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Meet Maribel Hernández of Mariposa Designs

Today we’d like to introduce you to Maribel Hernández.

Maribel, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I was born in Michoacan, Mexico, a land of color and beauty. During my elementary school years, I remember finding myself exploring my creative passion for art. On rainy days, I would make a spiral and doll-shaped variations of hop-scotch designs, and during summer months, I watched waves of bird migration patterns in the sky captivating my attention for hours and filling my imagination with future inspiration.

It wasn’t until I was eleven when my grandmother who had seen my imagination evolve gave me my first set of colored pencils as a souvenir from “El Norte” auspiciously foretelling my journey to “the land of opportunity.” Eight years later “El Norte” would witness my maturing vibrant creations while it placed obstacles under the veil of culture differences, language, and financial uncertainties.

Despite obstacles, I formalized my artistic training at Ventura College molding what I knew in my heart to be the sketchbook of my life as a fearless artist. I didn’t limit myself to a canvas, but expanded to interior design, discovered the healing power of making ceramics; and explored printmaking, photography and graphic design.

Today, as an art instructor, I take pride in imparting my knowledge with the same childish passion to young aspiring artists regardless of their language and cultural background.

For the past thirteen years, I have been part of the Bell Arts Factory artistic community constantly challenging my pursuit of color and diverse media which speaks for my passion for life with its various rhythms and changing landscapes.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I soon realized that there is no growth without struggles. First of all, when I started college, the lack of the language was my first impediment. I remember how frustrating it was when I took my very first English class without knowing any English. The teacher expected homework that involved writing, which I knew nothing of.

Then my assumption that Art is a universal language shattered when I began my first drawing class… I could draw, but I did not understand what the teacher’s objective was and often found myself seeking the kindness of other bilingual students to enlighten me as to what I needed to do. Transportation was another setback.

I lived forty-five minutes from College, and I had to get up in the morning and take two buses to attend classes. Many times I found myself at six in the morning crying under the rain waiting for the bus to take me to college. I would also depend on the kindness of others who would give me a ride home when I had to stay long hours doing midterms and final projects, including playing basketball for the college team.

But I never gave up!

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Mariposa Designs – what should we know?
Bell Arts Factory is the home of my studio for the last 13 years, my sanctuary of creativity. In here I’m able to create anything I have in mind. For the last two years, I have been focusing on Jewelry design, ceramic bird installations, mixed media, alcohol inks…

In the process, I digitalize my designs and transfer them into colorful fabrics excellent for one-of-a-kind pillows or tote bags, even fabric characters that add that special touch as gifts.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
I have a big list of supporters starting with my family, all my friends that helped me throughout all those years of struggle, and still present now.

My professors from Ventura College, the community of Bell Arts Factory, artists and founders. Organizations that gave me the opportunity to teach art: Starting with Living Love Foundation, Kids Arts, Vita Art Center and Bell Arts Factory.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Dina Pielaet, Wendy Guerrero and Patty Keller

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

1 Comment

  1. Julia

    January 18, 2021 at 12:11

    I want to buy one of your hats. I am a friend to your Aunt Hilda.

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