Irvine, CA, USA
My name is Daniela. I am a mother of a beautiful 9-year-old girl. I was born and raised in Mexico City but have lived in other countries, including Australia and Belgium. Currently, I live in Southern California and have been living here for the past 14 years.
My love for art and creativity started very early on. My grandfather and father used to paint as a hobby, and I grew up watching them immerse themselves for hours into their pieces. I did not necessarily pursue the visual arts for many years. I ended up going to a culinary arts school, which, at the time, was my preferred way to show and use my creativity. I just never thought I was good enough to paint and with life and work, I barely put in the time to really start and practice.
After a divorce and broken abusive relationships, I was in a very dark place a couple of years ago. Nothing was giving me the necessary healing and meditation that I needed to process such losses. Also, as a single mom, I wanted to process my emotions in a healthy way as I knew that my daughter was always watching. So then, I started to paint. In the beginning, it was on Sundays. I and my 7-year-old would grab paints and sit together for hours. It eventually became a weekly routine and one of our most cherished time of the week.
Painting became my therapy. A place to connect with myself. My emotions. I felt free and untamed but also afraid and shameful. Every week something different would happen, I would cry, get mad or simply mediate while watching a white canvas change with emotional colors and shapes. After a couple of years of doing this, I decided to start a page for my art and a place where people like me could get inspired to express their emotions and process their feelings thru painting.
She-wolf was born out of love and determination; an avenue where I was able to express and work through life's wonderful and painful experiences by channelling my most inner passions and emotions into color and form.
And like this wonderful quote by Stella Adler says: "Life beats down and crushes the soul and ART reminds you that you have one." That is exactly what made the She-wolf brand exist.
Art has been the medium of my transformative and healing journey. Therapy that includes no words but speaks loud into your soul. I decided it call my page She-wolf because since my daughter was a little girl she had a particular obsession with wolves; with this in mind, (on top of getting every cool wolf souvenir throughout the years), I started to learn more about them and the mysterious and powerful symbol of wild guardianship, ritual, loyalty, and spirit that they represent.
Wolves can make quick and strong emotional attachments, and often need to trust their own instincts. Thus, they teach us to do the same, to trust our hearts and minds.
I believe that we are all called to create. It is in our DNA. Since we are born, there is an innate ability and passion to make things out of our imagination. This could be to solve problems, to make life easier, or just to make life more beautiful and pleasurable.
What makes art so special and powerful is the unique emotions and energy that the artist puts in what she or he is creating. This passion or emotion cannot be taught. Yes, practice and technique can be important and helpful in putting together a piece, but the essence of the artist – the magic-- is the thing that makes it come alive and wonderfully unique.
I did not go to art school, but I consider myself a very sensitive person. I think this intensity of emotions is the motor that pushes me to create- to express. With that sensitivity- which can be a blessing and a curse in itself -- I enjoy and endure all kinds of intense emotions. It is hard to describe it but sometimes I literally feel like a water balloon ready to burst. Sometimes it is an explosion of tears of joy and sometimes tears of deep sorrow.
Since I became a mother, it has been especially hard because now my heart literally walks outside of me. As a mom, I struggle to have a sense of control over my feelings, but at the same time, I want to allow myself and my daughter to see and learn what it means to experience and process every joyful win or dreadful situation. It is a constant battle. One of the ups and downs and brutal honesty and commitment for the love that I have for her. Depression is a shadow that follows me. When I think that I have mastered it, somehow it reassures me that I have not. But what I know for sure is that it doesn’t stay for long. That those feelings eventually subside and that good times come after it. I have also learned how to manage it, and this is where painting has come to me as a precious tool to soothe my soul.
My dream is to be a mother that inspires my child to follow her passions, to be true to herself and to show her that beautiful things can come out of broken places. That somehow there is hope when you feel like your dreams are lost. That you can reinvent yourself if you have failed.
My dream is to help other women that have experienced abuse and depression to find an avenue to express their feelings, to believe in themselves again. My success is no success until I know I can make a difference in someone’s life. Slowly but surely with a lot of work I took the leap to show up - not only as a woman and a mother, but as an Artist, and I hope to one day have enough resources and time to do help others do the same!