Who or what has had the greatest influence on your work?
The greatest influence to my work has been my family. Being that my fathers side is Guyanese (British caribbean) and my mother is Mexican, my family is comprised of so many different races, skin tones, sexualities, etc all located in various portions of the world. Witnessing how the differences in location, age, race, etc influence their biases and what they accept has been a microcosm for me to study the real world. Even visiting my family who live in Mexico and Guyana has shown to me my level of privilege while presenting me with a romanticized view of the simplicity that people in the areas, experience joy in. The exploration of my own cultures has presented with me with juxtaposing philosophies on how to find my own place in time and in the world.
Has being a part of Art Hoe Collective influenced much change in your work?
Definitely, for a time being I was stuck in this place of making work that I thought was what people wanted of me, but instead of reflecting me and my life/ideals, I was actually just adhering to and promoting what society perceives as marketable and eurocentric beauty ideals pertaining to desirable femininity. The members of Art Hoe and the events we have thrown/participated in, have shown to me that growth, changes, and process are all welcome and are things to be open to instead of afraid of. Also in this collective, I have found a second family. Just how my family has served me as an example of pluralism and multiculturalism, Art Hoe’s members have shown me the same things but brimming with complete acceptance and ideologies of higher level thinking in terms of social advancement. In virtue of these, I was validated with the importance of community. Through my association, I have found a mental space wherein I can identify and celebrate my heritage, rejoice in my queerness, and learn how to fully experience and appreciate the process of becoming. They have truly taught me the complexity of identity and the facets of self acceptance. This all has transformed and will continue to inform my work far into the future. They mean more to me than they all understand.