We had the good fortune of connecting with Nadine Promes Garcia and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Nadine, how has your background shaped the person you are today?
I was born in Maracaibo, Venezuela and for those who don’t know, for over 20 years Venezuela has been in a constant downfall due to government corruption. I was raised with the idea that leaving my country was the only option. For over 10 years now I have lived outside of Venezuela and I can’t say I miss the empty shelves in the grocery store, the daily blackouts and water rationing, the violence in the streets and the constant fear of losing a loved one. One could say that Venezuelans are a modern-day nomadic culture, forced to leave their own country for a chance at basic living.
I get frustrated that the only place I wouldn’t have immigration issues is the one place I can’t go back to. I reflect a lot on the ‘why’s’ of my reality and realize that the problems persist because no one knows about them therefore, no one cares. I grew up seeing American and Japanese animation, and I fell in love with them and their culture. Having no representation of Venezuelan culture in the kind of shows that I fall for affected my nationalism and desire to fight for what I don’t relate to. As an artist I seek to change that. I am finding myself researching about my own culture which at times seems very upsetting when thinking of the true impact the media has on children. This is one of the reason why diversity and proper representation is so important in the media.
The young educated Venezuelan generation prioritizes leaving over doing something about the problem in our own country which in turn allows the problem to continue; and I am one of them. One can’t help others if you can’t help yourself first, and it’s hard to try making it in a country like the USA, where your immigration status limits you greatly when it comes to your career and quality of life.
All of these limitations have affected me greatly. In order to survive my own mind, I have developed a storytelling technique that is therapeutic. My art is primarily my therapy in times when I don’t have the means to pay for an actual professional.
Raised to leave one’s country causes to have a sort of identity issue with respects to ‘belonging.’ I’ve been fortunate to have a family that supports me, fortunate to have had the opportunity to travel and seek for a place I can call ‘home.’ Although, every place could feel like home, my passport says otherwise so I force myself to not get attached. I consider myself a world-citizen with one of the world’s worst passports.
The instability caused by my constant moving and fear of ‘being deported’ regardless of how obsessive I am with following every rule, has caused many aspects of my life to be in what seems to be a ‘permanent pause.’ It’s the reason for my anxiety and depressive episodes.
But it’s also what has impacted me the most. It’s the reason I am who I am today and even though it’s hard, I am learning to understand that it is especially our hardships that teach us the most valuable lessons in life.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Like I mentioned in the previous question, I seek to educate on the importance of diversity and mental health. I don’t really like the idea of being seen as a ‘brand.’ I am not something, I am someone, just like anyone else out there. We are so connected yet so divided. People have the means to reach anyone at a speed unlike any other generation ever knew, yet people seek status over deep connection; differences over similarities. I remind myself every day that Earth and every living being within it can’t afford further greed and hatred. Everyone is connected and no matter how much one ignores someone else’s issue, it will impact your life one way or another. I believe in taking care of oneself first, however our actions do matter and can make a difference. We have to start caring more in general.
Being human is not easy especially when you like dancing to your own rhythm. However, for as long as I can, I will keep doing my stories and if it impacts positively only one person; that is one whole world I changed for the better.
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 love trying out new places so when it comes to food or drinks I’m very spontaneous. I choose an area first and then see what cool places I find. I will say that nature nurtures my soul so I tend to go towards the ocean or trees. I prefer less touristic places so I try finding local beaches or other local hangouts. One of my new favorite places to hang out is by the bike route right next to the LA river. Various organizations are working hard to recover the river, so I definitely invite people to research on ways we can all help nature come back strong. It’s the least we can do after past generations of our specie caused it so much harm.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’d like to thank; My family
Women In Animation
ANIMAYO, specifically Damián Perea
Everyone who has believed in me at one point in my life