Today we’d like to introduce you to Ivan Niebla.
Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
I am a first-generation Mexican-American from a traditional Mexican family; my mother is from Guadalajara and my father is from Culiacan. In my childhood, being creative was praised, but being artistic was seen as trivial. In my community, escaping poverty was the primary goal. In college, I began woodworking for utility. Slowly it became a creative expression, and eventually, I allowed myself to see the art.
Woodworking helped me to understand how craftsmanship and the arts are essential to life. I witnessed my hometown of Paramount, California become revitalized through art and thoughtful design. To me, the reason for art and design points to the intentions of my work; connecting people through time and space by sharing experiences vibrantly and beautifully.
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
The struggle for me has always been giving myself permission to create and be expressive. I am grateful that in my childhood I was allowed to be a kid and curious, but I was not pulled in a direction where art was a priority. I had to find where that place of creative expression lived and whether it should or even needs to serve a “purpose”.
Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I try to take traditional imagery and iconography that deserves a spotlight and reimagine them in a contemporary context. I currently favor working in a digital environment where I can efficiently experiment with composition and create vibrant color palettes. I believe paying homage to subject matter that I value and connect with is a great way to connect others to something they may have lost touch with, or deeply value themselves.
I am proud of how much meticulous I am in my work, albeit to a fault at times. I feel that is an honest representation of how I am and it tends to come through in my work if you look for it. If we have interacted in person, you may have seen my work framed in handmade wooden frames. I take pride in my ability to work with wood and naturally I married the two.
Is there a quality that you most attribute to your success?
I believe having a reliable product is important to building trust. Being empathetic to a person consuming my work is important to me and I try to make the experience a cohesive one of quality.
- 8 in x 8 in print – $25
- 8.5 in x 11 in print – $30
- 13 in x 19 in Limited print – $100
- 11 in x 14 in frame – $150
- 20 in x 26 in Limited frame – $500+