The Sabrina Hurtado Interview
I am Sabrina Hurtado. I am a young artist from Venezuela currently residing and studying in North Carolina. I began painting and creating works when I was eight in Venezuela and have gotten the opportunity and privilege to have spent most of my life living in the United States and strengthen my artistic abilities and influence on my local art community. I am currently working as a portrait photographer and portrait painter.
How would you describe the style of your work?
As a young artist, I don’t believe I have established a style yet, I am still in a stage of exploring different techniques and mediums for my goals. However, I enjoy bright colors and feminine subject matters. I tend to lean towards surrealism in my work with a variety of symbolic elements or environments that are other-worldly.
What materials do you usually use in your art?
I mostly work with a camera for portrait photography and water mixable oil paints for oil painting. I enjoy working on wood panels, canvas board, or a regular canvas for my oil painting. For my photography, I would say that 40% of my work is taking the picture and 60% is editing the picture through Adobe Photoshop. Like my paintings which have a surreal or other-worldly element to them, I try to be experimental with my photography through editing to create environments and pieces that are surreal.
What motivates/inspires you to keep creating?
Creating is ultimately what makes me happy. I know it is my passion and my purpose to create meaningful works that impact other’s lives. My art is connected to self-reflection; every time I have struggled with an area in my life, I have used my art to explore this area of confusion and communicate my internal struggles. Early in high school, for example, I was experiencing doubts about my identity and who I am. Those two years, I did a lot of self-portraiture that discussed topics like immigration, culture shock, and leaving your childhood behind. Ultimately, my work is my way of studying obstacles in my life and executed in ways that others may feel understood when I present my works.
Is there a specific moment in time when you decided to hone your abilities and follow your passion for art?
In my junior year in high school, I grew an interest in human biology and decided to explore medical fields as a career. I spent a whole semester taking STEM courses, volunteering at hospitals, and doing research on different medical fields. During that time, I did not create any work. I planned to study in a STEM career that would give me the financial stability to be able to do my art on the side. However, that was not realistic and I knew that I should choose a career path that would make me happy, passionate, and motivate me to be better. That’s when I realized that I had a passion for the arts and that I had to work hard to make my passion my career. I love what I do and what motivates me the most is my motto: “Become a better person than you were yesterday.”
What is your ultimate goal as an artist?
As a woman of color, I want to not only create beautiful portraits of a diverse array of women in our world but become a well-known Hispanic artist that other young girls like me can look up to. I want to gain enough influence to advocate for social justice for women, people of color, the LGBTQ+ community, and immigrants. Additionally, I look to keep conversing and educating others on the concept of interdisciplinary arts. This idea uses art to teach “employable skills.” This method reinforces the importance of the arts in our lives and incorporates new ways of learning into our academic institutions. I plan to accomplish these goals by leading through servant-leadership and education through my medium and platform in art.