We had the good fortune of connecting with Vanessa Rivera and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Vanessa, how do you think about risk?
My whole perspective behind taking risks is that I don’t want to die and regret not taking a risk. Having to live with the curiosity of what could have been if I took the risk seems worse to me than “failing”. I thrive at the idea of a risk like riding a brand new rollercoaster ride. For me, taking risks is what has given me success and allowed me to experience some of the highest moments of my life. It’s really exciting to me. It can get scary but the thrill is always worth it. 

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My art is the way I connect with myself and the world. I paint the human experience through the use of color, symbolism and body posture. Understanding my art and finding my style has been a challenge within itself. Then you have the outside pressures and factors of being an artist which can really take a toll on you. There has been a lot of pain and insecurity over the years but at the end of the day, I just know that I am meant to be an artist. I know my message is important. Maybe it’s only important for one persons life, or millions, but I know it’s important and for that reason I have to keep going. The hardest part of it all has been trying to balance my art career and my art program, Artsy Kidss. There have been so many moments where I feel like Im spreading myself so thin. So many moments where I’ve asked myself if I will ever feel secure mentally and financially. Over the past couple of years, I’ve been seeing that security come into fruition and I just feel so grateful that I didn’t give in to those dark thoughts and moments. The most important lesson I’ve learned is to never give up. It’s okay to take breaks to recharge, but never give up.

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.
LA is a lively place, There’s always something to do. I’m a very simple person and not much of a planner so honestly, it would just be a flow with me. Some of my favorite food spots in the city are Bayou Grille and Sake house.

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?
The catalyst of my journey through art is my dad. He passed away years ago and his death is what really inspired me to really LIVE. Not only to live but to find something to live for. Art is how I healed from every painful moment after him. Art is also what makes me feel most alive. We had a very tumultuous relationship, my dad & I. Over the years I’ve realized what an important role he has played in my life. I would have never imagined this when he was alive. It’s almost like he was the martyr to my purpose.

Website: https://vjrivera.com/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/vjriivera/

Image Credits
Carlos De La Rosa

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