My name is Viviana Maciel. I was born in 1987, and ever since I was a child, I knew I wanted to do something creative with my life. It all started when I began picking out my own clothes, and I could never find anything I liked. I thought that the best way to find something you really loved was to just make it yourself. I began taking apart clothes I owned to see how they were made. My mom taught me how to sew when I was 7, and I started to use this skill to fashion my own shirts and bras. Next were my Barbie dolls. I started making clothing for them, and embellishing the clothes that I liked with sequins, beads, and additional fabric. I knew then that I wanted to be a fashion designer.
This dream changed when I chose a university closer to home, which offered an amazing fine art program. I decided to become a fine artist, when my first art professor, Phil Shimko, put a pencil in my hand and taught me that if I could see, really see something, that I could draw anything. From that point on, I never stopped seeing the world in a different way. I hone in on every detail about every subject I come in contact with. I shifted my focus to drawing faces, because I am always presently surprised at how unique each person is, and how the simplest of motor movements can change a face completely. Additionally, I am fascinated how emotions always read in the face, even if every other action attempts to cover them up.
Of course, my major demanded that I explore other things, which is how I found my hobbies of painting, furniture making, jewelry making, metal crafts, origami, graphics, and so many other talents. Eventually, I graduated summa cum laude from my university, with the help of my two artistic mentors, Steve Jaskowak and Joe Jochnowitz.
As far as jobs go, I fell into an art teaching job when I was 18. I began as the assistant, worked my way up to head teacher and graphic designer, and continued all the way to heading up the fine art department. Now I write curricula, teach children and adults, manage the website, and produce all graphic and print materials for the company.
In addition, I freelance on the side, creating email graphics, handmade paper invitations, and websites. I can’t wait to see what I’ll get my hands on next.