We had the good fortune of connecting with Jazz Torrez and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jazz, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
My artistic career has always been driven by my passion for the arts and my need to create. If I’m not producing art then I feel like there’s something missing and I’m not contributing or communicating anything. In high school my artistic ability and creativity were things that set me apart from others, and I learned that my creations were something I could share with the world when words failed me. I decided to apply to art colleges, and luckily was accepted into California Institute of the Arts (CALARTS) in Valencia, California. While I was in college I realized that making art fulfills me more than anything else. That was when I knew I had to make sure I could always incorporate artmaking into my life, no matter what other occupation I had. I went into the teaching profession after college, but my artistic career was always present. I continued to make art, sell art online, do commission work, participate in gallery shows, create solo art exhibitions, and became an art vendor. I’m currently a full-time artist and designer, and I’m thankful I have the opportunity to make things I’m proud of while managing myself and having artistic freedom. To me, artistic advancement means constantly growing and gleaning skills to better myself, so I’m also in Graduate school for Library and Information Science with an emphasis on archiving. My goal is to become an archivist for an art museum. I’m interested in acquisition processes, preservation of art collections, art research, and exhibition of materials. Working directly with preserved artwork and learning the history behind special collections is something I find inspiring and beneficial to my creative future.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I work in various mediums and my artistic process includes drawing, painting, printmaking, graphic design, clothing/accessory design, and woodworking. I’m newer to woodworking in comparison to my other artistic capabilities, but I make wood signage, tables, wood wall hangings, and decorative objects for homes. Working with wood and shop tools has been an empowering experience, and I’m glad I have these skills now. I’m always open for custom orders and seeing someone enjoy their art order is what makes me keep going and it motivates me to improve. It’s also interesting to see what people ask me to create for them, like an X-Files inspired tattoo design, a band poster, a large wooden dinosaur for a kid’s room, or even a watercolor portrait of a baby hedgehog! I think what sets me apart from others is that I am adaptable and enjoy creative challenges. I’m also a Hispanic woman from El Paso, Texas that believes in contributing to diversity in the art world while advocating for more diverse representation as well. My cultural and life experiences are individual to me and the art I’ve made, and my work is unique to my story.
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?
I get super excited when I get the opportunity to show my loved ones around the area and show them what I enjoy about it. This is a list of some true gems by category: Food: Rosita’s Place for the best Mexican food in Phoenix, Mekong Plaza in Mesa for great Asian food, DeFalco’s for tasty Italian food in Scottsdale, Gold Bar for coffee in Tempe, The Shop Beer Co. for drinks in Tempe, and Cornish Pasty for special treats at any location. Live Entertainment: Crescent Ballroom, The Van Buren, Valley Bar, and Rebel Lounge for concerts and drinks. Stores: Double Nickels Collective record store in Tempe and Stinkweeds record store in Phoenix. Parks: Kiwanis Park, Papago Park, and Cosmo Dog Park. Museums: Musical Instrument Museum, Heard Museum, Phoenix Art Museum, and SMoCA.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
The main person who has always supported me and my journey into my artistic career is my mother, Liz Torrez. She’s always been a very positive figure for me throughout the years and her success and work ethic have always been admirable to me. When I feel like there’s a bump in the road or I can’t do something, she inspires me to keep trying and do my best. Back in El Paso, she was my assistant whenever I would participate as an art vendor or have to set up for a gallery show. Her love and support have never gone unnoticed and I know I owe so much to her when it comes to my success, happiness, and where I am in life.