Dania Olivares

I am a self-taught emerging mixed media artist borne in McAllen (Texas) and raised in small border town in Mexico called Diaz Ordaz. At the age of 15 I moved to Monterrey (Mexico) to continue my education, where I finished High School and later obtained a Bachelor Degree in Economics from el Tec de Monterrey. As an economist I began my professional career working in two, private own, financial institutions and dedicated 8 years of her life.

The last 4 years I worked as a Finance Manager lived thru many stressful periods, working all-nighters, skipping meals and I was always late to my social gatherings. I do not regret the experience of working in banking but after my son was born I needed to take a different direction in my life.

In 2011 my husband I decided to move to McAllen and start a new life with our baby, we were fortunate to count with the support of my parents while we settled in our new home. I spent the first month’s job hunting for positions similar to what I worked at in Monterrey until finally a position proposal at another financial institution was offered to me, doing the same thing I had been doing for 8 years in Monterrey.

I was extremely hesitant of accepting the offer, it would have meant returning to my old life in a different city, and after careful thought and with the full support of my family I decided to decline the proposal. We still needed the money so I had to come up with an alternative way of income, and by some sort of destiny while I was pondering my options in a coffee shop with my sister I learned of a small art festival in McAllen. That was the moment I decided to give my childhood dream an opportunity.

I had a small collection of acrylic paintings and 40 dollars remaining in my savings that I used to pay the festival fee and some canvas. Due to the lack of tools and color variety I began using recycled materials. A month later I was setup with just a chair and a folding table in my first Art festival in McAllen, called Art Walk, I had no idea of the type of response that my paintings will get but I was committed to my dream. I was surprised at the people response to my art work and felt encouraged, I made enough money to re-invest and buy more supplies.

Following the McAllen Art Walk my next step was to look for other Art Festivals where I could showcase my work and 5 years later I have become a regular in Art Shows in Austin and have participated in some in Houston. Now I’m trying to establish my own art brand and have increasingly become known throughout South Texas for my use of vibrant colors, my trees with crystal leafs and my Wood Hearts with inspirational quotes.