Aragon draws upon her own experiences and surrounding community to create breath-taking oil paintings that do not sugar coat the human experience. Aragon’s goal is to present an awareness and give a perspective of individuals whose story has yet to be fully told, reaching a broader audience than they might on their own. The artist hopes her works sheds light on how similar we are as inhabitants of this earth, and how we can benefit from just a little bit more understanding.
In our interview with Andrea Aragon, she shares wisdom for her past self, a peek at her artistic practice, and when she knew she wanted to be an artist.
Can you share with us a little bit about your upbringing and where you are currently creating?
I was born in Anaheim California and moved to Montebello when I was really young, but now I am currently living in Huntington Park where I create from home.
What was the inspiration behind this latest body of work? What themes have you been exploring in your work?
Currently, my work taps into the idea of having magical moments with the ones I love. Or having a beautiful moment with a stranger. Where time isn’t as important and one exists in the moment. I’ve been exploring the ideas of human interaction with the everyday and how our influences tap into our subconscious for our everyday decisions.
Could you share what your day-to-day looks like when working in your studio?
What I usually do is eat in the morning and sometimes I spend a little time with my partner and our new kitten. I sometimes just mentally prepare myself for what I need to execute for my projects and or if I need any supplies for future ones. Then I tend to put on some music/documentary/ podcast to get me in the flow of concentration. Most days I like to at least get a minimum of 6 hours in for creating.
What’s in your “artistic toolbox”? Are you particular about brands that you use?
I tend to try to stick to oil paints and when I’m usually at the store I try to check the quality of the pigments. I’ve noticed certain brands have better quality pigments than others or one color from two different brands may have the hue a bit different. When it comes to brushes I don’t usually have a preference but with time sometimes I can now be picky.
How do you like to unwind outside of the studio?
I like to hang out with like minded artistic individuals. I also tend to take my camera wherever I go so when I’m hanging out and if I ever get inspiration I can take photos for ideas.
Do you have a process for sourcing and/or keeping track of your inspiration?
I usually tend to keep it upstairs in my brain. It’s only on certain occasions I write it down on my phone or have a sketchbook around. Once I want to solidify the idea a bit more I tend to create mock-ups on photoshop on my computer.
What was on your playlist while creating this new body of work?
I tend to listen to hip hop, rap, neo soul, indie rap, oldies, some music from other Countries etc.
Most artists express themselves creatively as a child, but there is a moment when a shift occurs from just being creatively inclined to being more artistically minded – do you know when that moment was for you?
One I can remember was when I was in 8th grade going into high school. I requested to take art classes because I already knew that’s what I wanted to do. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to acquire the class but that’s a whole different story. Long story short, that didn’t stop me from pursuing the want to create so I would draw on my own. I never thought of doing something else at that point in my life.
Have you ever worked outside creating public murals? If not, would you be interested in pursuing one day?
Yes, I would love to create murals but when the opportunity presents itself.
What words of wisdom would you share with your past self when you were just starting to create art?
I would say keep practicing and if things don’t come out the way you intended that’s okay because you can always try again. Your mindset is never permanent. Be cautious and only accept what your body can take at once. Don’t take on too much. Listen to your body.
Is there anything in your artistic journey that you wish you may have done differently?
Nothing at the moment. I know that my journey isn’t over yet and it’s hard to pinpoint one thing.
What did you find to be the biggest challenge of 2020 for you?
Understanding my wants and needs and what I find most important to me as a person and giving myself permission to vocalize those wants and needs are.
What is your proudest accomplishment of 2021? Life thus far? (can be art-related or not)
My biggest accomplishment was leaving my regular full-time job to pursue an art career. I grew up with not a lot of money which created some frugalness in my adult life. I was scared to be in that state again, but I bit the bullet and had confidence in myself.
What big projects do you have coming up in 2022 and 2023 that you’d like to share more about?
Currently, I have been working as a painter’s assistant and since I’ve been in this type of environment with other creatives it’s inspiring more ideas for future shows, but so far I’m just going with the flow and seeing where life takes me.
Andrea Aragon Artist Statement on “Somos Magicas”
My current body of work is inspired by my relationships between my friends or family. It’s about finding the beauty between those interactions and highlighting the mannerisms of those moments by illustrating them as careless children who have no concept of time or nor do they even care. My goal is to reach my audience by having them either reminisce about their own moments or can find a relation to the idea within my work.