Vania Valdo is a newer Lake Nona area resident, having moved here from São Paulo, Brazil, in 2016 to achieve an old dream of living in America. She worked as an orthodontist, but once she discovered the artist hidden inside, her life changed.
NHN: What drove you to become an artist? When did you realize creating art was your passion?
Vania Valdo: The person I admired the most in my life was my father, and in order to share more moments with him, I decided to enroll in the painting course he was already attending, and that’s how it all started … and I was able to discover the artist hidden inside me. Art has entered in my life as music enters our soul. It penetrated so deeply into me that it became difficult to keep away from the brushes and paints, and depicting each work, I realized that I could see things with different eyes, with the eyes of the soul, which fascinated me.
NHN: What was one of your most memorable moments within your artistic career?
VV: At some point, I realized that people admired my work. It was when an artist friend of mine told me to show my artwork to a curator, and she introduced me to Carmem Pousada. At that moment, I had no idea that I was meeting one of the most important curators in my country. Most surprisingly was the first day that I brought some pieces for her to see my work and she observed very carefully and after a while, she said, “I have a great opportunity for you, but to confirm, it depends on the evaluation of [a] curatorial group at the Louvre.” On hearing that my head began to spin, I didn’t know if I had misunderstood or [if] she was really talking about the Louvre of Paris…
The distinguished Carmem Pousada, representative curator of the Louvre in Brazil, began to explain to me details of what I needed to do to participate in the exhibition at the renowned museum in Paris. She chose three of my paintings, photographed [them], and we filled out the registration form together.
A fortnight later, I received a letter from the Louvre, my heart pounded. Even shaking, I opened it and was taken by a lot of emotion. The letter was signed by the president of France and the director of the Carrousel du Louvre, and it was congratulating me for being approved. Unbelievable! I jumped for joy and thanked God for the opportunity. One of the most important moments in my life. From then on, my desire to paint only increased.
I returned to Brazil and soon began receiving invitations to exhibitions around the world. I had the opportunity to be in Italy, Austria, Slovak, [the] USA (Art Expo NY and Art Basel Miami). And wherever I went, I had the pleasure to show my art for those who had the sensitivity to understand emotion, good energies, and love for life.
NHN: Which of your artwork would you consider to be your favorites? (Pick a top three.)
VV: The painting shown at [the] Louvre [titled “The Colors of Louvre”] for the obvious reasons was the work that [I’m] most proud [of]. However, other jobs are a source of great pride as well. “The Explosion of Marilyn Monroe” is one of them. I have [a] passion for painting faces and self-portraits. “The Universe Infinite” depicting the universe and the others that [were] done as a series like “Infinite on Fire,” “Infinite in Nature,” and “Infinite in Minerals.” Actually, one of my favorites is “My Protective Angel,” which is very special for me. I’ve [painted it] for my husband. I painted a couple in love, toward the heights, with open arms, like wings protecting me in a shape of a heart.
NHN: What are some of your dream projects?
VV: As I like to think outside the box, I’m working with 3D paintings. Literally, first I paint the canvas, then I do embroidery over it. New to the world of art, but almost back to the origins, it reminds me [of] my grandma embroidering and I’m teaching my students this new way of doing art and they are delighted. I give private and group classes from four years old to 70 years old. The motto of these classes [are] “discover the artist hidden inside you.” My students are enjoying [the classes] so much that I have plans to open a new school where I can share my work with a larger number [of] people and so I can spread the art and enjoyment of this emotion.
NHN: What serves as your inspiration on a day-to-day basis?
VV: I’m an eclectic artist because I like to paint what involves me in that moment of life. I love to express what I live, what I feel. In every trip I’ve done around the world, I get inspired and always want to represent what I see in the form of art. My pictures speak about my emotion. They express the intensity of my personality and also tell about my emotions. They express the intensity of my personality and tell about how light and fun I am. My art is playful, colorful, but harmonious. I’m positive, cheerful, and that is what I like to convey to my observers.
Living inside a golf course, and feeling a little of the dedication, concentration and satisfaction of the players, in the midst of beautiful, charming and calm landscapes, is very inspirational for me.
NHN: Future goals/plans?
VV: Recently, I was recommended to take the VISA for Special Abilities. I did the process with the support of my husband, and once again I was approved, without the request of evidences (which is not common), and I thank this country for having welcomed me with open arms, with great affection. I was honored and recognized for the love I have for my work. And in this way, I feel free to inspire more and more people to cross my path. So, I follow my path, dreaming and coloring life through my art.
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