Sunday, July 19, 2015

Miguel Machuca

What do you do?
I am an A.B.A Therapist (Applied Behavior Analysis). I work in a school and home environment. I help children diagnosed with autism, implementing appropriate behaviors and fading out inappropriate behaviors by applying positive reinforcement. I’ve been in this particular field going on18 years now, and counting.

Where can we find your work?
I’ve participated in many local art shows and have been involved in countless San Jose art events. I have also been a guest on NBC/Telemundo. You can see my interview for Comunidad del Valle with Damien Trujillo (link to interview is above) alongside fellow artist, Elizabeth Montelongo. You can also see some of my work displayed at the Triton Museum of Art for the show "50 and Looking Forward", featuring artists to look out for in the near future. There are pieces of work that are also finished references for my upcoming 2017 solo exhibition at the museum called “333 The Sacred Connection”. I also have a Facebook artist page (link above) where you can follow me as I produce more work. I also have an Instagram account that you can follow as well.

Interview with Damien Trujillo: Https://

What inspires you to create and how do you keep motivated when things get tough? Everyday life and human behavior is a big deal to me. I like to analyze and I try to understand the dark side of the human psyche. I am also inspired by the wonders of ancient civilizations and their ways of understanding and exploring enlightenment. Sacred geometry, religious beliefs, religions, alchemy, and the search for progress through an understanding of our universe and its powerful laws of attraction.

What do you think is more important content/finished product or technique/process?
I don’t think you can have one thing without the other. Cause and effect equals material. By that, I mean the content is important because you want to deliver a good concept. Something that will make others think or challenge them to acknowledge or try to understand the finished product. Technique is also important, no matter what your techniques are, it’s engaging in a way, to execute your vision flawlessly, either by classical training or self-taught by life experiences. Finished product is a difficult one because some works of art could take years, months, days, and some - just a few hours. If you ever finish a work of art, then you are done. If you don't, it becomes a progress piece where you constantly learn new ways to execute. As you go along, the piece will show you where to go next.

Who are some people who influence and/or inspire you?
Picasso for me, was a great teacher because he showed me how to follow my intuition, my heart, my rebel mentality but at the same time to be daring and provocative. Frida Kahlo challenged me to express how I feel, to be confident in expressing my most darkest and painful emotions. She taught me to be fearless while searching for new ways to express with images from scars left or made by my life's journey. Pain, darkness, sorrow and suffrage can be beautiful once you lay it down in visual form. I can always see beauty in the ugliest things. Personal experiences I go through everyday are also influential points in my life. Hardship, struggle, resilience, and the deep emotional and conscious thought of my connection to all living things.

What is the most incredible art moment for you so far?
It’s difficult to limit myself to one moment, because every moment has brought a unique experience into my life and career as an artist. One of my proudest moments is when I was able to communicate with a student, whom is diagnosed with autism, with visual images and interaction through art projects. I helped him release tension and use fine motor skills by using his obsession to scribble on paper. I presented him with different colors and taught him how to move/rotate his drawing paper while he scribbled on it. At the end, he developed/improved great fine motor skills, how to request for certain types of materials, and how to challenge himself by thinking of what he needed to begin and finish his ideas.

When do you get your best ideas?
I get my best ideas at night. As I go through my day, I observe life as it comes and goes. When the sun sets and the moon shows itself, my body and mind begin turning all the gears to the point where I feel like an owl hunting in the night. My mind is a conjunction of ideas, poems and thoughts, and quotes which stay collected in the memory frames of my mind.

What materials/tools do you use?
When I paint, I don’t always use my brushes. I know in some cases, it’s important, but what I mean is, I like to use anything I can. Most of the time, I use whatever I can/want, to execute my ideas exactly how I see them in my head. If it is a commissioned piece, then I use the specific tools that are needed to deliver what they want. If it’s a piece of my own, then it’s no holds bar. 

Are you self-taught or formally educated? How do you think that has influenced or affected your work?
I am a self-taught artist that is formally educated by life itself. Techniques that I have learned have developed as I go along. Also, interactions with friends, teachers and other artists have also improved my skills by sharing ideas and different ways to execute projects.

Who would you most like to meet living or dead and why? 
Charlie Chaplin. For his wisdom and creativeness in making people laugh without saying one word. I'm a big fan of silent films. Michael Angelo and Leonardo Da Vinci. For their love, obsessive passion, sometimes crazy ways, and without their knowing- helping advance the human race to the next level of artistic progress. Frida Kahlo, for her ways of showing her pain through art and her resilient soul to fight for what she believed in. Lastly, Picasso, for his cause and the way he would think outside the box. He would never settle for one option, he would explore countless possibilities to push the envelope with his wisdom.

When you are not creating what do you like to do? 
When I'm not creating, I like to have fun with friends, attend musical events, dancing, and be with my girlfriend.

How did you learn to access your creative talents and gain the confidence to put it out there for everyone to experience? 
I was always a creative person since I can remember. I learned to access my creative talents by just having the excitement of showing people my art. People always knew I was an artist. The passion to challenge myself to shock or set an impression on the public. What taught me to not be embarrassed, afraid and sometimes nervous was to paint live. Painting live forced and helped me to liberate myself from these emotional elements that could sometimes limit my creative process. Painting live also taught me to interact, answer questions and learn how to network at the same time I was engaged on a piece of art. It helped me be spontaneous, to not be afraid of making mistakes and to challenge myself to finish a piece in certain amount of time. It’s definitely liberating. 

What advice would you give others just beginning their creative adventures? Have fun. That's it. Expectations sometimes limit your mind. Be free to express whatever you want in order to develop your ideas first, and as time passes, technique will develop. Be free to make mistakes. Be free to create.

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