Campus Artist: Maria Herrera

Meet Maria, she is an art major at VSU who is passionate about her work.

Where are you from?

 I grew up in Mexico’s beautiful state of Guanajuato then I moved to the United States where I finished high school and I now attend Valdosta State University.

What is your major?

When I started college, I was biology major but after taking my first drawing class in college I realized art was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I pondered about it for a while and decided to change my major to Bachelor of Fine Arts and add a second major in foreign language education.

What is your classification?

I am a senior.

What kind of art you like the most?

 I have two favorite art styles, realism and surrealism. Most of the time I enjoy combining them in my work.

Tell us more about your artwork?

 I like to focus on mental disorders. Usually but not limited to those common in teenagers. In my last series I chose to portray the bodily effects of the insecurities caused by pressure in society and the media. I focused on the girls’ figures in order to show internal pain caused by anorexia and bulimia nervosa. Exposing her bones, I manipulated their bodies to make them appear powerless and abandoned. In this way, I not only showed their physical frailty, but also the emotional weaknesses. In some pieces, the girl is shown embracing a skeleton, which is a symbol for death. As I drew their face expressions, I did not intend for them to look frightened, instead I sought for a calm yet profound look.

What inspires you the most?

 Most of my inspiration comes from my surroundings and my personal experiences.  

What is the hardest part about being an art major?

 I think the hardest part of being an art major is managing your time correctly, especially for studio classes. It is very easy to leave everything for last minute but in art, last minute artworks never turn out well.

What is unique about being an art major?

 The best part of being an art major is doing what you love. When I work in my artwork it’s not just one more assignment to turn in for a grade, it’s putting my emotions in a canvas and expressing my thoughts and ideas through it. 

How do you feel about your accomplishments so far?

I’m never satisfied about my accomplishments.

What are you plans after graduation?

 I plan to use my second major to get a job as a Spanish teacher in a high school and teach my language and culture while I work on my master’s in art. Later, I want to use my master’s degree to teach art on a college level.

Tips for any artists out there?

 Like Pablo Picasso said, “Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.”

Follow Maria on Instagram:  @mari_art25