We had the good fortune of connecting with Patricia Colon and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Patricia, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
Well It’s something I love to do ever since I was young, art has been a coping mechanism for me and it helped me through my life. I chose this career because it brings me joy to make things and then see that people connect with them too. It’s nice to see people smile at your work.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
All though im still on my journey toward success. Most of it has been by myself, I didn’t grow up like most kids. I was a foster child and all I had was a sketch book and cheap materials most times. But they helped me create when I felt at my worst. In every home I got to live in. Art has saved me a lot I would say. It was my coping mechanism and still is. I met a lot of friends that became my family thanks to my art. The road is not an easy one to make art your full time job. I started doing it full time at the start of covid 19 in early 2020. It has been hard for me to keep a job due to my physical and mental health so it has helped me a lot now. But I have been able to do plenty of things thanks to the support from my partner and friends. I have many fun projects in the books that im excited about. Being at home since the beginning of covid gave me more time to practice new skills and techniques that I like implementing to my work for fun. My style is very anime like now but it wasn’t always, I used to dray traditional and realistic and slowly made my switch. I try new things and stick to the parts I like and focus on them until im happy with the result. But I enjoy putting a nostalgic detail on my work. I try to make the expressions to fit the theme im trying to portray. Sometimes it goes with the genre of music im listening to. I would say everything changes with my music choices it helps me keep creating fun things. I listen to so many genres while I work, it gives me such a great amount of dopamine to draw with music that it has become a ritual since I was a teen. It keeps me focused and relaxed. My work is a mix of inspiration from japanese culture, anime, manga and my Puerto Rican and Taino heritage. I love making masks I have made a few that are a hybrid between taino gods, symbols and a traditional vejigante mask. I enjoy the process. Cartoons and anime have been in my life for a long time and are always a big inspiration for me. I like mixing some old cartoon style to my designs too. Drawing on a anime style is hard because proportions are different. I enjoy the challenge of it tho, I felt I was bored of just drawing portraits and backgrounds. I can tell a better story with my work now with my current art style that is more expressive and colourful. I can use more colors without worrying if it looks natural or not. Which is nice. I’ve learned so much from everyone I have met and I am inspired by all my friends and experiences, both good and bad. We grow from mistakes so I have learned to appreciate them too. Most of the things I do, I do fo myself and I feel that has helped me recover from burnout. Alot of us were on hiatus due to burnout and health problems. So I started doing art for myself and making it a fun thing again. Because for a bit it was just about surviving and having an income. The pandemic has made me appreciate what I do, because we might not be here tomorrow so creating what I like became a priority over anything else. I started incorporating butterflies in my work. They resemble spiritual rebirth and hope. It’s like a little easter egg that no one knew but me. I want that everyone that owns any of my art or merch to connect to that and appreciate their lives a bit more. To work on what they love and makes them happy, to make things happen. We all have the power to make things happen.
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.
I was actually planning for when my friend comes over in spring! Haha. I’m planning on taking her to a hike at a few places here in Colorado. There are so many places to visit. We love nature. We grew up in Puerto Rico so it made us appreciate our surroundings. I want to visit Mesa Verde National park, Garden Of the Gods. I want to take her to Manitou too for some shopping. Take her to some vegan restaurants and food trucks. Like Santana’s vegan grill and The joint. I can also cook for her in the evenings we actually cook together since we were kids. Food was always our thing. We want to visit ghost towns and maybe get on a hot air balloon too. There are so many things we want to see and do haha.
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?
Well my Grandma always supported my dreams and she is the one who framed my first ever painting (from pre school) and she has it in her room still. It always made me happy to have her support through the years. I owe a lot to her, to My Maita.