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Daily Inspiration: Meet Aileen Rosario

Today we’d like to introduce you to Aileen Rosario.

Hi Aileen, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
My name is Aileen Rosario Colon, I am originally from Puerto Rico and I have been living in San Antonio since February 2021, where I have my art studio and raise my daughter with my husband.

Since I was a child, I always showed an inclination for art and said that I would be an artist, an aspiration that my mother and school teachers fortunately cultivated since elementary school.

That led me to my university studies in graphic design and a fruitful career of 10 years in the field of commercial art, however, the desire to make plastic art remained latent. Now, in my new stage at 40 years old, I have had the opportunity to return to that passion and little by little create a new career.

Life and love have taken me in recent years to different corners of the United States. First to Florida, then to California, and now to San Antonio, where I have resided since February 2021. These changes have allowed me to have life-enriching experiences and opportunities that I never thought I would have.

Precisely, living in the diaspora led me to create Ornamentario in 2018. An annual collection of hand-painted Christmas ornaments with motifs from Puerto Rican culture. At that time, I really wanted to paint on canvas but I didn’t know how to start again after so many years without doing it. Little by little, I began to paint on small canvases and I have progressed until now when I paint on large format canvases up to 60” x 60”.

My first exhibition in San Antonio was held at the Luna Rosa restaurant in September 2021. This exhibition opened the doors for me in the area and gave me the security I needed to present in other places and submit my work for exhibition in galleries.

My work is currently displayed in a local gallery in The Pearl area.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
As I started my professional career in digital and commercial art, it was difficult for me to break through to the other side and experience the joy of creating fine art. My first collection of hand-painted ornaments coincided with the birth of my daughter in 2018. I had to divide my time between being a first-time mother and a fine artist.

Fortunately, I managed to sell the entire collection in about a month and immediately started buying fine art materials to move towards that other, more complex medium that I knew would be more satisfying and challenging.
Finding inspiration is another challenge as I have very little free time to be creative and let ideas flow.

This is why I made a small studio for my three-year-old daughter inside the mine and we both create together. What was a challenge that has turned into a blessing for both?

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I believe my work is trying to find the perfect balance between figurative and abstract art in an exploration of who I am as a woman, a mother, and a Puerto Rican living far from her family and the country that saw her grow. My style combines aspects of Latin American costumbrismo with contemporary elements.

It is a narrative painted in bright colors that reminds me of the sunny Caribbean, sandy beaches, and the smell of fried food, which are my deepest cultural influences, although not all of my work revolves around the theme of Puerto Rico.

I also love to experiment with organic materials and biophilic-inspired sculptures. I created a collection of moss sculptures in 2019 and I have kept it under the radar, until recently when I brought one of the sculptures to a gallery and the gallerist invited me to exhibit it. This type of work is one of my favorites. I really enjoy it because it gives me the opportunity to work with earth matter.

In all my recent pieces I have added shadows that look like stains on areas with solid colors, to metaphorically highlight “La Mancha De Plátano” (“the banana stain” literally translated), which is how Puerto Ricans call that distinctive that identifies us in the way we speak, our accent, and our mannerisms.

Where we are in life is often partly because of others. Who/what else deserves credit for how your story turned out?
If anyone deserves credit is the collectors and clients who supported me at the beginning of this new chapter when I restarted my career with Ornamentario. That support gave me the emotional and economic boost I needed to continue developing my art

I especially remember a client, who became a collector and a social media friend, who found my pieces on my Etsy store that first year and since then she has bought ornaments every year and has the most complete collection of Ormentario. People like that are the ones -who unknowingly- give an artist that much-needed boost to continue.

I also would like to recognize and thank Iris Ornelas, the owner, and chef of the Luna Rosa restaurant in San Antonio, who gave me the opportunity to present in the area for the first time. My beloved and supporting husband and daughter, support me and help me find my center.

The gallery Alas pa’ volar and Joao Quiroz, where I will start exhibiting my work in the Summer of 2022.

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