We had the good fortune of connecting with Vanessa Garcia and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Vanessa, what do you attribute your success to?
First and foremost – you must JUMP IN. I would not have an incorporated company today if I did not allow myself to follow the opportunities where they led. The artist in me is a culmination of my experiences. I have always marched to my own drum and stayed true to my passions. I choose not to conform to what people think one should be, based on their background. I leverage the tools I have: instinct, grit, charm, and street smarts. Using these, I have paved my path as there was no map for me to follow.
I started my career as a working actress, and I walked to every talent agency and handed them my headshot. Who cares if my feet hurt at the end of the day – they knew I was there. I worked job after job to make ends meet to fund my dream. Then, when life tried to knock me down, I always landed back on my feet with a positive outlook. That was my choice.
I then leveraged my acting experience in Hollywood to get the connections I made in the art industry. The two of them like to Tango.
It takes perseverance and dedication to pursue your dreams. It’s a 24/7 state of mind, and it takes unlimited hard work. Every day. All-day.
However, I love it. Mel Gibson said to me, “1% Inspiration and 99% Perspiration.” That’s what this is all about — Creativity, art, bold and bright colors are all I know. Find something you love that ignites your passion.
Use that passion to create your art. Take the darkness and shine a light on it.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My art is about positivity and bringing light to the darkness. My art reflects the times.
My art is an extension of my essence.
I use vigours colors to ignite your senses and liven the space it exists in.
How I got here? It is simple. I WORK MY ASS OFF.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I am all about that classic LA day. We start with a beautiful Sunday morning sitting outside at Paty’s in Toluca Lake. Our fresh-squeezed orange juice is filling the air with a mouth-watering aroma.
After we talk for what feels like hours, we take the scenic drive over to Malibu, where we arrive at the Malibu Country Mart for an All American cheeseburger and french fries. (Your girl is a foodie). This leads us to Malibu Riders for an afternoon adventure of horseback riding through Malibu Hills.
Next, we head over to The Reel Inn, where a hot bowl of freshly made clam chowder and ice-cold Lemonade is waiting for us.
For nighttime decadence, I have two intriguing and sacred options:
The Soho House: where you hide out with good friends and one of the sexiest views in LA.
The Chateau Marmont: where anything is possible and lips are definitely sealed. I find sanctuary here.
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?
Mentorship has been an integral part of my life. It’s about having someone take the time to show you a different world that exists from what you see surrounding you – a world you can be part of no matter the odds. I’ve been lucky enough to have such mentors in my life – honestly, it takes a village. I grew up in LA surrounded by untapped talent and potential – and the sad truth is most of that talent would go unexpressed, not utilized or recognized. I was in line to be dismissed. My incredible teachers saw something creative and magical in me and enrolled me in classes to learn about artists like Picasso and dive into the teachings of the blue period (as I was the little artist). That creative foundation supplied me with the boost I needed to pursue a career in the arts.
My mentors lived the way I wanted to, and seeing them accomplish their dreams provided me with the drive I needed to obtain my own. With their guidance and my drive, I have been able to peruse the art museums in Spain, live in Paris to study at the Sorbonne, teach art to children in Santa Monica, and create art at the Chateau Marmont right here in LA.
Two standout mentorships I would like to mention are Domingo Zapata & Diane Von Furstenberg.
Domingo was one of the first artists who showed me I could be part of the art world and make a living from it. Circa the night we lost Amy Winehouse, in the penthouse at the Chateau Marmont, under a drunken stupor, I created a painting. That same night others tried to stop me in my tracks and say I was living in a fantasy – that I needed to focus my energy on one creative outlet. However, Domingo stopped them and said “no,” throwing his arms out in a passionate gesture. He saw in me the artist that others did not. That day was the beginning of my journey as a professional artist.
Diane Von Furstenberg believed in my work. She asked me once at a red carpet event, “Vanessa, what do you do?” At that time, I was in a darker place, but I found solace in painting. I told her, and she looks at me over her shoulder and says with the sassiest of energies, “I want you to paint something for me.” Diane was the first moment I realized, “wow, there’s something here worth value to others – I can do this.” I haven’t stopped since.