Artist and designer, Mishou Sanchez lives in a state of constant creation. With her warm smile and infectious laugh, she welcomes the artistic community into her colorful world. Part studio, part gallery and part artist’s salon, her 1970’s Florida Modern home is a destination for fun and for serious art exploration. Photographed at her home in the Lake Magdelene neighborhood of Tampa.
Tell us about “El Laboratorio”, your home and studio in Lake Magdelene. It’s the name of my studio, it means “the laboratory” in Spanish. There is always experimentation with techniques, concepts and materials going on as well as a flow of visiting artists that contribute to the mix. It’s become a hub of creativity where at anytime there could be photographers, artists, writers, models, sculptors and collectors. It’s nice because it’s congruent with my personal philosophy of “living in a state of constant creation” –not just for me but for everyone who visits.
Art, Architecture and Design. Distinctly different or absolutely interconnected? Absolutely, without a doubt, connected. They are the necessary, indulgent celebration of form, line, color, beauty and the limitless capabilities of humanity. All have structure, math and–most importantly–are integral to basic life.
How has your multi-cultural background influenced your work? I am a mutt–half Latin, half white. Growing up in a Spanish home in Temple Terrace (which was mostly white at the time) taught me how to meld things to make things work. Where we come from, what we are exposed to and how we see the world goes into a blender; art is in the reinterpretation. Many of my art influences, such as Frida and Basquiat, where ethnically mixed and polyglots. Something interesting happens when cultures collide.
You were born in Tampa, moved to Portland and LA and travelled the world for ten years before returning to Tampa. How do you see Tampa today? Tampa is still learning it’s new voice and identity. It’s a big little city that is becoming more sophisticated. Sometimes we forget to celebrate our “Tampa-ness” which originally is a unique mix of Southern and Latin culture. We need to embrace what’s regionally authentic and unique instead of trying to be like everyplace else. What we need is more art everywhere that represents all of what our city is made of; all the ethnic groups and socio-economic strata. Everyone has something completely gorgeous to contribute. The world is our gallery, especially Tampa. Besides, by showcasing more work it will not only make it a cooler place to live and show off to the rest of the world but it will also cultivate a greater sense of community.
Name three of your favorite musicians to listen to while painting. Charlie Parker, Beethoven and Prodigy.
Describe a night on the town for you. I don’t go out very much but it usually involves an art show or dinner and drinks in a low-key spot with a friend or two at a corner table.
What advice would you give a young artist? Don’t focus on creating a masterpiece, let it just happen.
What is your favorite object in your house? As of late, it’s Rex the multicolored full-sized pony sculpture.
Do you have a motto? Don’t fall in love with your ideas. It will prevent you from loving others.
What will you do this year? Create as much as possible.
How do you know when a painting is finished? When do you stop quietly smiling at something you love? When all is full.
What didn’t you learn in 2012? My limits. Hope I never do. Ever.