Today we’d like to introduce you to Kathy Cano-Murillo.
Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
I’ve always been creative -but also very entrepreneurial! I found a way to make a living doing what I love – making things, storytelling, and connecting with people. I started my art business in the mid-90s after not being able to find Latinocentric home decor items in mainstream stores. Rather than complain, I made my own and eventually had 300 wholesale accounts and made all my inventory myself. I realized I didn’t want to make my designs in mass, so I went to work at The Arizona Republic. They knew I was an artist and asked me to write a weekly craft column. I did, and it was picked up by Gannett and other wire services and ran in 130+ papers around the country. I began doing weekly news segments showing DIY.
In 2001 launched CraftyChica.com as a way for those who weren’t newspaper subscribers to read my weekly craft tutorials. At that time, the DIY movement was growing fast. I had (and still do! _ the only Latina DIY site, doing Latinocentric DIY tutorials. My goal has always been to inspire people to do something creative and celebrate their culture at the same time. In addition, I also sold my original pieces online and in local shops.
I left the paper in 2007 to do CraftyChica.com full-time. My website is still going strong, it’s my full-time job. I have nine published books (seven craft titles and two women’s fiction novels), I lead a Crafty Chica Cruise and/or Mexico retreat every year, I have multiple craft products line (Michaels and Hobby Lobby), and now a Phoenix boutique and gallery – Mucho Más Art Studio at 1736 E. McDowell Road Phoenix.
My husband is a musician, his band is a longtime valley fave – The Rastafarmers. My kids grew up helping me with CraftyChica and now they are also digital entrepreneurs!
My son DeAngelo Murillo runs TheGeekLyfe.com – a site about cosplay, gaming, geek, sci-fi, etc.
My daughter started her YouTube channel at age 16 and was discovered by Buzzfeed! She is a full-time producer/cast member and lives in Los Angeles. You can see her in dozens of Buzzfeed videos for all their different channels!
I’ve learned that art isn’t just a tangible item you make. It’s all the decisions and experiences that make up a life. Everything is art if you look at it that way. Everything has a story or message!
Please tell us about your art.
Everything I make is based in positivity! I want people’s faces to light up when they see one of my creations! I work in a variety of mediums: clay/ceramic/ painting/ illustration, sewing, mixed media, beading and more.
I represent “more is better” style and love a lot of layers, patterns, and textures. I also love to incorporate my love for my Mexican-American culture. My mission for everything I make is for it to bring people good vibes! I don’t make items to make money, I make things because it’s my favorite thing to do. However, I work hard to use my creativity in a variety of ways to bring in income!
We often hear from artists that being an artist can be lonely. Any advice for those looking to connect with other artists?
Start a local collective or meet-up group, that’s what I did in 2004 when I founded The Phoenix Fridas! We are comprised of nine local Latina creatives and we meet monthly to help each other with our goals. We have collective art shows and teach workshops.
Another idea is to go online. Live stream your work in action to connect with people and then support them back!. You can also start a message thread or private Fb group with your artist friends so you can all share ideas! Volunteer to teach a class, or even better, go take a new class to expand your skills!
How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
You can visit my website CraftyChica.com, or anywhere on social @craftychica. In Phoenix, you can visit my store Mucho Más Art Studio, 1736 e. McDowell Road, Phoenix. We have art shows, workshops, and pop-up shops.
I also travel around the country for speaking engagement and Crafty Chica meet-ups, pop-up shops, and book signings. I’ll be in San Diego at Artelexia May 19th, and at MiVida in Los Angeles at the end of June. You can listen to my weekly podcast, The Crafty Chica Show, on iTunes, or my site!
- Address: Crafty Chica
c/o Mucho Más Art Studio
1736 E. McDowell Road, Phoenix 85006
- Website: http://craftychica.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: http://instagram.com/craftychica
- Facebook: http://facebook.com/kathycanomurillo
- Twitter: http://twitter.com/craftychica
- Other: http://muchomasartstudio.com
Photo credit: CraftyChica LLC