We had the good fortune of connecting with Diana Calderon and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Diana, why did you pursue a creative career?
I pursued a creative career because it was the path I was headed toward organically. I have also been attracted to architecture, design, creative writing, psychology and service, or helping people- but art is an enormous umbrella where I can apply all that love. Choosing a creative career just made sense for me!
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My art is identity informed; I investigate my ancestral roots and journey as an immigrant through performance art, sculptural installations and once in a while through murals. I blend traditional and contemporary techniques while referencing archeological and architectural pattern and texture. I would like to motivate others to find their path and follow their dreams. It has not been an easy journey. Period. Some challenges I will share include feeling my support system was limited growing up, low self-esteem, social anxiety, now the occasional imposter syndrome. I know “we are all immigrants”, however- moving to the USA was a huge challenge and culture shock for me. Some of the challenges I overcame by reading, researching, changing my thought pattern to a healthy thought control. Also by practicing (anything) and being patient with myself. For instance- public speaking was paralyzing, especially in a classroom as a student. Two decades later I can proudly speak in public in front of crowds and actually enjoy it! I like to think positive with a growth mindset and to learn continuously from myself and from others.I like to create art, and I like to help others. Helping others is the reason I am also in the field of education.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Shoutout Arizona is to celebrate others! I would like to give credit and dedicate my shoutout to: My parents- both are so handy and creative. We migrated to the USA in the 80s. My grandmother- who is quirky and knows how to make things happen. My sister & brother-in-law. My supportive extended family. My 7th grade art teacher (Mr. Glover). My high school art teacher for constantly guiding, believing in me and entering my work in competitions (Mrs. Turner) even if I did not want to. Congressman Silvestre Reyes for sponsoring my congressional award. Shout out to my peers, friends, all my past students. All who gave me a chance, have bought my art or hired me. Lastly, all the kind, genuine people un afraid to be themselves; because you inspire me.
Images by Katie Ann Franklin, 2020 Fernando Hernandez, 2020 Efrain Robles, 2018