We had the good fortune of connecting with Sarahi Gonzalez and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sarahi, let’s talk legacy – what do you want yours to be?
My name is Sarahi Gonzalez. I am a Latinx Abstract Artist born and raised in Highland Park, Los Angeles. I created Your Smile Is A Vibe because I had undergone an immense amount of trauma and wanted to bring the healing I found to others. My business is part of a greater purpose that I am still trying to wrap my head around. God hand-picked me to lead in such a way that people who have lost all hope will be able to open their eyes again to the depths of love that surround them in this world. I have been called to serve those around me and heal others through my art. The legacy that I wish to leave behind is one of love, hope, light, peace, healing and redemption. I want to create a ripple effect of kindness that will propel souls forward into eternal life. I want people to recognize Your Smile Is A Vibe as a safe space where they can be free of pain and look into a bright future filled with limitless dreams of wonder. I want to leave behind a legacy where people will choose love and joy instead of hate; where people will learn to love themselves and know their worth; where perspectives will change from a suffering mindset to a Kingdom mentality. I want to help soften the hearts of those whose bitterness has left their souls empty. I want to bring back the life of people who lost the will to live. I want to encourage those whose futures seem dim and speak beautiful truths into their existence. I yearn to help people heal from their trauma, leaving no room for negativity. I want to be the one who pioneered in front of them and did the hard work so that they could have a path to follow into the freedom of their souls. Most of all, I just want to bring a smile to someone’s face, even only once. My hope is that people remember that I was never perfect but I tried my absolute best. I want them to know that I always gave it my all and did everything with all of my heart and soul. I want people to remember that I loved them with every ounce of my being and I never gave up on them. I was always there. I want them to remember that in their time of need, my art, my story, or my vibe brought them a sense of encouragement. I want them to remember that they could trust me and I never judged them. I want them to remember that I didn’t always have a smile on my face but I always chose joy. I want them to remember my vulnerability and my ability to share anything with them because I always knew someone needed me to open up a safe space for healing. Lastly, I want them to remember how much I truly loved Your Smile Is A Vibe with every ounce of my being and the way it saved me from myself. I hope my legacy lives on with my children and future generations to come. As always don’t forget, your smile is a vibe fam!
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am a self-taught artist who started painting in 2016. My art has changed drastically over the years. If you take a look at where I started and the pieces I am doing now, you can easily see my growth. I use art for the purpose of healing, connectivity with my Creator, and just for fun. What sets me apart from others is my unique purpose and story attached to the art. Not one of my paintings is the same. Every single painting is unique and completely different from the former. Therefore, every original painting purchased is the only one of its kind, special just like YOU!
I am most proud of my ability to pursue my dream regardless of the circumstances. Before my first art gallery in 2019, I kept my art a secret. I never thought I was good enough and chose other career paths just because I thought it was what I should do.
When I discovered art again for the first time in 2016, I had never experienced anything like that feeling. That is why I kept painting by myself. It gave me a rush of excitement when I got started and a sense of healing and peace afterward. There was nothing like it. One day my friend Terra gave me the opportunity to be in her art show A Night For the Arts. Despite my lack of confidence at the time, I knew this wasn’t something I could pass up. It was that night that everything changed for me. I told my story as a newfound proclaimed Artist and watched as people took in my art. I sold my first few paintings that night, something I had dreamed of but never thought would be possible. At that moment I decided that this was something I wanted to do for the rest of my life. One year later, here I am doing the same thing: telling my story through my art.
It has honestly been one of the hardest years of my life. I lost my job due to COVID-19 and started my sobriety journey. I had too much time to be alone in my head that led to excessive intrusive thoughts, depression, and high anxiety. I was crippled with fear of getting the virus for months. I had to sit with myself and my trauma and actually try to find healing. My health was at risk due to other complications. However, despite all of this and other life circumstances, I managed to use every bit of energy willpower I had to put myself back together. Your Smile Is A Vibe, art, and God saved me this year. They gave me a purpose and the healing I so desperately needed. I found myself, my calling, my church, my art community, and grew closer to my family. This year I was transformed by the grace of God. I used this time to strive to become the person I have always dreamed of becoming. Today, I am still on my way toward her but I have come to realize that this perfect version of myself in the future does not exist. I am my best version right now and that’s all I can ask for. I have learned to love, trust, and believe in myself. I am so proud of who I am at this moment because no matter what I’ve been through, I have never given up. If there is still breath in my lungs that means that God isn’t finished with me yet. I still have a great purpose to fulfill.
I have learned that you don’t have to have it all figured out. Although the future may seem uncertain and the past can seem defeating, know that God has a special plan for your life and all you have if right now to make your dreams come true! So take one step closer to your dreams, you have nothing to lose. Another extremely important lesson is that your health, both mental and physical, should be your number one priority. Without those, you won’t be able to do anything. So please take care of both at all costs and practice a lot of self-care. You can only be the best version of yourself if you are still here. Lastly, take the time to do the healing work. The most important work starts from within and you will see how everything else starts to align once you have your soul in peace.
I want the world to know that I am here to serve YOU! That might look different for everyone but I want to do the best I can to help you find your purpose, learn to love yourself, and find healing. I want to help direct you on your path toward self-discovery with a little help from some dope art! I want you to know that you are so loved and appreciated. There is no one else on this entire planet like you. Your purpose is far greater than you can possibly imagine. You were not created by accident. You are here on this earth on purpose. There is nothing that you can’t do in this life. Most importantly, God loves you more than anything in this life and he wants you to be happy and thrive.
I want you to know that I am resilient, hardworking, full of purpose, vibrant, and here to spread light in every corner of the earth. When you think of me and Your Smile Is A Vibe, I want you to think of everything in this life that brings you pure JOY. If I can give you that feeling through my art and my story, as well as help you in any capacity, then I have done my job right. I hope that when you wear my apparel you feel loved; when you use my coffee mug you remember that you are unique; when you hang my painting you remember that you are a one-of-a-kind masterpiece; when you color on my mandalas you feel creative. I want to invoke beauty and spark joy in your everyday life. If I can do that for you, my dreams have come true.
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 would start in my own hood, Highland Park. It’s poppin’! First stop would be my favorite spot in the entire world, Huaraches Azteca for some bomb Huevos Divorciados. Next up, Little Tokyo for some window shopping and bomb food. Lastly, I would hit up Academy LA for Day Trip. If you know, you know.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
First, I would like to give my most humble gratitude toward my God, my King, and my Savior. If it were not for Him, I would have still been lost in the depths of my own despair. There is no doubt in my mind that I wouldn’t be where I am right now if it weren’t for His love, mercy and grace over my life. So thanks Jesus, you’re my best friend! Next, I would love to recognize my family that has been my biggest support system, including my puppy Luke Skywalker-Gonzalez who helped me heal from depression. Thank you so much for all that you have done for me and continue to do. I would be nothing without you. I would also like to give a shoutout to my close friends that have stuck with me throughout the years, you know who you are! I love you with all of my heart and thank you for being my rocks throughout all of it. Finally, I want to take a moment to recognize my C3 Los Angeles church family! Y’all have really changed my entire life this year. I would not have been able to survive this year without your love and support. Thank you for seeing who I am and who God has called me to be. I appreciate every single one of you mentioned above so much. Thank you a million times!
Other: Red Bubble Shop: ysiav1226.redbubble.com