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Art & Life with Yeltsin Penado

Today we’d like to introduce you to Yeltsin Penado.

Yeltsin, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I was born and raised in the Los Angeles area, and I currently live and work in Long Beach. Both my parents are from El Salvador. I spent many of my childhood holidays and summers in Central America with my family. I started drawing at a very young age, and my family always encouraged me in my creative practice. I was always excited for any activity that involved making art. I remember early on I would draw comics of my friends as characters in movie parodies in my old journals. In high school, I took Creative Writing as an elective and was truly inspired combining narratives and poems with drawings and paintings. I went to Santa Monica College out of high school, where I studied English. I ended up taking a break from studying to focus on travel, work, and life.

In 2013, close friends had encouraged me to finish up my degree and I was inspired to enroll in many Art classes at Moorpark College. At Moorpark College, I was able to develop a unique portfolio which consisted of Paintings, Ceramics, Sculptures, Figure Drawings, and Graphic Designs. I made amazing connections in the program. In 2015, I was admitted to the BFA Fine Arts Painting program at Otis College of Art and Design. I developed my work within a collaborative studio environment which allowed me to experiment with materials, techniques, and meaning. In the Artists, Community, and Teaching program I developed a teaching portfolio and led many artist workshops and classes. I graduated in 2018 with a BFA in Fine Arts with minor in Community Arts Engagement. Much of my path has inspired my practice as an artist. I consider myself a Painter, Writer, and Filmmaker.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
I am currently focusing on projects involving Natural Fiber Dying, Writing, Video and Film. As a painter, I have always been interested in the origins of colors, materials, and supplies. I craft drawing and painting materials from scratch and combined them with fiber dying techniques to produce large sheets of colors and patterns. I research historical natural dye processes from cultures around the world and create works that reflect natural formations, seasons and regions. I select specific fibers: wool, silk, and cotton and use them to achieve different shades and tones on the fabric. My painting process involves using encaustic wax paint as a resist, and then a layer of natural dye is applied to form a pattern on a fabric that is stretched on handmade stretcher bars. With this work, I am documenting the delicate process and tradition of Fiber Dying.

I am also producing video pieces that use scripts from online videos, captures from video games, found footage and animated segments made on Unreal Engine. I am currently 3D scanning rocks and minerals, then uploading the scanned files into imagined spaces I have built using Unreal Engine. I’m writing a story that has been inspired and scripted by the Closed Captioning feature on YouTube. I am using videos from performances and live streams. A 1-hour clip is translated into 323 lines of text with detailed timestamps which I use as a reference in my script. My interest in this process is that the software struggles to accurately determine sounds, words, and concepts. This produces an abstract story which I combined with ambient sounds and images of empty spaces. I hope to create a playable experience at some point.

Any advice for aspiring or new artists?
My advice for other artists is to commit to making as many mistakes as possible. Devote some studio time to experimentation and failure. It’s also important to develop a community of artists and support them in any way.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
You can check out the range of my work on my website and social media channels. I also publish Art Catalogues and Zines. I post updates on different projects and processes I am tinkering with. I also have a gaming blog on YouTube and Live Stream on Twitch where I connect with other gamers. On social media, I post updates if I am participating in any type of exhibition, event, workshop or convention.

People can support my work with their presence. I am always excited to collaborate and work with other artists and creatives. I am always sharing my projects, research, and findings so it’s important to follow me on social media and stay updated on upcoming workshops or exhibitions.

Contact Info:

 Image Credit:
All images by Yeltsin Anthony Penado

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