To kick-off the New Year, SHOTCA was able to sit and talk with one of our Visionary Creatives: Suany Ortiz.
After growing up in Cuba, Suany moved to Miami, Florida when she was 12 years old. Suany was able to find an escape through art after being hospitalized for over two years, all while undergoing numerous operations on her brain.
Suany’s talents don’t lie solely on the canvas. She is actively pursuing a modeling and make-up artist career-both of which holds a ton of promise. Her multi-faceted skillsets are all products of the adversity in which she experienced growing up.
SHOTCA: Suany, please, tell everyone a little bit about yourself. Where you are from? How long you have been creating?
Suany: Well I'm 21 years old and I was born and raised in Cuba. I came to the United States when I was 12 years old. When it comes to art, I have always been painting and creating. Art has really saved my life.
SHOTCA: You say that "art has saved my life", can you tell us how it has?
Suany: I was born with a medical condition that required me to have multiple brain surgeries. I spent two years straight in the hospital and that was extremely difficult and mentally draining. But the hospital I was in started an art competition and that kept me going. It took my mind off of where I was and what I was going through. After getting out of the hospital is when I really decided to pursue art and I began taking art classes.
SHOTCA: Would you say that these classes helped? Did you enjoy them?
Suany: So our professor and the class were mainly focused around "realism" and I did learn throughout it, but, I wasn't really a fan. I felt I really couldn't express myself through it, but that's just my personal opinion; I have nothing against the medium of "realism". I did get pretty good at it, but like I said, I didn't really enjoy it. After a while, my professor suggested that maybe this wasn't for me and that's when I actually decided to quit art and I tried very hard to quit too.
SHOTCA: It must have been very hard to give-up the exact thing that got you through your time in the hospital. What propelled you to get back into it?
Suany: So, about a year after attempting to stop, I got right back into it. I really started experimenting with what I liked most about art which got me into the realm of abstract and other techniques like cross-hatching which ultimately got me where I am today with acrylic and oil paintings. I really feel like I found myself through these mediums. I can really express myself with my paintings and put emotion into what I am crafting. One of the main reasons why I would love to become successful in the art industry is so I can donate a percentage of the income I receive from my work to the organization that studies the medical condition that I suffer from, the Hydrocephalus Association. I feel that's somewhat my purpose.
SHOTCA: You mentioned you now work mainly with acrylic and watercolor, tell us about that and about the crystals, gems, shells, and other objects that you add that make your multi-dimensional works.
Suany: I always like to add broken mirrors, crystals, quartz, and shells into a lot of my works. These elements add beauty by themselves but elements like Quartz also possess an energy and healing that I subtlely include. I like to try different mediums but I really love deep and bold colors. I try to cover my entire canvas, I prefer to have no white showing, which takes me 2-3 weeks but it could be longer depending on the size of the piece. I do use a thicker canvas that can hold the amount of acrylic that I poor. For the shells that are in some of my pieces depicting the beach, most of the time I just go to the beach and pick shells up and use those. But for "Love, Summer", I had to buy those shells, they were specific.
SHOTCA: You've managed to grow a very large following on your social media accounts. How have you been able to grow an audience who is interested in your work?
Suany: The growth started really only a couple of years ago, honestly. I was very insecure about my art so what I did was create a fake Instagram and I was posting my work there without my name to it to see what people's reactions would be. I ended up getting some really nice comments on my work which really helped build my confidence. Not only did random people like it, but my family was very supportive too and I knew they would support my art career as long as they knew I was going to take it very seriously. So in addition to Instagram, I made my own website, continued painting, and here I am giving it my best. I've had multiple jobs and I've hated them; they have nothing to do with art and it drives me insane, it's very hard to stay at these jobs.
SHOTCA: So it's pretty safe to say that you want to spend your life creating pieces of art and expressing yourself, right?
Suany: I want to and I'm trying. I really hope this company helps me too.
SHOTCA: For our readers and artists, what advice do you have for the "Starving Artist"?
Suany: I have a quote that I put on my Instagram when I made it that says, "Do what you love and love what you do". You should always create for yourself, not for the feedback or the money. I used to create a piece and go around to my family members and friends and I was searching for a feeling of approval, you know? But I thought to myself: if I'm using art as a way to express myself and my feelings, then I don't need someone else to like me or my feelings; it's for me. If you're creating just for the money and for the praise, then, to me, that is not art.
Suany’s perseverance continues in the release of her new works (right). If you would like to make a donation with Suany to the Hydrocephalus Association, please click the link. To stay up to date with Suany and her art, you can follow her on both her Art Instagram and her Personal page. We look forward to keeping everyone updated on Suany’s success and future projects. Stay tuned for more from Suany and SHOTCA.