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Meet Nathalia Estrada Figueroa

Today we’d like to introduce you to Nathalia Estrada Figueroa.  

Hi Nathalia, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
As an audiovisual artist, art therapist, and teacher, my path has been kind of diffuse, always navigating the same way and exploring fine arts, plastic arts, visual arts, human development, but landing until now and realizing that what I want to dedicate myself for the rest of my life has a name and it is called “Audiovisual Workshop”. I am originally from a border city, full of many cultural riches that keep me generating ideas 24/7. My story is somewhat fragmented but there are many key points that bring together who I am now: 

My creative life begins with my maternal grandmother. My parents worked all week so my sister and I stayed at my grandparents’ house. I loved sitting in the kitchen next to my grandma every day at 6 p.m. listening to a radio show called “La Mano Peluds” where they narrated horror stories, most of which I didn’t understand well, but I loved to see my grandma’s incredible performance. Also, the way she communicated and said things so transparently was phenomenal. My grandma gradually lost her sight until she was blind and at the end of her days without memory due to Alzheimer’s. But her occurrences lasted a lifetime. She accompanied me to draw and her lines were so firm and clear, she made houses and cats as she loved them. She was an excellent cartoonist. 

My cousin and I used to figure out what story we were going to play on that day. Every day was different, being my cousin and older than my sister, sometimes we agreed to make fun, scare or make my sister guess. My cousin was like today’s YouTube tutorials, he was my teacher who taught me how to draw. We drew Pokémon, he had a very good sense of drawing and he explained it to me. Later, on a small stage, my cousin, my sister, and I wrote songs about family events that we observed at the moment. We found a rhythm and sang them. 

On the other hand, my dad took pictures of my sissy and me every day. When he rested, on weekends, he created sets at home, took pictures of us, and guided us. He was very skilled at giving us different props, sometimes he designed them to make the photos look sense. 

As a child, I was happy painting and drawing in my coloring books. Once in elementary school, we finished coloring a Thanksgiving picture. The teacher helped us to put them on the wall to appreciate them. A friend pointed to my drawing and said “That drawing looks like it’s printed” because of the color technique. My inspiration in terms of color has always been the Disney classics. The movie that I have seen the most times in my life that I remember the astonishment that it caused me since I was 4 years old is Mary Poppins (1964). I wanted to be Mary Poppins and dance with penguins. 

But well, what would become of an artist without order? Here comes my mom. She has been a person who has instilled in me communication, leadership, and planning to achieve goals, and just as she says she is, I also consider myself a persevering person. By imitation, the vice for lists is born, the generation of projects, the workaholic, the resolution of problems that in a few words is creativity. 

I will do a fast forward to adolescence only highlighting the careers that I was interested in studying in high school: Architecture, Graphic Design, and Cinematography. What will it be? 

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Life is more than a fairy tale? Maybe but I enjoy living it as if I lived in one. Sometimes with “nonsense” like Alice but the rest with surprises and magic where my godfather is Santa Claus and my allies are the Easter bunny and the tooth fairy. The different levels of imagination and creativity have kept me in a state of patience, acceptance, and trust with myself. Here are the different rough episodes in my life: 

Episode 1- At five years old I was diagnosed with a brain tumor. There was a total of five operations and the sequel I had was the loss of peripheral vision on the right side of both eyes. My eyes see half. That factor was one of the factors that led me to make the decision to study cinematography. I may not be able to see the full details of the road but I decide to capture the details of my imagination. 

Episode 2- When I left high school, I applied to study Communication. I studied for a year and a half but I realized that I wanted something less theoretical and more artistic production. I worked and my first salary was to cover the enrollment of the only Cinematography career in the city at that moment. I was studying both careers at the same time, my schedule was from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Cinematography and from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. in Communication. That was the journey for 6 months until I decided to stay in the Degree in Cinematography. 

Episode 3- During my adolescence I suffered many existential falls generated mainly by another consequence of the cerebral intervention that I had in childhood. It started at age 14 and is known as spasticity and stiffness, in my right arm. This made it impossible for me to take action on several things that interested me at that time, such as playing the guitar, dancing, volleyball, and technical drawing. This has repercussions today in my professional work as an animator which makes me, not so quickly, record my own actions on video and give reference actors to interpret certain poses. Or another action I face every day is to type on the keyboard fast with both hands as I wished when I’m inspired to write a script, essay, etc. 

But this has not stopped me completely. At the teenage age when I entered into crisis and to date, I have resorted to painting, acrylic painting my favorite, to release my emotions. That is why I studied for a diploma in Art Therapy, first for myself and having already gone through the process to share it and guide people with identity crises. 

It has been a very pleasant process these 5 years that I have been teaching workshops as well as teaching classes about my career at a professional level. Just like I talked before about how much I am interested in cultivating my sense of wonder and magic with a snap of fingers like Mary Poppins (in addition to being a governess), meditation is an example of magic for me, how breathing can produce calm. I make the metaphor with art therapy where with just a few strokes you can reassess and see the problem or what disturbs you from another perspective. 

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I do collaborate with the Film Industry as an Art Director and Painter. And divide myself with different names on instagram like

1- @nathartbrush

It is my “expressive self” where the painting is the main engine that called me “The Princess of Color”.

2- @filmueca_animating

Filmueca is the pseudonym for me “me as a freelancer and creator of audiovisual content” where I experiment with materials in which I combine acrylic painting and watercolor techniques, 2d and cut out animation, rotoscoping, experimental music created with keyboard sounds- clay and paper puppets.

And finally

3- @filmueca_workshops

They are Art Therapy workshops that I teach and are part of a business that I have with my mother and sister, with whom I have been growing a lot, called CLAVE 3 (Center for Leadership, Arts, Values, and Expression). I have led these workshops through Airbnb and have had the pleasant experience of receiving people from both parts of the Border. On the social networks of this page, I also share content from the school classes I teach related to art and cinema.

Now I am studying for a master’s degree in Education. I plan to continue teaching art therapy sessions with the method of using audiovisual content designed by me that is focused on the search for identity and self-confidence. It’s an animated series called “Recorrer” in which different characters participate, including Filmueca (it’s my utopian self), Nathart (me), Sissy (my dog), among other fun and fantastic cartoon characters with whom I exaggerate reality and take them in a line to find their values and purposes.

I am proud to be able to share, create and support others to develop their creativity and transmit in images what can’t be expressed in words.

How do you define success?
Success is lived every day. It is obtaining information and data not only by storing them in the external hard drive of our brain but also in the internal one. Codifying (reinterpreting them) and learning to achieve practice, represents success for me. In 2014, before finishing my degree, I failed a subject. When taking it in a private class with a teacher, he showed me everything related to the generation of a business. I applied that knowledge to a small company called Filmueca. I participated in calls and won some awards as a local entrepreneur, had constant clients, and visited the Multimedia Creative Industry in Canada. Now I pass on all that experience to my students in class. 

All to put the theory into practice. Small achievements make great actions. 

I thank all the people who have supported me, have been patient in my times and processes, and have led me every day to be a better person; family, colleagues, friends, and students. 

Give color to your day and your path will become clear. 

Greetings, dear reader. 

Pricing:

  • $20.00 USD One session of Art Therapy per person, one hour and a half. It could be an individual or a group workshop maximum of 20 participants.
  • $350.00 USD per minute on the screen of experimental animation including storyboard, animatic, and script adaptation.
  • $20.00 USD per shot of storyboard. Includes the animatic and two changes. For any audiovisual project.

Contact Info:


Image Credits

Liliana Estrada Figueroa

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