Daniela Garcia: Winner of 2021 Not Real Art Grant for Artists

Daniela Garcia: Winner of 2021 Not Real Art Grant for Artists

Although we may see what’s happening on the U.S-Mexican border on the news, how many of us truly understand the plight of people who are stuck there or those who have made it across but live in constant fear?

Daniela Garcia is a first-generation Mexican American artist and a 2021 NRA Grant Winner. Along with this, she is also an art educator and just an all-around incredible human being.

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In today’s episode, we hear about why Daniela is so passionate about the border and immigrant-related issues. Having grown up in California, a liberal state, she was not aware of just how dire things were at the border, and when she found out, she knew she could not stay quiet.

“A lot of what I try to do is I try to make work that is not confrontational. The main thing that I want is I want the person outside the culture to take a moment, and take it in. Process it a little bit. Ask some questions. Because that’s the only way you’re going to change or get anyone to the other side. But for the most part, I try to keep symbolism like a scavenger hunt. Some of that is meant to be more so for just my family, since the work is about them. My biggest thing is when my family comes to a show, I want them to be able to see my work and say that they see themselves in it, but I also want the outsider to be able to come up to it and get a sense of what’s going on and be able to feel accepted enough in the space.” — Daniel Garcia [0:27:09.0]

We hear about her artistic process and what goes into her producing a piece of her moving work. Daniela also works as a teacher, and she talks about what this is like, particularly during Covid, and how she balances it with her artistic practice. Having a job while you are an artist takes the pressure off what you create, but it also does take time away from creating. Our wide-ranging conversation also touches on rituals, capitalism, and what Daniela is currently working on. Tune in to hear it all!

Launch by Daniela Garcia
Launch by Daniela Garcia

Key Points From This Daniela Garcia Episode:

  • Where Daniela was in Mexico recently and what the province she was in is like.
  • Insights into the farm Daniela’s family has in Mexico.
  • This was Daniela’s first grant that she applied for, and she won.
  • Where Daniela was when she found out that she won the grant.
  • Daniela’s artistic process and why she feels so passionate about shedding light on what is happening at the border.
  • There is so much money to be made off of what is happening with immigrants.
  • Why Daniela makes such non-confrontational work.
  • The symbolism that is present in Daniela’s work.
  • There are so many people who are hurt and traumatized and they are taking it out on others.
  • Hear about what gives Daniela the most hope.
  • If you buy into the capitalist idea, there is a winner takes all mentality.
  • The students Daniela is teaching and what her teaching philosophy is.
  • Difficulty Daniela had in the first year of teaching a balancing teaching and her art practice.
  • What Daniela’s art production process looks like.
  • How Daniela markets her work and how she uses social media.
  • Daniela’s thinking around how she prices her work.
  • What Daniela is currently working on; exploring rituals.

“Because I teach full-time, I usually use all my vacation time for just my art practice.” — Daniel Garcia [0:17:54.0]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

“Everything that’s happening at the border, all the suffering, it’s just a façade for, in reality, making money.” — Daniel Garcia [0:23:59.0]

El Mercado by Daniela Garcia
El Mercado by Daniela Garcia

Scott "Sourdough" Power

Scott “Sourdough” Power is the the creator and executive producer of NotRealArt.com. He is also the co-founder of Crewest Studio a digital media company in Los Angeles dedicated to creative culture and the $2T creative economy.