Artist Spotlight: Senior Paola Artero-Grandy


When did you begin creating art?
I’ve been making art for as long as I can remember. My earliest memories include doodling on random pieces of paper while I sat at a diner booth where my mom worked. She would take me with her because we couldn’t afford a babysitter, and I’d spend hours just drawing pictures by myself in a little green booth. Art has always been an important part of my life, and as I grew up I built my skills up into those I possess today through continuous practice.

What does art and creating mean to you?
Creating art is something I always find myself going back to. It’s a way I can express myself, but more importantly it allows me to find myself. Sometimes I can’t put my emotions into words, therefore I do so through my art.

What is your favorite medium to use?
My favorite medium to use is acrylic painting. For the longest time I only made pencil drawings, as I lacked the material to create my own paintings. However, I’ve only recently begun my collection of paints and continue to experiment with other mediums such as watercolor and oil paints. With practice I could probably become more comfortable with these mediums, but for the time being I enjoy painting with acrylic best. I love how I’m able to craft any color I wish with the use of primary colors.

Where do you find inspiration for your paintings?
I tend to draw inspiration from my own life and experiences. Whether it be references from my own photographs or a creation of my imagination, almost each of my paintings originate from a personal experience or idea. The exceptions being a few work in progress of album covers I am in the process of creating, or commissions from friends.

What is your favorite part about painting/creating art?
My favorite part about painting is the process. It’s a beautiful process, but never perfect. It can be frustrating to overcome obstacles whether they be technical or creative. Art teaches patience, perseverance, and trust. Appreciating the beauty of the imperfections is what I love most about making art.

What Is your favorite piece you have created?
My favorite piece I’ve created is a painting I created of Cochabamba, Bolivia. My family came to the US in 2000 from Cochabamba, and I visited for the first time in 2018. When I revisited in July 2019, I took a photograph of the city on a car ride up some hills. I converted the photograph into a painting to demonstrate my perspective of the city, and my appreciation for its beauty. It’s a warm, detailed painting that took me a total of 16 hours to complete, which I did so in the span of two days.

How do you escape an artistic block?
I think the most valuable advice one can receive in order to overcome any kind of mental block is to never rely on motivation to achieve your goals. Discipline will become your best friend when you’re facing an artistic block.

Where do you find inspiration for your paintings?
I tend to draw inspiration from my own life and experiences. Whether it be references from my What advice do you have for other young artists?
To young artists, it’s okay to explore art outside of your comfort zone. It can be surprising what you’ll discover through experimentation. Additionally, I’d say never be afraid to speak your mind through your artwork. Your artwork is your artwork, do whatever you please with it.