Women with Soul: Stacy Silva
As a female-founded and run company, we revel in our ability to connect with and elevate women who are shaping our world for the better. In this series, we’ll be spotlighting some of the extraordinary ladies in our community who inspire us daily.
Meet Stacy Silva, a 28 year old artist living in Austin, TX. Stacy went to Austin Community College for drawing and painting, studying mainly under Janet Brooks. “I got into painting in 2017 because I wanted to take my art to the next level and bring more life to my work. Painting has become an integral part of my being, necessary for my self-expression” - Stacy Silva
Much of what you create are these colorful, bold portraits of women that almost feel other-worldly. Who are these women + what is the significance of
using colors like pink, blue, and green in place of skin tone colors when you are creating these portraits?
Recently I have realized how much my subconscious comes into play with my work. While I am coming up with an idea I am not always purposefully thinking about why I am creating a certain concept. Since I have started to reflect on my work more, I realized how inter-connected it is to who I am as a human. Growing up as a visibly Mexican American girl, I always felt so out of place in my mostly- white school in Bandera, TX. We moved there from San Antonio when I was 11. It is a small town deep in the hill country and is known as the “cowboy capital of the world”. I just wanted to look like the girls I went to school with, but I never could. I was always hyper-aware of how I did not look like anyone around me.
When I paint faces, I try to look for references of unconventional looking women, or I take different faces and put different features into one face. It has helped me start to view my own unique face as beautiful. People often ask me if the faces I paint are of my own, but they are usually not me. I guess subconsciously I am painting these women in my own self-image. Although I am still figuring out myself and my work, I intentionally paint women who are not bound by this earthly realm to represent the way I have felt in my own skin for a majority of my life.
- How long did it take you to develop your own painting style? How has your style evolved over time?
I have been drawing for around 9 years but have only been seriously painting since early 2017. When I first started painting, I did lots of “normal” portraits. I have probably taken 10-12 art classes in total. In class instructors want you to learn how to paint traditionally before you branch off and find your own style.
I quickly realized how boring painting traditionally was for me. Why paint something people see every day? I want to show you something you have never seen before. Learning how to paint changed my art style completely. Painting showed me what I am truly capable of as an artist. I think my concepts have gotten better in the last year or so. The thought of who I will be as an artist in 5 years is very exciting for me.
- We believe art can be a catalyst to self-discovery and self-growth. What has your art taught you about yourself? Have you felt yourself grow in unexpected ways?
I feel I am more in tune with who I am. I had a very rough time in the few years after high school and teaching myself a skill was a big part in building up my confidence. I still struggle with confidence issues but when I paint it gives me that self-worth I have been looking for. When I look at my paintings, I recognize that they reflect myself, and I am always in love with what I see. It amazes me to see how much my skill has grown in the past couple of years. When I look at a finished painting of mine these days, I cannot believe my hands painted it.
- Do you have any big projects in the works?
My newest project has to do with something I have done in the past. I used to make illustrations a few years ago and get them printed on tee-shirts/long sleeves/patches/etc. I have not made clothing in a couple years, so I decided to design some fabric. I am teaming up with my friend Paola Castillo who has a clothing line of lingerie and clubwear to make some dresses. This feels so much bigger than printing out t-shirts, so I am a bit nervous but really stoked to see the prototype come to life.
- We love hearing about how other creatives allow their work to influence their own personal clothing style, and vice versa. Would you say your art has had an impact on your style? Or that your personal style has had an impact on the way you create art?
My mom had the coolest style when I was growing up and it influenced me to dress loudly and unlike other people. Growing up it was my dream to be a fashion designer. I would buy vintage dresses and spend hours modifying them to my liking. I think spending my life trying to dress in a way that is unique to me reinforced the idea of painting in a way that’s completely true to myself.
“I aim to take you out of the ordinary. My work is linked by the use of strange and otherworldly skin colors on otherwise normal looking women. My paintings are in a way commentary on growing up as a person of color. Feeling out of place, like my skin may as well be green or blue. I work large in oils with bold contrasting colors. I connect myself to the canvas with every stroke” - Stacy Silva
To stay in the loop with Stacy's artwork follow her on Instagram