I wake up anywhere from 9:30 to 10:00 am depending on how late I stayed up working the night before.
My boyfriend brings me coffee in bed and I look at Instagram/blogs for about an hour while I sip my coffee and wake up slowly.
I get out of bed, wash my face and brush my teeth. Usually, my dogs are begging to go outside, so I walk downstairs and let them out in my yard.
While the dogs are outside, I check in with my plants. Do they need water? Does it look like they are struggling? Depending on how the plants are doing/what day of the week it is,
I will water/prune for 30 minutes to an hour. I find this time to be really therapeutic for me.
I then let the dogs back in, re-fill my coffee cup and decide on breakfast or lunch depending on the time and my levels of hunger.
A typical breakfast is a bowl of Special K Cereal with almond milk or whole-wheat toast with butter and honey. A typical lunch would be a veggie salad bowl (rice/grains, beans/lentils, salad greens, potatoes, nuts, and seeds). If the weather is nice I will sit on my porch and eat, but most of the time I bring my lunch into my office and begin work no later than noon.
Tell us about how you became the woman you are today. Where did you grow up? What moments in life have influenced your character most?
I was born in Mendoza, Argentina and moved to Florida when I was 10 years old. My move to the states as a child has definitely been the most influential moment in my life. I am the person that I am today because of that experience and trauma. Moving to a different country where you don't know the culture, the language, or anyone besides your immediate family causes a lot of havoc in the mind and soul of a kid, but I like to think that a lot of my best qualities come from the trauma of relocating. I am really strong and can handle big life changes like a champ. I find it easy to start from zero, whether that means moving to a new city, starting a new job or making friends. I always push myself to grow and expand my boundaries because I know that I have handled hard and emotionally challenging situations before. I also find it really easy to move around, which works out great considering I love to travel.
Tell us about the exact moment or period in time when you realized you were born to create.
I have always been creative. My mom is an artist, so we always had art supplies on hand. As a kid, I would often win drawing contests at school and other kids would ask me to draw specific pictures for them. I didn't think then that I could do that as a job but I knew I liked it enough to do it constantly.
Tell us a little bit about what drew you to your medium. Did you choose to work with this medium or did it choose you?
I learned to draw in photoshop while taking a computer class in college and never looked back. I find that it is easier to take risks on the computer because you can always "CTR Z" your mistakes. Paper is too "precious" sometimes and I find that it blocks my creativity to draw on paper because I'm scared of "messing up." If I wasn't making digital art, I wouldn't be making art at all because my anxiety of not being perfect would really get in the way. This is something I struggle with constantly in all aspects of life, so I am thankful I have a creative outlet and the right tools to circumvent that anxiety in art.
A lot of women believe they need formal training in order to succeed as a Female Artist. What’s your take? Did you have formal education or are you self taught?
I graduated with a degree in Fibers (Textiles) from the Savannah College of Art and Design. It was an expensive degree (hi student loans!) so I like to think that it gave me certain tools to succeed. That being said, drawing is a skill that you can learn by doing, reading books, watching tutorials, etc. I think you can be an artist without getting an art degree. A funny fact....most of the things I think about when designing/illustrating are rules that I learned from my art teacher in high school, not college.
What do you want the younger female artists coming up behind you to know about you, your journey, and the art industry in general?
I would like them to know that their journey as an artist, or a human really...is not linear. Mine wasn't. I worked a lot of jobs and quite a lot of jobs and I'm still figuring out what I want to be when I grow up. I would want them to know that social media is a good tool but it is also a bit of a mind f*ck. A lot of people on the internet have ideas in their heads of who I am based on the jobs I had and it is really hard to break those ideas or not let these ideas hold you back. I used to own a retail store, and a lot of people knew me through that, and connected my identity to my store's Instagram "persona." When I closed the store, people felt sad for me and projected feelings of defeat and failure on me, when in actuality that business had been really bad for my mental health and I couldn't be happier to see it go. It was hard not to let those projected feelings become my own, and not feel like by quitting something I hated I was letting people down or not being true to this person that I created it on social media. All of that to say that it is ok to quit things you don't like. It is ok to change your style even if it messes up your "feed aesthetic." My last piece of advice though is the most important lesson I have learned so far: Collaboration is better than comparison and competition. There is room for everybody, and you will feel better if you help someone than if you are constantly competing and comparing yourself to them. If you have information that you think is valuable to other artists, share it. When you bring others up, you bring the whole industry up and with that....also yourself.
Let's talk about vulnerability. What role has being vulnerable played in your work, success or failures?
Vulnerability has played a huge role in my life, I find that I thrive when I put myself out there and push myself to grow.
When it comes to vulnerability in social media and sharing my "failures", I find that this is the time that I connect with most people. We all want to feel validated in our feelings, and I think people like knowing that others are also having a hard time figuring life out and no one really has their shit together all of the time.
How do you define your creative gig? Full-time career or side hustle? Explain why you’ve chosen one over the other.
I'm currently a bit of both. I am freelancing full time for a design studio which takes up a lot of my time, so my illustration and personal work is still kind of a side gig.
What is the message you're sending into the universe with your work? Why do you feel so strongly about this message?
I'm really inspired by the female experience. I think for so long women were put in boxes and were told how to act and how to feel about things that happened to them.
Recently it's like we started to break away from that and began talking to each other more about what we think, what we have been through and survived.
I am infinitely inspired by this bond that women share, especially in the post #MeToo era.
What is the biggest challenge you've faced as a female artist?
Not being thought of as an equal by male designers/artists. Having tough conversations with my male peers on why women aren't recommended for gigs or invited to shows. The hardest has been having these conversations with male peers who consider themselves "allies". They aren't purposely leaving women out because they hate us, they are leaving us out because they don't know of us. A lot of my male peers just follow other male artists/designers and not as many female artists/designers. An example of this would be... when #MeToo happened I saw a lot of male artists making art with slogans like "Believe Women". Even though these men wanted to be supportive "allies", they were taking a time that was centered around women and their struggle to further promote their work/go viral, all while separating themselves from the men who don't "believe women." What they should have done, is share the art of women who had been saying these things for years. I saw a lot of male designers sharing other male designer's work with feminist slogans. This was such an obvious issue to me, but not to the guys who were sharing the work. Men share each other's work, collaborate in the same circles and create a "boys club" of sorts. The art world has been dominated by men historically, and even though we have come a long way they still hold a lot of positions of power as curators, art directors, and business owners. It's hard for women to penetrate these circles and access the same opportunities that are just handed out to men because they are in the right place at the right time. Calling this behavior out is oftentimes met with a lot of defensiveness instead of openness and that has been my biggest struggle as a female artist.
How do you stay motivated?
Freelance is my full-time gig, if I don't work I don't get paid and if I don't get paid I don't eat. That keeps me motivated.
What is your biggest focus and/or goal in your career right now? What plans do you have for yourself 1,3,5 years from now?
To diversify my client list. I would like to be working on client work that feels personal to me. I would like to live abroad at some point, work and travel is the dream.
What’s the most difficult financial hurdle you’ve had to overcome while running your business? Get specific!
Figuring out how to pay income tax on a quarterly basis. Making sure I know that 30% of my invoice needs to go into a savings account for taxes. I feel very lucky that this has been the most difficult hurdle because it wasn't that hard at all. I have an accountant that I consult with if I have questions and he does my taxes at the end of the year.
Big or small, what’s the single best money making tip or piece of advice you can share with up and coming artists?
Figure out what your "bare bones" budget is. Live simply. Save money to do the things that give you joy and inspire you. Buy fewer things. CHARGE FOR YOUR WORK. The worst thing an up and coming artist can do is undervalue their work. When you do this, you undervalue yourself and also everyone else in the industry. It's ok to charge less when you are just learning, but make sure the amount of money you are charging is enough to pay your bills.
What tools, apps, websites, blogs, books, or podcasts help you the most when it comes to financials?
I have an accountant that I see twice a year, I have a personal and business bank account and I don't mix those up.
What specifically gives you the most anxiety when it comes to talking about money? Explain.
Thinking about retirement. I like to live in the moment, which usually means I don't plan too far ahead. I'm not currently planning for retirement and it freaks me out sometimes... but for the most part, I just ignore those thoughts with a mezcal margarita.
What do you know for sure?
That one day I will die, and when that happens it won't matter how much money I have in the bank.
Give us three of your favorite/ most inspiring things right now. It could be a book, a food, a destination, a song, a person, etc.
Greta Thunberg. Veggie Bowls. the #slowdownartcomp hashtag
What's the best advice you've ever been given?
When worrying about a problem: "Can you fix it? if the answer is yes then don't worry we will fix it. If the answer is no, then don't worry it cannot be fixed."
It’s karaoke night and your up. What song do you sing?
Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen
Finish this sentence. I never leave home without my…
Finish this sentence. I find myself most inspired to create when I am…
A genie grants you three wishes. What do you wish for?
Tele-transportation Powers. Health for me and my loved ones. Endless Wealth (so I can pay all of yalls student loans).
Name 3 of your guilty pleasures.
Miley Cyrus, Texting from the toilet, fast food (although I stopped eating meat recently so this one is easy to avoid these days)
If you had to give a 30 min. speech without preparing to an audience of 1,000 what would it be on?
Quitting your corporate job to do what you love.
To learn more about Agostina Vidable please visit agostinavidable.com