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Meet Rocio Magadan

Today we’d like to introduce you to Rocio Magadan.

Rocio, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I grew up in the South Bay in the city of Carson. As a child, I was always getting into trouble by my parents by scribbling crayons on the walls or my mom’s lipstick on the curtains. When I was in kindergarten I remember I had an assignment that I had to draw a birthday cake, I was so proud of how good it came out once I colored it and I think that’s the spark of when my love for drawing came about.

In 2nd grade, I volunteered to help paint a mural at school and it was a fun experience getting to paint on a huge scale outside. Throughout my years in school I’ve always drawn consistently by going to my local library and rent those “how- to-draw” books. I went through a bad experience in high school which caused me to stop creating any work most of my years there. When it came to my senior year it was about time to apply to colleges, I did have an interest in marine biology as a child as well so I was considering majoring in that field. And one day, I started to begin drawing again and I felt that I still have that skill to create more work. From that moment on, I changed my mind and decided to major in art.

I have always been asked if majoring in art was a good decision and if I am able to find myself a job in that field. At first, it was very discouraging considering it came from family and friends. But then, when I began to take my first studio classes at CSUDH it’s helped me gain so much on what I can do to improve and learn so many new techniques for my work. It has helped me grow a deeper passion for painting and mixed media work as an undergrad at school and in my personal practice. I thank my professors and colleagues to push me to where I am today. Both have helped me extremely when it comes to critiquing my work in order what I can do to improve myself and being in a creative mindset as an artist today. From exhibiting my work at art shows, I have met so many people that brought me new and close friendships as well and I think it’s amazing meeting other people who share the same interest with art.

Has it been a smooth road?
Being an artist has had its ups and downs, especially when you’re starting out. I struggled for a while since I had little to no friends that enjoyed art as much as I did. I think it’s all about trying to put your work and yourself out there into the world the best way possible. I do my best to make more work consistently and submit for any upcoming shows happening soon.

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
My work is mostly associated with 80’s/new wave aesthetics created of geometric shapes, line variation, and colors that correlate the painting or drawing I want to approach with. My paintings are mostly experimenting with the arrangement of space using elements I create. Color and use of line are also other elements I incorporate in my work. For my drawings, using mostly black ink on paper (occasion with color), they are inspired by traditional tattoo and b&w work styles along by using a dotted technique I use with different nib tipped pens. I feel that some of my paintings can be influenced by the pop art movement, such as color palettes used and use of imagery from popular cultures or objects. I believe that my work gives it its own kind of twist the way I would see it from my perspective based on what I get inspiration from or what comes to mind when wanting to create a composition.

What I want people to get out of my work is reflecting on subjects from the past but also the present and see what they think in their perspective. To create a narrative or what kind of environment they get when they look at my content. An experience I’ve shared was from personal memories and the viewers tell or describe me what it reminds them of before I explain what my approach was to create my compositions. The works that have stayed vivid in my memory was Guillermo del Toro’s exhibition At Home with Monsters at LACMA in 2016. The figures and installations that were in the room gave me an uncomfortable feeling and would make me wonder where did he get all of his ideas from to create these bizarre creatures and people. And I want to give that same feel to the viewers to wonder where or how I come up with my compositions before putting them on a canvas or paper.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
What I like best about our city is that we are spoiled with diversity. There are so many local artists in and outside of Los Angeles that are passionate about their craft. Whether if it’s making art, music, film, photography, theater, any type of art I think that is what makes LA so special when it comes to those artistic scenes. What I dislike is that there is not enough women, especially women of color involved. As of recently, I have noticed it rise from shows I’ve previously have been apart of but I would like to see more of that because I know there are so many discouraged women who like to make art but don’t know where to pursue or navigate themselves.

Contact Info:

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Image Credit:

Personal portrait photo by Daniel (Instagram: @oceanxwalker)

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