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

Hi Cristina, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
It’s hard to single out one thing, but in today’s world social media word of mouth is critical in generating leads and making sure you are top of mind. As a muralist and sign-painter, Instagram and Facebook have been my primary vehicles, but I’ve recently tiptoed into the world of LinkedIn because I know that’s the preferred channel for a lot of decision makers and community movers and shakers.

Clear, compelling process photos with a story attached tend to perform best. People don’t just want to see a painted logo on a wall, they want to know the story behind it.

I spent many years in advertising and marketing, and those skills have served me well as an artist too. It’s so important to listen to the client, whether that be a business or a public art project. Public-facing art is meant to serve others, and making sure the client is a partner every step of the way is critical. Forget the “my way or the highway” mentality- be a partner, make sure your client is happy. Doing so will ensure you get more referrals and build your brand and reputation.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Here’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

I was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas, a sunny, cultura-rich land where la gente are the majority. As a child I spent my days doodling unicorns and puppies and people and anything that caught my fancy. Drawing was my life, and I dreamed of one day being an artist.

After high school, I left town for a bit to attend Yale University, but ran back to Texas as soon I’d tossed my graduation cap in the air. I got a “real” job in advertising, where I met my wonderful husband Victor. In 2005 I got a little brave and decided to step into art full time, for the first time. I spent a year re-creating the Mexican Loteria, updating it to reflect the symbols and culture I knew – the “Tex Mex” version. The My Loteria game and corresponding line of kitchenware appeared in H-E-B grocery stores and boutiques around the country…it was pretty cool 🙂

Fast forward a couple years and Vic and I decided it made perfect sense to move to the middle of nowhere and sell ice in the desert. More on that adventure here.

A baby later and with one more on the way, we decided to come back home to San Antonio to be closer to family. I landed my dream job as the Marketing Director of The DoSeum, San Antonio’s Museum for Kids. Eventually I even became the marketing director of my kids’ school district.

But I knew deep down in my heart of hearts that I needed to give full time art another go. “Leap and the net will appear.”

So here I am. A mom to two awesome girls, a muralist, portrait artist, wife and West Texas addict. I have an RV art studio in my driveway and I’m having the time of my life. I’m focusing my attention on more large scale art projects, and hope to travel around the country making my art dreams 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 live on the East Side of San Antonio, very close to downtown, and tend to stay in my hood unless I’m camping or in Alpine Texas, my favorite home away from home.

Ride bikes along Mission trail/ Riverwalk. There are kiosk stations at most of the missions. For a less crowded experience start at San Jose and go South.

Eat/drink/ be merry at The Dakota East Side Ice house who’s motto is “Just be nice, damnit”.

Walk around Yanaguana park downtown- kids will love the giant sandbox and cool climbing areas, foodies will love Dough pizzeria and Paleteria San Antonio and everyone will enjoy the splash pad and admiring the oddly retro Tower of the Americas. You can even go to the tippy top and eat at the Charthouse restaurant. Lots of fun public art to admire there too.

I live in government hill and we have the best Mexican bakery in the city, Alebrije- next level edible art- and the coolest coffee shop in town, Folklores. No joke you can order concoctions with marshmallows that they flash roast with a little blowtorch. If you get Diabetes, it will be worth it anyway.

For fun funky shopping check out Chica Verde- vintage, plants, furniture, jewelry and more. I had the honor of painting their signage 🙂

For culture the McNay art museum, San Antonio Museum of Art, Blue Star Arts Complex are all great. The DoSeum is a fantastic kids’ museum, and we also have a great zoo.

Consider getting off the beaten path and visiting Elmendorf Lake Park or Woodlawn Lake, two parks with beautiful in-town lakes, walking trails, playgrounds, and more.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My amazing husband Victor Noriega who always supports my crazy ideas and believes in me.

My dad Lionel Sosa who told me I could be whatever I wanted in life, including a successful artist, and never once suggested a more conventional career path. His “leap and the net will appear” attitude about everything has really rubbed off on me. Yes it’s a lot of hard work and hustle, but it’s so worth it.

My two daughter Luz and Paloma who are super proud of me and love to tell their friends that Mama is an artist.

Website: cristinapaints.com

Instagram: @mommypaints

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/cristinasosanoriega/

Twitter: @mommypaints

Facebook: Facebook.com/CristinaPaints

Image Credits
all mine

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