I recently had dinner with a successful blogger friend of mine. We were discussing that traditionally latino parents hardly ever support a career for their children in the arts. As women continue to rise, latina women are on the front line, conquering more than just traditionally approved careers. Not being contrary to our tradition, but more like upgrading tradition. Enter Sylvia Blanco, a Houston based painter and muralist thriving in the city’s art scene.
Art is dear to me, so when my photographer friend Lindsay mentioned her friend Sylvia and her body of work around Houston, I immediately wanted to know more about her. Somehow Lindsay helped me score a rendezvous with this busy lady.
Sylvia painted her first painting in 2010, but has been drawing and doodling since a very young age. She is of Mexican descent, and you can see the rich Mexican Folk Art influence in her work. She uses a mixture of realism among other art styles which makes it impossible to place her under one category of art. She pays great homage to the iconic Frida Kahlo.
As I studied her art, I noticed there was a strong woman’s essence in all her paintings. The soft spoken lady in front of me has a very strong voice. I was hearing it through her art, and so will you. I asked her if she was pro-feminism. She told me that her art promotes women empowerment.
Sylvia shares a bit of her personal life with every piece of art she creates. She has also mastered a way to share strength with other women through her work by showcasing us in the way we wish we could showcase ourselves to the world. From our beauty, heartbreak, anger and passion, to our love.
As the day continued we moved our interview from her studio to a quick lunch to a tour of some of her murals and favorite murals by other artists around Houston. It was awesome, Houston’s top murals being presented to us by a local muralist. A Htown lover’s dream. Sylvia has worked side by side with talented local and international artist through different opportunities such as HUE Mural Fest, but she confessed that it took a lot of courage to follow her dreams. It was all about that first step she said and once she took that step she found growth. She praised her employers for being supportive of her. She said that as soon as the opportunity opened for her in the art scene she put in a two week notice. She charmingly said to her employer “I have to leave. I have to ride the wave.” And ride the wave she did. She currently has art in some of the most popular mural spots in Houston. She is also an animal lover, and if you reach out to her for a portrait of your fur baby, she will be happy to assist, and you will be far from disappointed.
Sylvia is the real deal. Currently leaving her mark around one of the biggest cities in the country.
Sylvia was a pleasure to interview for you guys. I hope you enjoy this woman as much as I did, and I hope she inspires you as much she inspires me. While interviewing her, she stopped answering my questions to encourage me to follow my own dreams. In that moment I realized this lady was about her talk.
Big thanks to her for allowing me in her world. Another special thanks to my friend Lindsay, up-and-coming photographer and supporter of women everywhere. These ladies walk the walk. Follow them, embrace them, and for the love of art, get you a piece of Blanco Art.
Photography by: Lindsay Kay