All images courtesy of the artist

Artist spotlight: Andrea Juarez

María Escalona November 15 2021

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Mexican artist Andrea Juárez shares her journey as an independent painter with Bidgala.

“Every day is a gift”

Andrea Juárez creates art with an optimistic spirit, colorful soul, and magical determination.

Since 4 years ago, Juárez has been working as a full time artist. She expresses her love for plants, flowers, the human figure, her “Mexicaness”, and more through a surrealist and illustrative style while also taking commissions for portraits. Despite personal challenges and a global pandemic, Juárez succeeds in her practice as an independent painter, freelancer marketing coach, art teacher, tattoo artist, and community activist with more than 10k Instagram followers. Here is her story.

The best of both worlds

Born in Oaxaca, Mexico, Andrea Juárez spent most of her life in Mexico City, and considers it her second home. It is where she studied both marketing and visual arts, and is where she currently lives.

She has always had a passion for art, mostly drawing and painting, but only began taking it seriously when she attended San Carlos Academy, located in Mexico City. From 2011 to 2013, she took classes in sculpture, etching, painting, drawing, and the human figure. She “worked with great Mexican artists like Juan Alcázar and Azucena Barrios”, and later on became autonomous in her learning.

Juárez obtained her degree in Marketing and Advertising from the University Centro de Diseño, Cine y Televisión, in Mexico City in 2016. She knew right away that an office job wasn’t for her and what she really wanted, even if it scared her, was to make art.

She then became a freelance consultant for small businesses and entrepreneurs, while dedicating the rest of her time to practicing painting and drawing and developing her style. For her, having had different jobs and diversifying her source of income has been very beneficial, as her artistic breakthrough came later on.

An artistic breakthrough

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Juárez next to her work

“I started thinking about death when my father passed away a few years ago. The greatest teaching it brought me was to enjoy every second of my life, to do the things I always wanted to do, to wake up every morning feeling blessed and thankful, to be able to feel without judgment. For so long I had to go through pain, anger, fear, from sadness to madness, only to find out that death is just an illusion, that here and now is a beautiful treasure.”

Juárez mentions that this experience really changed her perspective on life, as she “started to learn more about spirituality and mental/physical/emotional well being”, and has been applying it to her paintings as well as her life.

She realised that “every day is a gift and we have to take advantage of it and live it to its fullest.”

Her style, themes, and art production changed drastically 4 years ago. Before, her style was more about daily life and figurative drawings, but she realized that it wasn’t enough. She wanted to know more, explore, and question “what is the meaning of it all?”

Her current body of work is deeply inspired by the mysteries of life, death, the laws of causality, polarity, the sensuality of femininity, the soul, and the mind. She creates colorful imagery that is a nod to the magic realism in Mexican art history, and calls to a contemporary interpretation of the human body, femininity, and nature’s beauty.

High in the sky: from activism to the canvas

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“Eve's Rights II” by Andrea Juárez

A few years ago, Juárez joined an activist group calling for the regulation, legalization, and de-stigmatization of drugs in Mexico. She considers it important to talk about sacred and holy plants, like marijuana, as gifts from mother nature.

“I want to talk about [cannabis] consumption, the rights of consumers, and the war on drugs - how the most affected are the farmers and producers and how the solution to this violence and corruption is regulation and education about it.”

With a passion for creating awareness surrounding the natural benefits and reality of cannabis, the artist creates floral arrangements on canvas. She uses these plants to convey a more familiar and friendly approach to the “frowned upon drug”. She takes inspiration from Pinterest and other internet finds to make her compositions, where she includes the marijuana plant with other interesting psychedelic flowers, like poppies.

“It’s a natural product that opens our consciousness and minds. Other things are drugs and they are socially accepted, like alcohol or coffee. We should open ourselves to [it] and ask instead why they are illegal, and why people are afraid of them.”

The magic, and hard work, behind the art

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Where the magic happens

Besides being a muse for her oil and watercolor artworks, her activism in favor of “la cannabis” has opened a lot of doors for Juárez: she met a lot of entrepreneurial people, started freelancing more and making business plans, directed a campaign, wrote articles to educate about the “drug”, sold products online, and worked as a photographer.

Thanks to the unconditional support of her family and friends, she has had many opportunities to grow professionally and artistically, like commissions.

“Commissions are the longest to make, around 3 months for each painting. At the beginning it was really hard to balance out the expectations of the client and the personal style. Now, I learnt that if they like my style, if they think they look good with my style, then that’s what I’ll do, make them happy, whatever changes they need.”

Words of love

Juárez ends our interview with a few words of wisdom for our readers:

“Don't abandon your dreams, if you want to do something, do it. When you do what you want, doors will open and opportunities will come, money will come. The universe will see you focusing on that thing and reward you. It is a beautiful thing to trust oneself!”

Andrea Juárez’s paintings can be found on Bidgala.

2 comments
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anastasia_koutso1260 replied 2 months, 1 week ago Choosing your true passion over an office job is such a common theme with artists! I'm happy Andrea took the leap; great article!
wlande199925 replied 2 months, 1 week ago Beautifully put together story!