“You can find creative atmospheres everywhere, but you have to search for them.”
Meet Damaris Paz. She is mixed-media artist who moved from Sileom Springs, a small town in Arkansas, to Clovis in February. Sileom Springs is home to nearly 15,000 people.
I first mentioned Damaris in my post about Nick from the one-man band, Restaurnaut. I was really curious about this girlfriend he spoke of, since she made the big trip from Arkansas with him.
FROM SMALL TOWN TO CLOVIS
Damaris says she wanted to move out of her small town long before her boyfriend, Nick, decided to move to Clovis. She says she wanted to move to a city with more opportunities and where people were more open to art and different ideas. “I was willing to get out and it didn’t matter where,” Damaris says. Damaris says she assumed that Clovis would be the typical vibrant city in California she heard about in Arkansas.
After the move, Damaris says she quickly realized that the Fresno area was very similar to Sileom Springs. “I mostly see people who are struggling to survive like everywhere else,” Damaris says. Though Fresno is like home, it isn’t home yet. “I feel like a foreigner here,” she says.
Damaris thinks that Fresno and Clovis are designed in a very choppy manner. In Sileom Springs, she says, nature and man-made buildings are integrated very well. In the Fresno area, Damaris says, agriculture, nature and the city life are far more separated.
Damaris says she misses the small-town feeling of Simeon Spring, but doesn’t regret moving to Clovis. “It’s been an experience I will cherish.”
Damaris’ creativity stems from her childhood. Her father was a carpenter and had his own shop. Damaris says she was attached to her father as a child and watched him make furniture with his hands. Her parents exposed Damaris to different cultures, from her dad’s taste for all things French to her family’s Hispanic and Italian heritages. This has given her a broad perspective on art. “Everything inspires me,” Damaris says.
Damaris’ style of art has changed drastically over the years. She says before her art was very conservative. She mostly drew realistic pictures and strove to make a great masterpiece. Her art then reflected her personality. “Before, I was really awkward and I couldn’t figure out why,” she says. “I realized I was trying to be someone else.” After Damaris met Nick, she tried to be herself more. To-day she experiences with different mediums. She still draws very detailed pieces, but they are more abstract.
Damaris tries to understand emotions through art. Many of her pieces display people and their behavior. “I feel as if humans are more destructive than constructive,” Damaris says.
Damaris and I had a difficult time classifying which category her art falls under. Take a look at her art pieces below. How would you describe it? Either way, I think they are absolutely lovely!
PLANS AS AN ARTIST
Damaris says she doesn’t like putting her art out there. She is her greatest critic and is not completely pleased with most of her work. She wants to focus on what she calls her creative process. She’s still getting settled in Clovis and recently got a job at a dollar store and plans on going to school. In her free time, she wants to explore Fresno and network with local artists. She says she thinks she can find a lot of other creative people in Fresno. “You can find creative atmospheres everywhere, but you have to search for them.”
“I don’t fame,” she says, “I want to people to appreciate my art and have it.”
FOR MORE ART
Damaris and Nick have a blog. You can see more of their art and photography.
Nick is not only a musician but a fantastic artist too! You can check out Damaris’ Flickr to view his art.
Have a lovely day in Fresno!