Tina Verduzco Interview : Page 2 of 2
An Interview with Folk Artist Tina Verduzco
Q: What has been your most difficult creative challenge so far? How did you deal with it?
A: Some people have an "Inner Child", I have an "Inner Brat." The most difficult challenge was to stop my "Inner Brat" from taking over! I started making art full time when I was 45, despite that voice that said, What are you doing? YOU CAN'T seriously think you can reinvent yourself at your age! You belong in corporate America and not in a studio!
I dealt with it by not giving in. I knew I had a passion for art and I was no longer going to let my doubts, fears and the opinions of other people keep me from my true calling!
Q: Any advice for breaking through creative blocks?
A: Art builds on the past. When I go through one of those challenges either in my writing or my art work, I start to remake a piece. I just repeat the process. It becomes familiar and once I feel like I've been here before, it's not so daunting! I can usually break through that block.
Q: What are your best practices for juggling the demands of your career and your home life?
A: I realized I am not a Super Hero! Sometimes things are NOT going to get done. Right now the laundry needs folded and my kitchen floor needs a good scrubbing. I have a show coming up, my mom is coming for a visit and I am hosting a party for 35 people. We are also in full season in the tour business! I had to laugh, a friend the other day told me they were taking my Super Chick cape away and not giving it back until we went for a walk on the beach! It's really about defining what's important!
Q: What's your favorite way to spoil yourself the one luxury you just can't live without?
A: I do two things that are not a luxury but a necessity! I walk on the beach 4-5 days a week and watch the sunrise. Every sunrise is a reminder of what a gift this life is and how all we truly have is this moment. I find inspiration in the beauty of the ocean it is always changing but still constant.
I also take an outdoor yoga class. Yoga by the Sea literally changed my life. The class gives me a chance to completely tune into my body and calm my mind. Those are two investments I have made in myself.
Q: Your shrine/spirit boxes are an interesting and unique idea. Can you discuss the role that spirit plays in your creative work?
A: I made my first shrine/spirit box after my husband passed away. I wanted a way to honor his memory and have a daily reminder of how important his love was in my life! I am Mexican and we believe that as long as someone alive remembers you, you are never truly gone. We celebrate Los Dios de Los Muertos every year so this theme has become part of my personal spirituality. I make the spirit and shrine boxes for people that have loved ones that have passed or to commemorate a major moment or event in their lives.
Q: I understand you conduct tours of popular haunts in St. Augustine. Must be a fabulous job. What does it entail?
A: I have the coolest job! I work for a company called Ghostaugustine. I drive around in a vintage 1974 hearse and tell ghost stories! It's not a theatrical tour so no one jumps out and tries to scare you. We use the same K-2 meters that they use in Taps and Ghost Hunters! The stories are based on history and truth! The stories I tell are actually about people that lived here in St Augustine. I love the history of our town, we are 450 years old! It's a pleasure to host locals and visitors and share my passion for this quaint and charming place!
Q: Care to share a spooky tale or a scary story starter with our readers?
A: There are so many! We usually get some sort of "activity" at the St Augustine Lighthouse. On one tour there were cats everywhere!
I joked, "Not only am I am ghost magnet, I'm a also a cat magnet." There was a gentleman on the tour taking pictures. He came over to show me a picture on the view finder of his camera.
He said, "You are right! You are a both!" In the view finder was a picture of me in the side yard of the lighthouse keepers' house. Next to me was a full-blown apparition of a cat you could actually see through! I did some research and discovered that in the 1880's the lighthouse keeper had a large yellow tabby cat that hung out in the side yard and on the porch!
Q: What's the best professional advice you can give fledgling artists who are just starting their careers?
A: First give yourself permission to claim the fact you ARE an artist! Once you own it you will become it! Leave your ego out of it and create from your heart with passion. Never let others influence your self-worth. Art is subjective! Not everyone will like or buy what you make. Try everything! Don't limit yourself to a particular style. Just give it a shot! I always ask myself when I start a new project what is the very worst thing that could happen? If the answer is, "The worst thing that could happen would be a feeling of rejection and a bruised ego," I say GO FOR IT! •
© 2010 Molly J. Anderson-Childers. All rights reserved.
Molly Anderson-Childers is a a highly creative writer and artist from Durango, Colorado. More »