What’s up world, for my first featured person on my blog I would like to introduce you to my good friend and local artist Giovana Aviles. I first met Gio back in May 2016 during my trip to Cuba. We clicked right away once I realized we shared many interests and goals. It was during that trip we formed a travel crew and vowed to keep the adventures going. Not long after that I had the pleasure of visiting Costa Rica, Japan, and Mexico City with my homie. Gio is no doubt one of the realest friends I have to this day and can always count on her to go on a new adventure.
I want to feature Gio for this post because I believe she has a great story to tell. Gio has gone through countless of trials and tribulations just to get where she is today. All I have to say is Phoenix…. be on the look out for this bad latina!
Q:) Tell me a bit about yourself? How was your upbringing like?
Gio- I was born in Mexico City! Lived in Mexico City until I was 6 years old and then migrated with my pregnant mother and brother to the U.S (my dad had been here for 3 months already).
My upbringing was ummmm… I don’t know… haha it was crazy in a good way. I mean I moved to a whole new country where I didn’t know the language but was always a very eager kid. I was eager to learn and eager to create. I always had a notepad and I wrote, drew and read a lot growing up. I wanted to learn English so bad and always wanted to know everything. To this day I still want to learn about everything out there. I grew up in the Coronado neighborhood and went to Emerson Elementary on 10th street and Palm Lane. I looooved the neighborhood that I grew up until I moved out when I was 19. There were so many beautiful memories in that neighborhood. In addition I went to middle school at Prep (on 7th st and Fillmore aka Garfield) and then on to North High. We didn’t have a lot of money but always had a lot of heart, that’s how I was raised.
Q:) Who are your and what do you do? How did you come about in pursuing art as a career or hobby?
Gio- I am a bad ass woman. haha I am an artist/aventurera. I was and have always been interested in the arts. Growing up I wanted to be a fashion designer but as time passed and I went through many things such as being undocumented. My plans had changed but for the better!
I know for a fact that things happen the way they are supposed to. The challenges I have had in life have taught me so much, mainly to always keep my dreams alive. Things might not happen the way I planned but will always be what I need. That’s how I ended up doing the art I do now, multi-media using live models. I merge art and fashion to tell stories.
Gio- That’s an interesting question, I don’t know how it defines me. I know that it is a way to express myself creatively, to have my thoughts come to life. I want to tell stories , I think all artists are storytellers, but I want to push the limit. I don’t like being restricted to what type of artists or art I do, I want to keep exploring and creating new things. Plus I feel like I been oppressed by society throughout my life and with my art it allows me to protest. My brown ass face in art is resistance.
Gio- My family and friends motivate me. Ever since I was a very small kid I always had this dream of being in the art industry so my dreams motivate me the most. My parents are my role models and now recently that I gotten to know more about my grandparents they too became my role models. They are each compassionate towards others and like to live life to the fullest, which is exactly the type of traits I want to exemplify. I also look up to those that never “play by the rules”, those that say “screw your ideals” and do what they want.
Q:) What are you goals in life? Career goals? Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
Gio- My goals in life are to keep creating, always stay learning , keep pushing the boundaries, stay fighting for justice and becoming a better person on a daily a basis. In 5 years I see myself traveling and creating art like I do now but on a bigger scale.
Q:) If you can collaborate with anyone in the world for an art show, who would you pick and why?
Gio- Kanyezzy! That’s my main one. I admire him so much as an artist. Kanye West and Iris Van Herpen (they are bringing her show to the Phoenix Art Museum in 2018, be on the lookout). She is such a pioneer in fashion.
Q:) Any upcoming shows that you’ll participate in the future and wish to share a few details of what they’ll be about?
Gio- Yes but can’t discuss that yet …. be on the lookout 😉
Q:) Any life lessons learned? Advice you can give to someone who wants to be in your shoes?
Never give up!!!! Always keep your dream present in you, always. Life will throw curve balls but those are necessary for growth, but those should not stop you from pursuing your dreams.
Also, rules are meant to be broken, draw outside the lines, your art is you.
Q:) What’s your favorite art work? Favorite local artist and why?
Gio- Wow, favorite art work?! That’s difficult!! I can’t pick one.
Q:) What jobs have you done other than being an artist?
Gio- I have a long list, it’s about 25 -30 jobs so far in the past 12 years. Everything from cleaning houses to a title loan place to receptionist to waitress. You call it! Haha
Q:) What are some memorable responses to your art work?
Gio- People have told me it’s something they have not seen before. I have some moments that are very present, comments from mothers with tears in their eyes, in awe of their daughters (the models) and the way they were portrayed. Those are very special.
Q:) What do you like about your art?
Gio- Hmmmm, everything!! Mainly that it’s true to who I am.
Follow Gio for more exclusive art work and travels.