FEATURING: Ana Teresa Fernandez
What do the words "Creative Community" bring to mind for you? How do you feel is the best way to utilize members in a Creative Community?
Creative communities are people that engage with each other in a mindful and playful manner that instigates thinking and play. I feel the best way to utilize members of any community is to listen to what people want or desire out of their community and try to make that happen. I think the most effective is when we encourage each other to try what we have been holding back on... whether it's by forming a book club, encouraging others to try something new, such as surfing or dancing, or helping someone fulfill a project etc.
How did you discover your creativity?
It was always in me. Ever since I could remember I would find ways to create something from ordinary materials... sculptures with toothpicks, figures out of dough. I would always doodle. But also I always came up with names for things... I still do that. I don't know any technical terms for tango steps even though I've danced for over 7 years. I have terms such as candy cane, cookie platter, welcome matt...
Name the biggest challenge you have had in your career to date. How did you solve it?
My biggest challenge is to have the same voice lecturing to pharmaceutical investors as I have lecturing at art universities. Not cringing nor feeling small when people smirk at me as I say that I am an artist. I am usually quite proud of my profession, but there are those moments when people roll their eyes or laugh a bit where you allow doubt to creep in. I solve this by taking a deep breath and being articulate as to why I create art, which is to transcend the given and provide alternate ways of seeing people/places/ situations.
What was your first “Big Break” in your profession?
I think being awarded the Tournesol Award by the Headlands Center for the Arts was a life-altering moment. The platform of visibility, conceptual engagement and dialogue is at such a high and international caliber. It placed me in conversation with remarkable artists, thinkers and writers.
What's in your backpack/handbag/tote right now?
My wallet, an almost empty flask with mezcal, a beautiful tan leather moleskin notebook my gallery gave me filled with notes from lectures and my meditation classes, pens, a bikini top and bottom (no joke, I always keep a spare in case I decide to go surfing), headphones, my phone and napkins with notes...
Top 3 Tips you would give someone starting out in your creative profession.
Go for it and do it. If you keep having a reoccurring daydream of a project, make it happen. Don't put all your eggs in one basket, keep yourself resourceful and hustling. Believe in yourself.
What are some of your favorite places/books/blogs/websites for inspiration?
Nayyirah Wahhed's poetry book titled "Salt," Ocean Beach, any beach actually...talking with my favorite friends over tea or a drink, conversation can be an igniter for thought.
What would be your DREAM ASSIGNMENT?
I am working on it now... but I am afraid I cannot disclose information. ;)
Who are the people that have been instrumental in your success as a creative professional?
My family, my mom and dad and sisters and brother, my friends especially, they put up with me and my craziness... My gallery, Gallery Wendi Norris, is awesome.
What would be your last supper?
Sushi and cookies.
What would be your Networking Do's & Dont's?
I don't overshare nor use my social platforms as therapy. I share what inspires and moves me... and try to connect people.
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