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

Hi Virginia, why did you pursue a creative career?
I have always been drawn to being creative. I spent a lot of time experimenting with different mediums as a way to express myself. I tend to look inward when seeking for answers about the world and using the ideas that occupied my imagination helped me make sense of it. I always believed that art was an opportunity to promote intuitive intelligence, whether it’s in ceramics, writing, or painting, art embodies your truth, at least it does for me. There is your own pursuit and with it comes your set of challenges, risks, and failure and pursuing them anyway is like facing the human condition of acceptance despite the hurdles faced. And I loved the idea of this, the journey that incites fear and freedom.

Pursuing ceramics as a creative outlet has allowed me to take risks, find a community and engage physically and emotionally to the earth-bound nature of clay. As an artist, I have confronted the pressures of success and failure and through surpassing my own expectations, I’ve experienced moments of grandeur. Ceramics became my meditative craft and has been a pillar to discovering my most vulnerable self and pursuing an artistic career means continuously evolving and reinventing oneself. It became a practice of self-care and introspection.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My medium is ceramics, using hand-building and wheel-throwing techniques I make sculptures and functional objects that are influenced by the textures and shapes found in our natural world. I started a project with the objective of drawing a parallel between the natural world and the human body using clay by focusing on the interplay of negative space, volume and depth. Usually when approaching new work, I spend a lot of time experimenting with different shapes, testing its functionality. The most challenging part of working with a piece is letting it do its thing and take its own form.

The complexity of my process or ritual is what primarily differentiates my practice amongst others, I feel. When working on a new piece, I embody the notions of space, time, and different clay bodies while documenting the entire process. To me, it’s not just a sculpture piece made of clay but a sculpture that embodies the full scope of its creation; my thoughts and the story-telling of the piece itself. The most exciting part of my practice is creating connections across different themes, like biomorphic and architectural practices, and combining those themes to create a story that questions how ceramic objects fit in with the rest of world.

There was a lot of introspection and hurdles throughout my journey, but perseverance, consistency and having to continuously recommit to my practice is what generally brought me to where I am today. There were several times I experienced creative block and defeat, especially when I was not able to see results from my progress. But when reflecting back on my journey and seeing what I have accomplished thus far has really helped shift my perspective into seeing success in the experience, allowing me to keep pushing forward. I learned that in order to grow in an artistic practice you have to give yourself into it and open yourself up to the experience of creating and let the artwork guide you. I tend to control the pieces I work on, when in fact they have a life of their own, so I’ve learned to limit the intervening when creating new work and just allow myself to flow with the material.

I want the world to know that Keraclay is a catalyst for inspiring others. As a queer POC, I hope to serve as an inspiration to pursue an artistic career because art, in any medium, is honoring your truth. When you partner with the universe to create something your inner-self desires, you unlock the life within you and by falling deeper into your practice you acknowledge that challenges are actually opportunities.

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.
There is so much to do, see and eat in New York City. This city is endless and you’re never really done exploring it. New York City is more than just your average city, it’s overwhelmingly energetic, full of opportunities and a constant source of inspiration. I have a few favorite spots I visit a couple times in the month. But the first stop on the agenda would be to The Whitney, they have a wide range collection of contemporary American art including art by living artists. Perhaps go to my communal ceramic studio, Bklyn Clay for try nights, everyone should give ceramics a try.

Then of course, head into Brooklyn and go to Tortilleria Mexicana Los Hermanos and grab tacos and craft beers for lunch while not trying to ruin friendships over playing a couple rounds of UNO. I also love going to Lot45, great place to catch a vibe over good music, classic cocktails and savory plates. And we mustn’t forget about Strand, an independent bookstore near Union Square to grab a copy of staff’s recommended reads, they’re always great.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My success and inspiration is definitely attributed to multiple sources, from the supportive people in my life, my favorite authors, leaders in the ceramic community to the elements found on Earth. I’m so lucky to have a wide range of advocators. Some of them are my best friends, who were the first to invest in my work. My mom and sister, who held me accountable every day. The kind teachers who’ve taught me various techniques and the artists that came before, who guide me today. While there are many people in my life who have contributed to my success, I’ve been most influenced by my partner, Genesis, who has shifted my ideas on inner expression and provoked self-reflection. Essentially eliciting the physical nature of my existence as more than two-dimensional. She’s supported and encouraged my every quest while reminding me to be the most authentic version of myself that I am capable of being.

Website: https://keraclay.com

Instagram: keraclay

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.