We had the good fortune of connecting with Elvia Peña Savage and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Elvia, other than deciding to work for yourself, what was the single most important decision you made that contributed to your success?
The most important decision that I made that contributed to my success, was do what I love doing the most, art ( paint).
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I grew up in a little rustic town in Mexico, my parents had 10 children 8 boys 2 girls, I was the one before the last one, art was not a priority for my parents, but my grandma with more time in her hands and lots of creativity, started teaching me how to saw, cook, write poems and a bit of drawing and now and then she will go to the city of Guadalajara and will bring magazines of Vanity Fair to be precise and I would check the little art and travels section and find them fascinated …
Story short at the age of 15 when I finished middle school, my options was going to the near by city, I ended up doing a bachelorette degree in business, I did and student exchange with a family in England, I study English and got to. do student jobs and made a bit of money to finally pay my part time art courses!
I did life drawing, abstract at the Cherwell College in Oxford, I also did some abstract lesson under the guidance of Artist Kieran Stiles.
I met my husband in Europe an American Industrial designer from Wisconsin, we were both working for Harley-Davidson me in Oxford and him here in America, I came to the USA and I ended up leaving my office job, and I dedicate my days to paint, it was difficult to find galleries to represent me since nobody knew me, but my goal wasn’t selling my goal was to paint! I was feeling like so many year I was waiting to do what I really like, and nothing was going to stop me…
What ever you do people always have something to say, and that is ok, but you always have to focus in the positive, one day a gallerist said to me, you are all over the place, you paint abstract, flowers, people, you need to do one style… I said thank you. she didn’t understand that I don’t paint to fit a style, I paint what my hear and mind at the time want to paint, the world is so big, that there will always be somebody that will appreciate your work. and at the end of the day, we have to do what make us happy so we can share that happiness.
I ended up opening my gallery 2011 and I have been representing myself since then, this year was super hard for me as for many of people around the world, my mother died of covid in Jan 2021 and my dad died a month later, I closed my gallery it was a hard but wise decision , but I didn’t stop painting, I keep working hard and put all my passion on it, and I always find people that appreciate my work.
I now sell most of my work on line and social media, international and local art shows, through Interior Designer and word of mouth.
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?
I now live in Milwaukee, I would definitely take my best friend for a tour of the city, will show her the Milwaukee Art Museum designed by Calatrava, have a walk in downtown area see the public market, then for sure take them to the Harley-Davidson Museum, and some of the breweries in town, go to a basket ball game to see the Bucks, or Football up in Green Bay to see the packers or baseball to see the brewers… A dinner at my house to see my family and my studio, and finally a day in Chicago!
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?
I would like to dedicate this to my family, specially to my grandparents and parents for encouraged me to create and help me to develop art skills at a very young age, they motivated me to do beautiful things for others, they thought me to be independent, and brought me up believing in myself. Also to thanks to my dear husband who believes in my art and encouraged me 12 years ago to leave my office job and dedicate my days to create art. I am grateful for being Mexican, from a small rural town that inspired me with its nature and people to be better for the society.
Thanks to my kids who I adore and they constantly empower me to be a better mom, I want to help them to see the world from and artistic point of view from something more than just eyes, I want them to feel what they see and to be kind to the universe… and I know that if I teach them to love art, then they are already loving the universe.
Instagram: Elvias Arte
Facebook: Elvia’s Arte
Photo Credit : Frank Savage