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Stories of inspiration from Smart Girl Stories across the globe. Wiki Pirela: From The Heart To The Gallery

Wiki Pirela: From The Heart To The Gallery

I like to think that we are all artists, whether we practice this expression or not. Finding creative ways to convey an idea, a feeling, or a story through your interpretation is a beautiful way to connect with your essence.

Have you ever wanted to try your hand at art? In this interview, Wiki Pirela, a Venezuelan artist based in Chile, gives us lots of tips on bringing out the artist in you and tells us her inspiring story of how she manages to express complicated emotions and reach other people’s hearts through her art.

Wiki Pirela: How was the artist born?

Wiki learned to communicate and express her perception of reality through art. As a child, she wrote, drew, and created, at first not so much with the intention of “creating a piece of art,” but to express herself.

Growing up in a dangerous area of Caracas, Venezuela, she spent much of her childhood and adolescence at home to protect herself, but as she grew up, the house became smaller and smaller.

“It was a very violent area and my mother locked me up a lot to take care of me, and being a child in a small room, my imagination was my only bridge to the outside,” she told us.

She is particularly interested in the real, not the perfect; for a long time, her house and surroundings were considered far from perfect and order, so she adopted an aesthetic of decay. She claims to have a symbolic aesthetic linked to her childhood and beginnings.

Pencil and paper were her refuge, her escape, and her reality until she immigrated to Chile at the age of 24 in search of better opportunities and experiences.

The challenge of being an artist

Being an immigrant is already a big challenge, starting from scratch in another country with another culture. Still, despite this, Wiki has managed to adapt and continue to use her art as a form of expression. She believes that there are great challenges that she faces and that surely happen to other artists as well:

Consistency: Beyond the constancy of creating, Wiki advises that it must come from within. To be able to create, you must have transparent honesty with yourself and be true to yourself and what you feel, the good and the bad things, because that is what makes you.

“Being an artist is not a game, nor a hobby for me, I combine my head and my heart.”

How to improve consistency?

Be honest with your expectations and your reality, be at the same level with it, and work with what you have; in the beginning, you usually don’t have all the tools and the advertising, but if you keep growing constantly with your current resources, you will go further than if you paralyze yourself because you feel you don’t have enough.

That is, keep moving, create with your resources, and disseminate as much as you can because doing so will gradually generate more opportunities for you to learn and expose.

Wiki also points out that one of the difficulties is staying in the spotlight of the art circuit. You can create a piece at one moment that generates interest, but that doesn’t mean that the rest of your pieces will do the same, so you have to stay connected and work hard to stay in the artists’ market.

Insecurity: This differs from the well-known “imposter syndrome”, which Wiki does not suffer from, as she has full confidence in her talent. But she says there are times when she feels insecure about her art, especially in such a competitive environment.

However, Wiki is true to herself and understands this is part of the process.

“I take it very lightly and professionally because I take my career seriously and that’s given me permission to take mistakes lightly, which makes the insecurity less palpable.

How do you handle insecurity?

At times, when Wiki is making art that is a little out of her comfort zone or not as well understood by the public, she tries to look at the situation from the outside to understand and learn rather than focusing on the mistake.

She stresses the importance of allowing yourself to make mistakes. She also notes that mistakes are very judged in society, in the sense that many people are afraid to make them. For an emerging artist, it is important to be agile and adaptable.

Creative blocks: If you live in a very routine environment or with few experiences that inspire you, it is possible to experience creative blocks.

What do you do when you have a creative block?

In this case, Wiki has an infallible tool: Writing.

She defines it as a precious and simple tool for self-knowledge because you don’t need a lot of material. Whenever she can, she writes down ideas, thoughts, or doodles, and when she experiences blocks, she visits her “bank of written ideas,” which gives her a hint of what the next piece could be.

“When I have creative blocks, I go back to what I’ve written in the past. By asking and answering myself questions, by talking through the pages”.

Tips for Young Artists

While Wiki says a lot depends on the individual and their process, she lists a few things to consider if you’re thinking about creating:

See what your place and situation are: this goes beyond knowing your environment, your socio-political environment, what people in your community connect with, what your economy is, and knowing yourself and your history.

This last point is particularly valuable because knowing who you are and your story will help you avoid comparing yourself to other people who may be your age but who you think are “better off.” Understanding that everyone is different and has their journey can save you a lot of headaches.

Spread the word with your knowledge: Wiki hasn’t taken marketing workshops as such, but she still spreads her art through Instagram and other social media. And she reaches people who are interested in her art.

She also doesn’t have a mega-professional camera and extensive knowledge of photography, but she still makes a record of her work and shares it.

Having a good portfolio: It’s a task that everyone should do according to their time and resources, but if you want to choose art as a professional career, it’s important to have a portfolio ready in case you apply for exhibitions or galleries that are interested in your work.

By combining all the tools we have seen about consistency, inner honesty, and the discipline to keep working in art even when there is uncertainty, Wiki has grown within her community as a renowned artist.

She tells us that one of her most special moments was her exhibition at the Galería Patricia Ready (Santiago de Chile); she had never exhibited in such a large space before, and it involved a great deal of energy.

Not only from creating the pieces for the exhibition, but her work connected with many people, and she began to receive messages from all over, from people telling her about their experiences, sharing what her art made them feel, and even thanking her for creating it.

Wiki, who had never had this kind of response before, was moved by all the stories she received and took extra time to read and connect with each one. As a result, she told us in the interview that she still hasn’t fully recovered emotionally, even after several months.

In addition, Wiki now runs writing workshops, teaching hundreds of people in her community how to connect with each other’s essence and put it down on paper. She leaves her mark not only in the appreciation of the pieces but also in the way she teaches and opens the minds of other emerging artists.

These opportunities were made possible through social networking with the right people who invited them to participate, highlighting the importance of teaching one’s art with the resources available.

Undoubtedly, what inspires us most about Wiki is how true she is to herself and how she passes on her love of art, reflected in her pieces.

Read more powerful stories by bold journalists on our Inspiration page and don’t forget to follow us on Instagram!

Valeria Morillo

Valeria Morillo

I live for content and storytelling, working hard to get you to meet awesome women across the world! Marketing strategist, voice over andjournalist.

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We ask each writer to adhere to our Smart Girl Stories pledge. The views expressed in our articles are those of the author and are meant to spark conversation and inspire you. They don’t necessarily reflect the opinions of SmartGirl Stories. We are honored to share their stories, as well as yours. To learn more – visit us here.

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