Since the 13th Moon i began to move into a new moon, a new phase for myself as an artist. I began to ask myself challenging question about who Ana Ruth Castillo wants to be as an artist. It is difficult to walk through these journeys called life, love, and careers. Without a map, my navigational tools have become my heart and intuition. With these tools i was able to sketch some ideas about what my future could look like… they are all possible, but require focus & commitment to working the plan out.
I considered doing an artist residency in Bolivia, Morocco, Berlin, Thailand… i discovered countless possibilities and opportunities outside of the country for artists. I imagined leaving the continent for 2 or 3 years… but reality held my feet down. This summer life has been teaching me to be more responsible and more professional. I have felt some heavyness around my responsibilities towards my family, but i realized that I am choosing to take care of things at home, so i have to stop victimizing myself and just step up. Changing the way I think about these things helps me move forward with greater strength and victory. For now I am staying put, but I am still dreaming.
I had a dream that I went back to school. I woke up and began to search for MFA programs. I began to see the academic/professional world of art. It gave me new insight about this world that I wanted to enter. It opened my mind to different types of art that I can engage with and found myself most interested in public art. I really wanted to be an art student, but a $60,000 degree told me to figure it out some other way.
I began an internship this summer with muralist Ricardo Mendoza, whose work I truly admire because his art is never small. He goes big, and designs with great ambition… I relate. I began assisting in the production of a ceramic, glass, and aluminum mural that he designed. This public art piece measures 19 ft x 19ft and its gonna be installed at the entrance of Monterey Park Library. I have been cutting and organizing hundreds of clay pieces. They are then fired up into ceramic pieces. We are about to start glazing them with beautiful colors. The process has been a great learning experience and this is what I enjoy the most.
When i first began this internship I did not mind the added hours of work to my schedule. I did not think too much about the events or parties I would miss… but after a month into it i began to miss my friends. It did not help to see pictures of my friends on the facebook as theyre smiling and laughing at an event or gathering i should have been a part of. I tried not to let it get to me and remind myself that I was making good use of my time. And i have been, but 2 months into this, i realized that work needs to be balanced by friends.
I love my friends. They are amazing, strong, creative, beautiful womyn that I admire. I figured out that I need my friends for dancing, laughing, and just being. I’ve been critical of my productivity as a person and i thought that spending time with friends was not very productive… but indeed, i have to see my friends in order to continue on this journey with happiness. Its simple, friends bring me happiness.
Love also brings me happiness. This past summer I have been building a beautiful relationship with a person that i adore and admire. Since we first met there was magic in the air. Its been a crazy journey with this person so far, a journey both us thought was only going to last a few weeks. We did not know what would unfold, we just kinda went with things. We found each other in similar places and understood the type of space we wanted. We began to cultivate together and found seeds of love to plant. (awww, cheesy…) A relationship is truly bound by healthy communication. Some of our conversations have not been easy, downright scary or painful sometimes, but we have gone through them, making ourselves vulnerable to each other, but finding and holding the love that glows between us. He has challenged my notions of love, commitment, and companionship. With him i realized that i did not want my past traumas to define my future.
What lies ahead in the future? Only the stars know. But what is certain is that I am going to back to school. I won’t be paying $15,000 per semester, instead it’ll cost me a couple hundred dollars. This I can afford. I am taking a sculpture class and an introductory course to architecture. Im going 3-D! This is where my art and creativity needs to move to. Canvas art has been a blessing for expression… but i am expanding in more directions. I hope to outline my career a little better and figure out what I want to do for a longer run. Its very hard for such an eclectic womyn like me. Not too long ago I wanted to be a radio journalist/writer. Which I was. I did radio production for 2 years and transmitted to Guatemala, weekly! I also started this blog, que no.
Anyways, I’m curious enough about architecture to figure out what possibilities exist there. I am also looking forward to sculpting with clay, stone, & wood. There’s also a muralism class that would be worth doing. Im excited about learning and school. I want to be able to fit school into my weekly grind. Most important would be to finish all the classes i commit to successfully.
Well i’ve explored many possibilities about my future since my Solo exhibition. I have done my research and will continue to do so as i figure out the most colorful and promising path to take. I hope I get to do an MFA program, but I hope to find some scholarships for it. I want to build my career, my art, and my passions. I want my friends and family to always be part of the journey. I’ve been very introverted this summer, but it’s been for a good cause, my future.