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Rising Stars: Meet Diana Ninéth

Today we’d like to introduce you to Diana Ninéth.

Hi Diana, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
I guess I got into fiber art when I was designing embroidery on apparel as part of work, I’ve worked in the apparel industry for about 11 years, I fell absolutely in love with embroidery. I did so well with it I was often assigned our womenswear embroidery projects, I learned a lot through collecting vintage textiles and Mexican or Guatemalan textile art. I am Mexican-Guatemalan born in the US, fiber art is a huge part of my roots, every time I visit Mexico I make sure to take a day to hunt for local textile art.

My partner is an artist, I always admired his ability to create in his studio everyday after work. He inspired me to create art of my own, I decided to learn punch needle and tufting a couple of years ago, back then tufting wasn’t really well known and there was very limited information about it, I learned through a lot of research and trial and error. I started to create art for fun and then it became a part of my magic practice, I have been a witch for about 13 years, fiber art has really taken my practice to another level.

My work became highly requested so after working in a studio at home for a while and having my yarn constantly attacked by my cats, I decided I needed to separate my workspace from home. I applied for an art studio at an amazing art space called Keystone and I got in! I am now in my second studio there, I feel honored to be accepted, there are so many amazing artists there. My work has now been featured in a couple of galleries and a museum, it’s been a really fun ride.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Yes and no. Like I said, it’s been very fun. I mastered the craft very fast, I think it’s because of my background in apparel design and my roots. I’ve been told I have ancestors who also practiced fiber art in Guatemala. When I first started, there were so many things I did not know like how to get in a gallery, how much to charge for my work. I think one of the hardest things for me has been learning the value of my work, I really undervalued my work at first. Most POC don’t grow up intending to be an artist, we are told to become doctors, to become lawyers to get us out of poverty, we are never told we can be successful artists, it took me a long time to see my potential and the value of my work in a predominantly white industry, if you take a look around the art world, there aren’t as many POC.

Being copied has also been very challenging, it’s happened a lot recently and I will never get used to it, it feels like a piece of me has been ripped off, I really wish people would take the time to find inspiration deep inside of them, we all have it within us. As a practicing witch, I use magic to fix my problems faster so I’ve had to do a lot of protective magic as of late.

Word of advice: don’t copy a witch.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I use art as a form of oracle in a way, all of my art is channeled, I receive a lot of my inspiration in dreams so I keep a notebook next to my bed where I write down the ideas that come to me as a drift into sleep, I have sooo many sketches I wish I had more time to execute all the ideas I have. My work revolves heavily around my magic practice and around symbolism, from the colors to the textures and the images, they all come together to deliver a message to the viewer. I spend a lot of time and energy brewing this up and have been told people feel this when they see my work in person. I have cried after finishing a piece, it just felt so powerful and beautiful. I truly enjoy what I do. As creative working for corporations for years, I guess I have always wanted to find a way to express my individual self of all these channeled messages and feelings I am constantly receiving with absolutely no restrictions. I am inspired by ancient occult symbolism, by alchemy, by astrology, by the elements, by my ancestors, and by our existence in this and other realms.

We’d love to hear about any fond memories you have from when you were growing up?
Honestly, I had a really rough childhood. I don’t really remember much of it, so I really had to sit and think about this one. We were homeless at a time, my biological father tried to kill my mom in front of me when I was a kid, I mean I went through it all. I think the best memories I have are away from it all. One of my favorite memories is going to the opera with my uncle Gabriel and his partner Alan, they are queer and have been together for almost all my life, I loved spending time with them. My uncle is the one that introduced me to music and art, he would burn me CDs and mail them to me when I was a kid, he introduced me to Nirvana, I remember listening to In Utero and feeling guilty like “I think this is bad but I like it”. I loved going to his house in Ventura and looking at all his records and his art collection, he had a story about everything in his house, in a way my uncles saved my sanity even if it was for a couple of days a year, I don’ think they know that I should probably let them know, I’m getting a little teary-eyed now.

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