Puerto Rican Women Killing It in the Independent Art Scene: Natalia Villarejo (La Misi)

With the internet being so easy to access, it has become easier for independent artists to find an audience and let their work be known. As a result, a variety of movements, collectives, and scenes have found a way to pave their path. The independent art scene in Puerto Rico is no different. Recently, many artists from a variety of disciplines have found platforms that have made it easier for them to share their work. In addition, small businesses such as Electroshock in Santurce and Rio Piedras, bars like Off The Wall in Mayaguez, book stores like La Casita Books and Gifts in Aguadilla, Libros AC in Santurce and Libros 787 online, and independent festivals like Feria de Libros Independientes y Alternativos and Tintero: Festival de Cómics y Arte Independiente de Puerto Rico have provided up-and-coming artists a space to display their talents. “Puerto Rican Women Killing It in the Independent Art Scene” is a series of  interviews that provides a glimpse at some of the women who have recently gained recognition in the art scene. Though the artists are asked similar questions, some are asked queries surrounding their work, specifically.

Natalia Villarejo, also known as La Misi, is an actress, dancer and designer.

What got you into the radio?

I was offered to be on the radio through an instagram follower who is also a producer. She was a fan of my content and offered me the job.

What got you into acting?

I was born in a family of actors, magicians and performers; my great grandfather was illusionist and magician Richardine, my grandmother was actress Margot Deben and my aunt is Angela Meyer. Acting is part of my nature. I was always performing as a child as a young adult studying theater was my main focus. After college I have worked mostly doing film.  On stage or in front of a camera acting is my true passion.

What got you into pole dancing?

I did a lot of musicals, but there was one that I did one song on the pole that stuck with me for over 10 years. One fine day I decided I wanted to become a professional pole dancer and an instructor. I made a plan to go study, learn, train and get certified thus becoming a pioneer in the pole community in Puerto Rico and master pole instructor. Pole has given me a world of opportunities.

What got you into entrepreneurship?

My father is a businessman. He works in finances and grew up surrounded by artists. He disliked the way they handled finances. As a child who demonstrated interest for the arts, he always taught me to have an executive mind. I guess for me his perspective made sense and inspired me to be strategic and business minded.     

How do you balance of it?

Planning, creating good habits, disconnecting, always improving and having fun with all of it.

How did you develop your style?

My life has been filled with many opportunities, cultures and interests. I studied interior design soon after becoming a mother almost 12 years ago. This helped me understand the art of design in a whole new sense and helped me develop my creative self. My style reflects my experiences and taste.

How has it evolved through the years?

Every stage of life has its way of communicating with the vibe and style. I guess I am in constant evolution of style. As I get more mature, my ideas are more playful and colorful.

What are some of your influences and inspirations?

Music influences me, everyday situations, life experiences. I am inspired by details, movement, clever design and playfulness.

Is there any other form of art you wish to pursue? If so, what field and why?

I love all the arts I currently pursue.

What do you think about the current state of the arts in Puerto Rico?

Puerto Rico has amazing talent. More support would be awesome, but at the same time we live in a moment in history where we have broader possibilities to create and showcase.

What do you think about the current state of the independent scene in Puerto Rico?

Too cool for school. I love what independent artists produce and the projects that are created around the independent scene.

If a young girl came up to you and said she wanted to be an artist, what would be your advice for her?

Do your best. Strive for excellence not perfection. Look at failures as opportunities to find solutions and do it with love.

What is your biggest goal right now?

To continue creating with passion, strategy and balance. To serve, motivate and entertain the world.

What do you seek to achieve with work?

I seek to tickle your soul, inspire and deliver excellence with what I offer


All of the pictures in this article were provided by Natalia Villarejo