Where are you from?
I live and was raised in Tijuana, Mexico.
You dabble in everything from painting murals to writing books, so what would you say you do?
I'm a full time illustrator and a sometimes model.
If you had to pick just one, which would it be?
Easy. Illustrating, because to me it's not just drawing, it's therapy.
How were you discovered as a model?
I was 14-years-old and I was shopping with my older sister at Urban Outfitters (not kidding) in San Diego when a model scout came to me and started offering me work at her agency. It was cool, but then I lost interest when I wanted to finish school, improve my drawing skills and just enjoy my teenage years as a normal girl. Six years later I started modeling again, this time without an agency. A lot of friends of mine have clothing lines or work in the fashion industry and I model for them. I haven't done it in a while—the last time I was a model, it was for the Converse Spring/Summer 2010 ad campaign. I'm 100 percent dedicated to my artwork.
How is Mexican style different from style in the U.S.?
They are both really cool, but Mexican girls are a little bit more conservative. You won't see a girl walking through the city in her Daisy Dukes that often.
Since you were named one of Teen Vogue's "Best Dressed Readers of the Day," what are three items of clothing you couldn't live without?
My eight-dollar vintage leopard coat, my black leather skirt and my collection of tights! God, do I love tights.
How would you respond to someone who says fashion is trivial?
I admit that fashion shouldn't be taken so seriously, it has to be about having fun. I also think it's self-expression—it says who we are, or who we would like to be without us even speaking. We protect ourselves and use fashion as armor. With our favorite pair of jeans or a special shirt, we have something that flatters or boosts our confidence to make us feel safe and comfortable.
You started out working as a preschool teacher and wrote a children's book. What is The Bambinis about?
I love the differences between cultures around the world, so I chose my personal favorites and made up adventures about these peoples' everyday lives, all with a splash of style. When I was a teacher, my students were from different nationalities, so I took that as a guideline and developed a story about three characters who just go about their lives as three-year-olds. I really must give a lot of thanks to my time as a teacher. All those hours observing little ones really inspired me and helped me come up with the idea of mixing up styles. I independently printed and distributed my books myself.
How does fashion influence your illustrations?
I consider fashion a means of expression, and so is art! I know this is said over and over, but I do have a deep passion for fashion and sometimes when I see a new collection that I can't afford, I say to myself: "Since I can't afford it right now, I'll style my paper dolls with the clothes I wish I had." It's like living in my own little fantasy world. My work has appeared in a few online magazines and blogs, which is so cool!
Where do you go to draw?
Definitely the beach. My house is only three blocks from it and I love sitting in the sand with a cup of green tea, my sketchbook and Sharpies...there's something about the breeze that inspires me.
What are your career plans?
I want to start painting murals around the world. I would also like to get a good deal for my book series with a publishing house, and start styling and illustrating for magazines and clothing brands.
What projects are you working on now?
I'm working on some designing some t-shirts with L.A. based Rogue Monk Shop and I'm finishing filming a web series called Once Upon a Time in Tijuana.
Who are your favorite artists?
KAWS, Vandalo and the French artist Miss Van.
What forms of art do you find the most interesting?
Sculpture, because it's hard to accomplish all the detailing involved. When tri-dimensional art is done, you get to enjoy every angle of its beauty, so hands-down it goes to sculptors.
Who are your style icons?
My father—he's always had a very eccentric and unique style.
What other hobbies do you have?
Lately, I've been into roller-skating, even though I don't know any cool tricks. I think I'm getting pretty good at it because I don't fall on my face that often.
What songs are playing on your iPod right now?
"Anything" by Those Dancing Days, Jamaica, Koñorteño, Breakbot, Sky Ferreira and PO PO.
Favorite Movie: Buffalo '66
Favorite Book: Blindness by Jose Saramago
Favorite Band: Those Dancing Days
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