We had the good fortune of connecting with Christina Diaz and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Christina, we’d love to hear what makes you happy.
Writing about artists makes me happy.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am lucky to be able to write for a living, and make ends meet through what I enjoy the most. It was not an easy path, but I didn’t expect it to be easy. Great things come to those who work hard for it, you gotta work for it, nothing is just handed to you. I was the first in my family to go to college. No one really encouraged me to do it, since it was such a foreign concept to them. But I managed to get some scholarships to help with costs. My family wasn’t supportive but I had a handful of great teachers to encourage me to keep writing. They encouraged me think outside of the box, approach my work in an unconventional way. Take for example my masters thesis. You have to submit an abstract to the department chair and it must be approved. My proposal was initially rejected because it was analyzing a “body of work” literally studying the rhetoric of the body via body art and body modification. It had always been of interest to me. But the department said I had to analyze an actual text BOOK not a physical human body. I begged to differ, and argued that the body can be read and the text (tattoos) could be critiqued by others. They approved my thesis and I spent the next two years writing it. It’s titled: “Body Politics: The Rhetoric of the Body.” All these years later, I am still writing about the body, and body art, and artists. I am fascinated with the human desire to create something from nothing, all you need is an idea and canvas – whether that canvas be on skin, on paper, or concrete. My magazine E-volved explores explores the nexus between the human canvas and the more traditional canvas and how the two have become intertwined. Our collective represents the evolution of tattooing as a medium and its contemporary influence on the fine art community.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Ventura has some really beautiful scenery, we’re minutes away from the beach so there’s really no better place to be. We’ve got this beautiful lookout at the Serra Cross, the Ventura Pier, C street promenade – all great spots to catch the sunset / sunrise. Every second Saturday of the month I curate a local, outdoor urban art event – the VC Art Market. I created the group over 5 years ago. Each month 20+ local artists showcase their new work. We’re located in the heart of Downtown Ventura, in front of the San Buenaventura Mission on Main St. The VC Art Market is an eclectic group of local Ventura artists. All mediums and genres are welcome and represented: photography, fine artists, fiber arts like macrame, local writers and poets, origami, handmade soaps and candles, furniture, jewelry, and much more. There is something for everyone at the VC Art Market. Find more info at www.vcartmarket.com.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My mentor Michele Chapin has always encouraged me to go after what I want – in life and in work.