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Meet Polaris Castillo

Today we’d like to introduce you to Polaris Castillo.

Polaris, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
When I was a kid, I wrote my address on a balloon and let it go so aliens would visit me. But my love for the great unknown wasn’t always this magical. When I was 8, my older cousin Juan lived at my family’s home for a couple of years. He loved tagging graffiti all over the place, including our backyard, where he would spray paint giant alien faces with big, black eyes that seemed to follow you wherever you went. If this wasn’t frightening enough, he had a glow-in-the-dark neon poster in his bedroom depicting a stereotypical gray alien who pointed at the viewer with the tagline, “We’re out there”. Walking by his open door every night to get to my room was a daunting task.

But Juan also did something nobody else had done for me. He taught me to channel my creativity and exercise my artistic bones. He showed me how to blend colors using markers, introduced me to comic books and gave me new videogames for the Playstation such as Blasto. Finally, he made me promise him that I would graduate high school and go to college when I grow up.

I was only eight years old. Perhaps he wanted me to do things he wished he did. Maybe he just wanted to be a really cool cousin. But he had no idea how much he was inspiring my little mind. Or maybe he did because he believed in me.

I like to say I’ve been drawing ever since I was inside my mother’s womb because it sounds charming. But it wasn’t until Juan that I embraced the fantasy worlds that were waiting for me to visit. I began to fall in love with the art of creating. Dreaming. Storytelling. How a singular image can express a multitude of meanings and how the moving image can move an entire audience to profound emotion.

I have since pursued art in various forms. I’m an artist and filmmaker living in Los Angeles and I’m here to tell stories.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It has been the most interesting thing I’ve ever done. The path of the artist can lead you to meet some of the most fascinating minds while experiencing life like nobody else ever could. It is our job to capture fleeting moments and resurface them as honestly as we can.

As an artist, I am blessed with the job of creating, or more accurately, recreating big emotional moments that circulate our little lives. This is the pure substance we’re made of. But with such an honest art form, it’s never easy spilling your guts out for a world of strangers to see. It’s even tougher finding the right audience to witness it all. How do you shake the inescapable feeling that people won’t care? What will that mean for the artwork? Will it tear me apart if they hate it?

And it only starts there. Then you have to try and make a living from all these loud feelings. Pour your heart out and cash in on it. Turn on your producer mindset and monetize your art. It’s simply not enough to be good at painting pretty pictures. It takes a lot of brainpower, and the real engine behind it all is the heart.

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I’m an artist and filmmaker specializing in the surreal and avant-garde. I illustrate imaginative works and make narrative films and music videos. I enjoy taking a concept or emotion grounded in reality and presenting it in a fresh, innovative way. I believe ideas are stronger when they’re abstract, because emotions are too.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
Waking up on Saturday mornings to watch cartoons.

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