by Ramona Pilar
Claps and Cheers is a column dedicated to honoring pioneers and visionary storytellers who have forged their own path in their creative careers. This month we focus on honoring one’s own reality as seen through the work of Soraya Membreno, Vickie Vértiz, and Vanessa Angélica Villarreal.
I gotta be honest. At the risk of sounding snarky, I don’t like a lot of stuff right now. I mentioned this to a friend of mine the other day and he said, “But… you don’t like most things.” And yeah, it’s true. There isn’t a lot of stuff out there that I can say that I like, much less love and feel passionate about. The older I’ve gotten, the less connected I feel to the culture in which I live because I still don’t see myself reflected in it.
I used to be inspired by the concept of “paint[ing] my own reality,” this idea that if I don’t see myself reflected in the art and culture around me, it’s my job to produce it, to fill that niche. Keeping inspired, keeping focused, keeping in touch with what I now see as an idealistic philosophy has proven to be challenging, to say the least. There’s the reality I want to create, and the one in which I have to live and work and try to earn money and sustain myself. More often than not, I find they are at odds with each other which makes it difficult to have faith in my ability to communicate a reality that I know exists, even if I don’t see it in the world around me.