Today we’d like to introduce you to Janirette Vazquez.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Janirette. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I was born and raised in Puerto Rico and moved to Miami two years ago. I was never interested in art, I was more driven to sports which led me to become a black belt in Tae Kwon Do at a very young age.
A couple of years ago, I went through a very crucial time in my life. In my darkest times, art saved me. I became really interested in digital art and ended up enrolling in art school. I had never drawn, painted or sculpted in my life. I needed to take a week long test to be accepted, but how would I pass a week-long test seminar to be selected from an extremely talented group of people? I’ve always believed in myself and I was accepted to the most prestigious art university in Puerto Rico, Escuela de Diseño y Artes Plasticas de Puerto Rico.
I then discovered my passion for painting and sculpting which led me to create my very own business selling hand-sculpted miniature food jewelry with polymer clay online. I was then featured on numerous websites, magazines and online blogs. My pieces were featured in the Pee Wee Herman blog, Dominos Pizza, Dunkin’ Donuts and even a Korean soap opera named Panda and Hedgehog. I was selling so much I couldn’t even keep up! People were very curious of my process and that’s when I decided to open my YouTube channel. Unfortunately, after having my first and only child I was diagnosed with endometriosis which led me to have surgery two times in almost a year.
Dealing with the pain and the consequences of this condition is something that I struggle with every day. This affected my business greatly and unfortunately, my shop was closed for good. I picked up painting as part of my surgery recovery process and then moved to work more and more with resin. I remember that every time I grabbed a paint bottle it was always the blue one. People were always asking me why I always used mostly blue. I am a daughter of the Caribbean, the ocean was my best friend, a friend that was always there for me to listen. He took my worries and pain away every time I visited.
For two years I was so lucky to live in front of the ocean and sat on a rock to contemplate it almost every day. One day I decided to do a dirty pour (painting technique) with of course blue. The painting ended up looking like the ocean. Then not long ago I decided to combine resin, blue, the ocean in one piece and it was the most delightful and connecting experience for me. And here I am now! Creating beautiful ocean-inspired pieces washing away my worries in every painting. It has been a long journey but I’ve learned to not question life and jump from one adventure to the other always seeing the positive in the bad experiences.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It definitely hasn’t been a smooth road for me. One of the main obstacles was getting art supplies. I used to live in Puerto Rico and sadly they are just a couple of art stores with overpriced limited supplies. Buying online wasn’t a good option either since shipping prices were extremely high. So I was constantly holding back my abilities because of this issue. Not many opportunities were presented to me as an artist and this was very frustrating for me. I love my island and my people but there is a lack of visual arts appreciation. Instead, I was featured in two international magazines from the UK and was contacted constantly for opportunities in the US.
Once I moved to Miami I discovered a lot of places to choose from to buy art supplies. Also, my YouTube Channel grew because of many sponsorships with companies like Ampersand, Royal and Langnickle and The Epoxy Resin Store.
We’d love to hear more about your art.
I’m known for not being in the same place for too long! I’m a solo artist with lots of hats. I create one of kind ocean-inspired pieces with resin. I’m also a sculptor, painter, martial artist, mother and YouTuber. My channel is based on art tutorials and occasional vlogs. I have over 15,000 subscribers and counting. I receive products from companies in exchange for promotional videos and reviews. Doing this has been a very rich experience since I’m able to test all kinds of art supplies and expand my knowledge. Plus who wouldn’t love to get art supplies for free?!
I’ve also taken advantage of my experiences and decided to teach on an online platform. Since YouTube is kind of a more fast phased environment, I thought people would appreciate it more to learn at a slower more detailed pace. This online platform allows me to do that.
I am a solo artist. I do the art, the logo, the art for my promotions, I print, I cut, I promote, I do the photography, marketing and I created and manage my website. I do it all! I’m really proud of being able to grow with these experiences and being able to share them with others.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
I will always be grateful for a friend of mine Veronica Ortiz who asked me to make some paintings for her home. She was the one who pushed me to paint more and more. My friend Magali Piñero who always believed in me even when I was just starting out and gave me the opportunity to discover my passion for teaching and become a stronger woman. Marzia Ali who I’ve never met in person. We met through YouTube and she has been so supportive and always so caring when I was recovering from my surgery; she encouraged me paint even if I was too depressed to do so. My mom, dad, grandmother and sister always giving me their honest opinion. My friend Patricia, Desiree, Lyndenisse and my aunt Frances for always supporting me. My best friend Raul for always being there for me. Katie for being so supportive! And last but not least my husband who never has a no for me. No matter how crazy my ideas always sounds he always says “you can do it” “Jany I believe in you” Thank you Willy I couldn’t have done all of this without your support.
- Paintings starting at $45
- Website: www.janabstra.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/janabstra
- Other: www.youtube.com/janabstra