part of your life?
I started in 2012 because I had a lot of back pain and realized I had scoliosis. My chiropractor recommended that I start yoga, and then I got hooked and my back stopped hurting.
Your personal restorative practice is influencing your teaching – Is your teaching influencing your personal practice?
I guess a lot, because if I don’t practice, I can’t really teach to my best ability, so I have to keep a personal practice up in order to be able to properly teach a class. There’s always something to learn, you know?
Would you describe what your paintings look like?
They are impressionist, but there’s still a sense of realism. I like to show movement and play with the colors. I feel we have all this realism already with photography. I like the brushwork to show. And a lot of the ideas, like the concepts that come from the paintings are based off my yoga practice, my lifestyle, and the duality in my life, whatever comes to my life or whatever I go through in my life.
Has art always been a part of your life?
I always knew I wanted to be an artist. I’ve been painting ever since I was a kid and when I got to college, it was like, ‘artists can’t make a full income,’ all that limiting belief that they put on you. So, I decided to do a psychology major, but still take art classes on the side. When I took a figure drawing class, I loved it so much. I was like, I don’t care. I went full on art major. I applied to my bachelor’s for a painting degree and I got in. Now, I’m thinking about doing grad school for fine art.
Looking at your art, the theme of duality stands out with images of overlapped and mirrored figures. What does duality mean for you?
Well, I feel like there has to be a balance. There’s never going to be only full light. There is going to be darkness and lightness. There’s going to be good times and bad. Not saying that like good is good, and bad is bad, but it’s part of life. I bring that into my paintings, and anything that happens. I’ve lost a friend. I’ve lost a brother. I try to bring that into my paintings, like transcendence and loss of life and the infinity that there’s never really loss. It’s just a transformation. They are my concepts, my ideas.
Is there a commonality between yoga and painting?
It’s the state of flow. For me, they’re both the same. I can be in a state of flow when I’m moving or when I’m painting, it feels the same.
I have found it difficult to sell my art. Has this been difficult for you?
It’s not my favorite thing. No artist wants to deal with the business side of things, but I’ve learned a lot from it. I do pop ups. I do a lot of commissions. In the last few years, I’ve learned more about the art business. Now I have prints at a coffee shop that just sell on their own. An original piece that takes so much time and effort can now become prints and I can make more money from that one piece. If you’re an artist, you have to find different ways to make an income.
Do you have any shows coming up?
I have a group show on December 2nd from 6pm – 2am. It is part of Miami Art Society. It’s a lot of local Miami artists. I’m trained in fine art, but there’s a lot of street artists too. There’s a big variety and it’s really cool.
Do you have a vision of where your art career is headed?
I want to become a professor. I want to be a teaching artist and maybe get represented by other galleries. In the far future, I would love to have my own space where I support artists in different ways. I want to be able to give grants that will support artists and give them jobs or opportunities.
You mentioned that rock climbing is a regular activity. How is climbing a part of your life?
It’s only been a year. I go to the gym that’s right by your store. After my brother passed, I needed something to take my mind off of things. I felt like yoga wasn’t enough. I went there and I got hooked. I really liked it. There’s this fear to it that makes you think of nothing else. I’ll go alone a lot of times because they have auto belay and then on the weekends, I’ll go with friends.
Do you come by our drive through after you climb?
Yeah. Most of the time. But, I go to your store regularly anyways. I’ll wake up and I’ll want a smoothie, so I’ll go and then go home. It’s always great. And it’s always so fast and efficient. You have everything ready.
What do you pick up when you come by?
Always a Rainbow Smoothie and sometimes guacamole.
What other places or restaurants do you like going to that you can recommend?
Suite Habana Cafe in Wynwood in a small family owned coffee shop.
What is Miami’s best kept secret or where might you take a someone visiting Miami for the first time?
I’d probably take them biking around Coconut Grove or over Rickenbacker and make them work a little bit. It’s really beautiful.
What for you as a worthy splurge?
L’artisane Bakery. It’s a vegan bakery. They have a vegan croissant egg sandwich. And you would think you’re eating an egg and butter. It’s delicious.
What community groups are important to you that you might like to promote or share?
Buddy System MIA and their Community Fridge Initiative. One of my best friends started it during the pandemic as a system to get food and groceries to people that are high risk. She brought fridges to different neighborhoods where people fill them, take what they need. It’s self sufficient. I think there’s over 10 already, and artists will go and paint the fridges. So they’re beautiful too.
Is there a pitch about something you are working on that you would like to share?
Come to my show, come support local artists. I have a show on Dec 2nd, and one on Dec 4th where I’ll have my bigger paintings. The show on the 4th is at Suite Habana from 1-10pm.
What question, challenge or words of advice would you like to pose to the community?
Help each other.
Is there a question you would like to ask us?
(NG) How was the rainbow smoothie born?
(A+W) The rainbow smoothie happened. We’ve been making smoothies for 10 years at the Pinecrest Market and people started getting two different colors, then three and then four. For years we had a challenge each week convincing parents that their kids wanted to try unknown tropical fruits from our farm. When we changed the menu to colors, kids became excited try them without wondering what was inside. Now, kids are eating beets, kale, and loads of fruit in each smoothie.
How can readers be in touch?
Instagram is best: @infinite.nat