Interview with Rocío Heredia
Interview conducted by Carla Farias
(Student, Mt. SAC - Mt. San Antonio College, Walnut California)

April 2009

Please tell me about yourself and define your style?

I am a self-taught artist living in Monterrey, Mexico. I have been an artist all my life. From a very early age, I can recall I fell in love with visual arts. I was in the chorus of my school and I loved the murals and paintings by Master Ordoñez at Corpus Christi Church. I can't define my style since I enjoy doing anything that flows from my mind. I love to experiment, and as I am very persistent/stubborn, it helps so much as I don't quit, I learn from my mistakes and I keep working.

In one of your websites you say you are looking to get in touch with other artists that are doing similar work, and that you are eager to learn more and improve your skills. Is there anybody you have in mind, or have contacted yet?

One begins on their own, but along the way you meet and study with others such as them who encourage me and believe in my work, and I feel blessed to have met them. Master Valentin Yotkov has been my main influence in Metalsmithing.

Please tell me of some of the artists who had significant impact on your artistic development.

My influences are far too numerous to list. There are so many friends and masters from the visual arts community that have been so warm and generous in teaching me and inspiring me along the way. I would have to write a small book just to thank each of them individually. Dolores Valenza, Bill Roberts, Efrén Ordóñez and Valentin Yotkov. Bruce Paul Fink was the main influence in my direction.

I understand that your work has been set in private collections in Mexico, The United States, Switzerland, Israel, Spain, Canada, and Italy. Where else are you planning to feature your work, or would like to?

Mexico is slated to commemorate in 2010, the Bicentennial of Mexican Independence and the Centennial of the Revolution, and I was invited to have a solo exhibition during its previous events. It will be held at the Secretariate of Public Education of Nuevo Leon on next may.

What inspires you to make these beautiful pieces?

Life itself has drawn a line and has been the main influence for what I do...for who I am. My artwork expresses That which my words cannot. It depends on how I feel that day, always I feel joy because I am doing what I love most in my life. But some of them I feel pain, but it is amazing how your own core can make that something adverse can have a transformation to be something beautiful. The medium of metal is an inspiration to create art, and it moves me to choose my subjects... but lately, it looks as if the subject chooses me. My Saint George series is now an inspiration for some to conquer their own dragons.

Do you work on them one piece at a time, or work on several at a time?

I work on a series of works at the same time.

Do you have a specific procedure or tactic you follow?

I am very critical with myself, so I try to be objective of what I am working on so I can feel the freedom to express that, what I can not say with words. I love to read and search for information about the subject that I am working on. I join my ideas and my skills to elaborate/create new designs. I do some sketches so I decide which ones are the best to develop. Also, I enjoy very much to work directly with the metal and then I create anything that can flow. I strive to show it as very detailed and precise and hear that from a viewers point it is fun to imagine what all when into it to become what it is. I find that the most difficult part is to decide when the piece is already finished. When I have that feeling of the piece is done, if I keep working, I know that I'll ruin.

How did you discover your natural talent of metalsmithing?

I started to work with metals "by accident". I got double vision from a bad eye surgery. After that, I met a new Ophthalmologist, Dr. Luis Vidaurri and he suggested me to learn to focus by doing some knitting or something else... I preferred to work with repoussé technique. My visual problems have been my most faithful ally, and it was the main reason why I started to work with metals.

Do you have a "favorite" or special piece that brings you the most gratification? Please explain why?

The last one I'm working on...that's my favorite piece.  There is a special piece, "Divine Inspiration". I made this repoussé work just after an art critic said "you will never be an Artist".Time will tell. Time is the only thing that can prove that he was wrong.

One website quotes you "I do what I love most, working with metals" aside from metals is there any other material you want to work with?

I enjoy exploring what can be done with other techniques and media. I've been working in digital media, printmaking, photography, graphite drawing, acrilycs... actually I'm playing with encaustic painting... And absolutely, I love metalsmithing. Still to this day is my strongest suit.

I read on one of your websites that you evaluate sculptors' art work for the master BTDesign award. How do you evaluate their work?

I was a member of the international panel of judges for BTDesign Master Artist and Best Sculptor of the Year Award from 2002 until this Award Program was closed at the begining of 2007. We had to evaluate several points: Overall Impression, Design, Technical quality, Craftsmanship in relation to concept, Composition, Originality, Use of various materials, Expressiveness and Web presentation of the artist's work. It was a wonderful learning experience and It was an honor for me to be a part of this selected team.

Carla, thank you for your interest in my work!