Meet our Mexico City artist, Sofía!
The uniqueness of Mexico City lies in the vibrant, colorful art around every corner in the city. That creativity is found in places you’d generally expect, like in the towering sculptures, sprawling murals lining the streets, and world-renown museums and galleries.
But art in Mexico City can also be found in the more subtle details of the city. The detailed architecture of the buildings, exceptional fusion cuisine, and traditional cultural celebrations like Día de los Muertos. This joyful fall holiday encompasses meaningful traditions, delicious food, and bright decorations with artistic depictions of life and death. We’re so excited to bring this celebration to TROVE travelers at home with our special Mexico City Experience, so we searched to find a way to merge art with a core part of the ofrenda (altar) to do the holiday justice.
So, we’re SUPER excited to tell you that we’ve invited one of the best young artists in Mexico City to join our festivities, Sofía García! Sofía will be teaching TROVE travelers to create their own colorful portrait to honor their loved ones for Día de los Muertos. But before then, let’s get to know a little bit about Sofía with this Q&A!
Get to know Sofía
How long have you lived in Mexico City? What do you like about it?
All my life. I was born here and I've lived here forever. I want to stay here. Mexico City is amazing because it has a lot of culture, delicious food, amazing places, and new scenes. It's very inspiring to make art from and you never get bored. You will always find something new. Even if you visit twice, the experience is always different. I love the city.
What part of the city did you grow up in, and where are you now?
I live in a place called Santa Fe. It’s far away from the touristic areas. So, I grew up here and I've been living here since birth.
But, it's not my favorite area from the city. My favorite area is Coyoacán, where Frida Kahlo used to live. I love that place, it’s very traditional. It has a lot of colors and traditional food. So, I feel more into that part. I used to take art classes in that area with different teachers and I used different techniques, like watercolor, oil, painting, and ceramics.
When did you start creating art? When did you figure out that that was your passion?
I’ve been into art all my life. Since I was ten years old, I start painting, mainly with watercolor. That was my main part. Then I started textile design. And it's very, very artistic and you try with a lot of different materials. With fabrics, you create the fabric from zero and you make your own colors. In that period that I was 18 or younger, I did love creating from zero.
What’s your favorite medium to work with?
My passion is watercolors. I honestly don't use it as much as I wanted because kids in classes love acrylic paints. It's easier and it's cheap, and you can create amazing things with acrylic paints. So, I use more acrylics.
What type of things do you paint with watercolor?
I love making cities and little towns, like kind of European new cities with a lot of advertisements for stuff like coffee and restaurants. Maybe with rain in it? That’s my thing. I don't teach these, because those paintings are more for me. That's what I like doing for myself: cities, cafes, and restaurants.
How long have you been teaching art online?
More than a year now. I started with the pandemic, since April of last year. I started with Mexican art on Airbnb, because I wanted to create an experience related to my culture from Mexico. I think it's more interesting for all over the world to know a little bit more of my culture and my point of view.
Now, my classes have changed to reflect what I think about Frida Kahlo. I show the paintings that I like, and maybe they are not the most famous ones, but it's something that it's important to me. I tell the story of her life.
What makes Frida so special, in your opinion?
Because she's Mexican and a woman, so I think that is super, super important. A lot of my students are girls, and I think that’s very inspiring. When you look at the colors and pieces of her work, everything makes sense and it's very beautiful. It's certainly very Mexican because Frida didn't plan it like, “I'm going to use this color, so it looks like Mexico.” Instead, it's very natural. Her work makes you look at it and you say, “This is Mexican.”
How would you describe your teaching style in your classes?
Amazing. The best art class in the world 😊. I try to be super chill. I want everyone to express themselves because I want you to connect yourself with the art.
I am not important. The painting is not important. The most important is the process that you use while you are making your own art. So, it doesn't matter if you start with Frida and you adopt the idea with your own abstract art. Enjoying the process is the most important.
Do you have any favorite traditions for Día de los Muertos?
Every single part is important. The flowers are my favorite thing. Going to the market and buying the flowers. It's amazing, because the market is FULL of flowers. That part is beautiful.
I also like to pick my pictures every year. I change my pictures and it's beautiful because you are looking in the family album. I see the pictures of my grandparents, for example, so I start looking at them. That part is very, very beautiful and I get to remember all the people that passed away in my family. It's a beautiful process and that's my favorite part.
Did you see the movie Coco? I don’t know if you remember, but the picture in the cut paper at the beginning is a tradition for Día de los Muertos (this is the papel picado inside our Fall Box!). Every cut paper has a story.
Is Coco an accurate representation of Día de los Muertos?
Yes, I love that movie. They did a great job because everything that they say is true. The meaning of the traditions are exactly how they are represented. The cemetery from the movie is even a real one! They did good research and that’s why I think Mexicans love that movie. Everything is true.
Be sure to grab your Mexico City Experience by September 30th to enjoy a traditional Día de los Muertos celebration with our awesome TROVE traveler community. See you then!