Today we’d like to introduce you to Nita Navarro.
Nita, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Like many artists, I grew up drawing and painting at a young age. I remember my older brother was really into illustration and I would be memorized by his drawings. Soon, I started to try and replicate cartoon animations that I watched like Garfield and Snoopy. In High School, I was introduced to tagging and graffiti which mostly covered my books and folders, with some occasional defacing of property…. Then in my senior year things took a turn. I took an AP art class and Mrs. Taylor took me under her wing and made me think I could do this as a career. I will never forget her graduation gift to me, a set of paint brushes. I went straight to community college and decided to make art my career. When I transferred to CSU Channel Islands is where my eyes and mind really opened up to see other outlets that I could tag into outside of painting and drawing. I believe it was my second year at CI, when I decided to take a sculpture class with professor Matt Furmanski and little did, I know that class would change the course of my art career forever. Here is where I explored different mediums, met people that will forever have an impact in my life and where I started to grow as an artist. I fell in love with metal. I also met my mentor, John Suttman. With him is where I completed my college internship, that turned into a job, then took my basic skills to a whole other level. I learned so much from this man. From fabrication, to welding, forging, to life lessons and web within, was copper. The rest, well, here we are!
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It hasn’t and he’s been many obstacles, including the most common found in individuals who migrate to America; new language and finding ways to blend in. Those are struggles that to this day I have a hard time with! There is one particular obstacle that to this day is a constant is working in a male dominated medium. I remember it began when I was working for John, I was always looked at funny or John would always be questioned if I really worked for him. A woman in a shop! I even went back to community college to take a welding class so that I could have something more to show or prove. John shared his space with an acquaintance of his and those guys would always give me shit when I’d be in there working. I would just laugh it off just to keep the peace because at the end of the day, my boss had chosen me and that was what mattered. This all came to an end when John and I had to part ways. There were no hard feelings, but I was a single parent and needed to make more money and he was an artist himself, so I get it. I was left with two choices to take, continue pursue welding career or go a different path. I took the path that would best benefit my son at that time. Although art was put on hold, I never stopped creating. It was always my voice, my therapy. I embrace the tough times, because it has made me who I am today as a person and an artist.
Please tell us about your work.
Most of my work now is heavily concentrated with copper and nature. Growing up in Chile copper art was all around me but it wasn’t until a past lover who worked in gutters that I came across this medium again. Watching him work sparked small ideas, that later became big ideas that were slowly tendered by my professors, my peers and my artistic freedom that it slowly blossoms to the work you see today. I am also a huge lover of nature and that shows in every piece of my work. Nature is my number one inspiration. The contour lines, the colors, the strength and beauty of it can be so similar to copper. Over the years I have seen myself grow to the point now that I have finally made my own space that I call my studio! That is what I’m most proud of currently. What sets me apart from most artist would be my medium. Copper is mostly used for functionality or jewelry, so I’d like to think I’m far and few in between.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
Year ago, I’m not good with time so forgive me, but I do know it was my birthday and there was a ‘Beard Contest” being held in a place called “Stoneworks Studios”. There was going to be real beards competing as well as made beards. I remember I found this in the VC Reporter and I said this is what I want to do for my birthday. I worked on a copper beard, which I thought I would for sure win because I had a feeling I would be ‘different’. I won the contest, everyone had some really fun and creative beards, but nobody had one made of copper. This is when I first met Christina Diaz, founder of VC Art Market. Meeting her gave me the platform to show my work again and I have yet to look back. So luck, no, I think I was meant to go to that contest so that I could meet Christina. I was where I needed to be at that time in my life. I have the award in my studio and I take my beard with me to every Art Market, I’m very proud of that beard and so grateful for that day.
- Prices range from $10+
- Phone: 805.290.3932
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @nitarts
- Facebook: Nita Navarro