We had the good fortune of connecting with Ana Saldaña and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ana, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
There are two thought processes I’d like to mention. The first one is when I decided to switch from being a freelance camera operator to a freelance sound mixer in the television industry. This decision has truly simplified my life. I love being left to do my own thing while on set. I prep my audio equipment alone, I set up alone, I mic up the talent alone, and during the shoot, I have only to rely on myself to record sound. I love this type of simplicity, however, I must mention that it is laborious work, and the physicality of the work has done a number on my body but I love the technical aspect of my work and it has treated me well, I have been blessed to travel the world recording sound for 15 years now and have had the privilege of meeting some extraordinary people along the way. Things have slowed down a bit since the pandemic began, which leads me to my second thought process behind starting my own business. I began pouring paint on jars and canvases. I call this therapeutic practice The Pretty Propagation Series. I propagate spider plants and recycle jars to use as planters. They are a matching set of canvas and planter. I’m so humbled by the response it has received. I’m not a painter by any means, seriously, I can’t paint to save my life! I stand firm in the belief that my ancestors are painting through me. I consider this practice a generational healing ritual. I’m thankful to be the vessel in which we can come to this peaceful state of mind and that my community has embraced me in this way as well.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
We are complex beings. My art blends into one another. It’s all fluid. The music pours out of me much like the acrylic pours out over a canvas. Since covid, I’ve spent my days writing, not just songs, but a memoir of all my travels as a female sound mixer. I hope this book will inspire young female POC looking to get into the television industry. I’m here to tell you it can happen for you too! Being a sound mixer in a male-dominated industry has seemingly been pretty smooth for me I have to admit. I can’t tell you what others’ first impressions are of me but I get asked a lot if I’m the makeup artist, wardrobe person, or cast wrangler upon arriving on set by people who don’t know me. They’re always surprised to learn I’m the audio mixer. Especially in other countries. It’s just unheard of. I love being the one to break the mold of people’s perception that men are the qualified gender for this position. This is all transforming now and more and more females are looking to sound as a career choice. Which I love! I picked up pouring paint which has been such a unique thing for me to try. I started an Instagram page called @prettypropagation. As previously mentioned I can’t paint AT ALL! But the response has been so beautiful! I’m so grateful for my community of precious souls. I’ve also started wood burning. It’s been beautiful for me to unleash this new side of me. I stay as creative as possible so that I don’t get lost in all of the uncertainty and surrealism we call life now. I focus on being present and experience life one day at a time. My rituals are simple and I challenge myself on a daily. There is always room for improvement. I remind myself to be gentle and to be proud of all my accomplishments no matter how small they may seem. In these trying times, we must keep the faith that better days are ahead. I trust the path the ancestors have forged for me and feel so much gratitude that I get to see another day. I hope to come out of this pandemic full of art, music, soul, and love!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
This would be much easier to answer if we weren’t in a pandemic but I would plan a trip to the Downtown Library, assuming they like books, a day at the beach, a day hiking the mountains, a day in a hot spring. Visit some museums, a botanical garden. Some days we eat out other days we stay in and cook. Lots of laughs and lots of spontaneity! Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Honestly, there are so many people to thank! I could and would not be where I am today if it weren’t for the people who have believed in me, trusted me, and hired me! Eternally grateful for the love and support that everyone has shown me on this journey! You know who you are! It has been a privilege working alongside so many talented and gifted artists, filmmakers, and entrepreneurs!
Instagram: @aztecavision @prettypropagation
Facebook: AnA Saldaña
Youtube: Ana Saldaña Music
Patrick Garcia, Wil Prada, Leticia Saldaña, Daniela Hurtado, Bobby Eras, Martin Palafox