We had the good fortune of connecting with Zaskia Villa and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Zaskia, can you share a quote or affirmation with us?
One of my favorite quotes is one by Henry Miller: “To make living itself an art… that is the goal.” This quote is very much a philosophy for living as an artist; it’s a reminder that you can gather inspiration from just about any situation. For example, it’s common for me to go through dry spells when I’m not being called to create. These ‘silent periods’ used to scare me into thinking they reflected a deficiency of sorts; however, this quote changed my perspective. I’ve now given a name to the dry spells (‘silent periods’) to make them more poetic and use that time to shift my focus from expressing myself to listening to the world around me. I focus on absorbing information by reading books, listening to music/podcasts, and by listening intently to the people I interact with. I feel everything as deeply as possible. I pay attention to the fact that I’m alive. I recharge my battery. This way, when I’m back to creating, I have much more stored within me to express, and I never let go of seeing life as an art. I’ve kept the art within me, brewing, waiting for its time to be shared. The more I live this philosophy, the more I learn that I have control over my perspective… and the perspective I choose, more often than not, is to see living as a practice, as a craft, as an art.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
The message I want to share as an artist has always been more important to me than the medium through which I share it. My greatest passion comes from analyzing myself and processing what it means to be alive and conscious… or better yet, what I want it to mean. Being mentally, physically, and spiritually involved in the constant death and birth of self that happens in my mind is the most significant part of my creative process. I tell stories of what I learn on my journeys inward through music, photography and videography. I’m grateful that I’ve had the time and opportunities to wake up to the experience of being and want to inspire others to look within and learn that their minds are extraordinarily powerful. I want to help others realize that we are more in control of ourselves than we’ve been led to think.
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?
<In a post-pandemic world> Breakfast at the Cup Cafe inside Hotel Congress. A walk around the Sweetwater Wetlands trail. A picnic at Catalina Park with lunch from Tumerico. An evening stroll around downtown Tucson. A nighttime drink at Tough Luck Club. Breakfast at Welcome Diner. Late afternoon hike up Tumamoc Hill. Lunch at Lovin’ Spoonfuls. Evening film screening at the Loft Cinema. Dinner at La Cocina. Hangout there, too. Check out the art gallery and shops. Morning coffee from Coffee Times. Morning walk around the Loop. Brunch at Blue Willow. Afternoon/early evening drive up Gates Pass. Dinner at Caruso’s. Nighttime drinks at Hotel Congress/Club Congress. Morning coffee from Cafe Luce. Stop by Bookman’s to look for good reads. Lunch at Illegal Pete’s. Nighttime drive-in theatre down by the Annex. Drinks at the Good Oak Bar. Breakfast at home, visit the Sonoran Desert Museum. Lunch at the Hub. Afternoon stroll through downtown art galleries. Ice cream from Hub Ice Creamery. Evening show at the Fox Theatre. Drinks at Congress (my favorite).
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’d like to dedicate my shoutout to my mentor and former boss, Matt Warnock. I met Matt as I was coming right out of college and transitioning into the world of adulthood. He gave me the opportunity to work for his company, as well as provided me with the resources to take my art to the next level. It’s because of him that I picked up my first guitar and finally had a medium through which to share my voice. It’s because of him that I was able to utilize programs like Adobe Creative Suite to fulfill my personal, freelance projects. This helped me get my name around and establish connections with other creatives in the community. Not only that, Matt’s belief and confidence in me was instrumental in my process of growing, both personally and artistically. It’s one thing to believe in yourself, but to have someone so present and willing to help you learn how to support yourself is unlike anything else. I know that a lot of my current accomplishments have been aided by Matt’s generosity and I am eternally grateful. There is something to be said for the people that come into our lives to water us with the knowledge they’ve accumulated on their journeys. A simple thank you could never do. I’ve been inspired by Matt’s mentorship and kindness and hope I can fulfill the same role for someone else someday. His support has played a major role in my journey as an artist. I am overwhelmed with gratitude.
Youtube: Zaskia Natalie Villa