We had the good fortune of connecting with Ana Sofía Castañón and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ana Sofía, how do you think about risk?
I’ve been taking risks from the beginning of my career, although I really don’t think about them as risks, more as facing fears, I’ve become a “fear facer”. If something makes me uncomfortable or makes me hold my breath for a few seconds, I know it is probably an opportunity for growth, so I will most probably walk towards the situation that is making me feel this way. I actually do this in everyday life situations, I used to be scared of spiders, so I went to a pet store and held a tarantula; I’m not walking around petting tarantulas whenever I see one; where I live it’s quite normal to come across them, I just see them in a completely different way now. I admire them, pretty amazing creatures.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Finding myself through art. I was broken, I was so broke I couldn’t feel; nor happiness or sadness. Somewhere along the path I got lost, I forgot who I was, I felt I was sleepwalking. Then one day I felt the need to paint, not because I would make something great that belonged in galleries, just because I needed to do something for myself, I needed to take a look at myself again, I needed to make something beautiful for me; I believe I was looking for anything beautiful within myself, I needed to remember who I am. So I started to paint on a daily basis, 15 minutes at first; objects in my house monstly, and as time passed and days turned into months, and months into years, 15 minutes turned into hours a day of painting. Creating art was the way I came back to feeling, and it is an important tool to keep myself healthy. Through art I’ve found a way to heal, to be present, to feel. I explore concepts that are invisible to the eyes and feel magical to paint. I want my work to honest, be a place where people feel safe, where they feel inspired, where they are heard; I wish for others to heal too. to know they are not alone.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
First I would ask my friend to take off their shoes on the first opportunity we had to walk barefoot, to really be here. We’d start the day by doing yoga while the Great Kiscades sing on our backyard; tea or coffee would follow. There is a beautiful restaurant called Sirena Morena where we would have the most delicious vegan PanCakes while we planned the next few days; it is always my first stop with visitors. Visiting us means a big dose of nature, we will take you on a full Caribbean ride. One day will definity be spent on the boat at sea. Cancun has the most beautiful blue waters, anywhere from turquoise to emerald and we like to see these colors from underwater; freediving is our way. I freedive to meditate, Nacho my husband, does it to catch our food, so fresh fish is on the menu when we go to the sea; Ceviche is our favorite meal to share these days. A stop to chill at Isla Mujeres is on the itinerary, here the water is so shallow and the sand so white, the water is as turquoise as can get. Getting back to Cancun will mostly happen at sunset, this is one of my favorite parts of the day; we’ll set anchor and enjoy the sun going down and the clouds turning colors while keeping quiet and listening to the calm. Other days we’ll visit Cenotes, there are so many to choose from; open cenotes, cave cenotes, some you can scuba, some you can freedive, touring cenotes can take days and it is always a unique experience. A day we could drive to Tulum, visit Holistica, have a pizza at Margarita and spend the day at the beach. Such a beautiful place. I’m greatly inspired by nature, living here surrounded by water and jungle has been life changing. Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
To start I’d like to recognize my parents, art and creativity was always encouraged at home, that played a big role in me becoming an artist; from early age they noticed I had the need to communicate by creating with my hands, so they provided the tools needed for me to explore different mediums; from classes to art supplies. I came back to painting and taking it seriously at my mid 30’s, by this time I was married with two kids. My husband has encouraged my art path from the start and has always motivated me to be true to myself and keep on creating.