Get to know new and established San Antonio artists in our Keep SA Real Artist Feature. This week we’re talking to Regine Roman, an illustration artist born and raised in San Antonio. Read her story here and see her recent work in her upcoming show Sunday, August 8th at Silkworm Studio.
How long have you lived in San Antonio?
I’m a first generation San Antonian. My mother is from a tiny town on the Texas/Mexico border called Rio Grande City and my father is from Morelos, Mexico but I’m a born and raised San Antoniana.
What is unique about living in San Antonio?
I’ve never lived anywhere else in the states but I’m certain we have better Mexican food than most of the country, except for maybe the valley. San Antonio, despite its ” top ten biggest city ” ranking, definitely feels like a small town. People are are still, for the most part, friendly here and there’s still a strong sense of community, but it’s growing so quickly. I’m not sure it’ll stay like that for much longer.
Which mediums do you work with primarily?
I work in mostly black and white. Inks, acrylics and watercolor are my weapons of choice, although recently I’ve started playing around with digital illustration and airbrushing. It’s definitely important to mix it up and experiment with different mediums, so you don’t get burnt out.
Who or what influences and inspires your work?
Most of my influences are outside of galleries and museums. I really connect with art created by and for la gente. I pull a lot from my cultural background as a Chicana, as a woman, living in San Anto. Some of my strongest visual influences are probably folk art, the Mexican muralists and printmakers, old Chicano arte estilos, graffiti culture, comic books, the punk D.I.Y aesthetic and the religious iconography that surrounded me growing up.
I don’t feel like I necessarily need to be inspired to create art. It’s more of a constant obsessive need to create, as I’m sure is true for most artists. Sometimes my work is quick, reactionary illustrations where I can offer my commentary on whatever is happening around me. For this type of work I keep an Instagram account @flojalife where I document my more spontaneous daily draws, work in progress and what my life in San Anto looks like.
Other times my work is much more complex and there’s a need to examine issues that sit deeper and give me the opportunity to challenge myself, both conceptually and technically. It’s nice to be able to switch between the two. I try to be really intentional when I’m creating and allow myself to get swallowed up by, and really honor the process, but It’s also important to be able to poke fun and not take yourself too seriously all the time.
How would you summarize the local art scene?
I have to confess that I’m a bit of a recluse and have existed and participated in the local art scene only very recently. It does feel like we are on the verge of an explosion of new arte being injected into this city. It still feels very much like a new frontier. There’s still plenty of room for the new and veteran artists/spaces to coexist and thrive. It feels very communal and supportive and as this city continues to come up, it’ll bring all of us up with it.
What are your favorite galleries or favorite art events in San Antonio?
I have a lot of love for Silkworm Studio and Gallery. They gave me my first show before anyone else would chance it and they’ve been really supportive of other artists like myself who are just starting off. There are so many great galleries in San Antonio, it’s hard to pick a favorite. Off the top of my head, the galleries that I can say have never disappointed me are Sala Diaz, R Space and Gravelmouth.
What would you like to see more of in San Antonio in support of the local art scene?
I’m always in favor of more public art project opportunities being offered to local artists. We have so many beautiful murals but I’d like to see even more art on the streets where it can be appreciated by all our gente. It’s nice to see more youth arts programs popping up, too.
When is your next show?
My next show, ‘Santa Vida,’ is days away! It’s Saturday, August 8th at Silkworm Studio and Gallery as a part of Second Saturday. I’ll be showing the first few paintings in a brand new series and they’re the largest paintings I’ve ever done. I’ll have some prints and things for sale. It’s sponsored by Freetail and we have two really talented mujeres DJs, Tear Drop and P. Cosita. It’s going to be a good time, I’m really excited.
How can we purchase your work?
I’ll have work for sale at the show opening on August 8th. Anyone interested in checking it out can contact Silkworm Studio directly. I also have a big cartel page http://flojalife.bigcartel.com/. There I periodically post stickers, prints, patches, shirts and occasionally original work for sale. My Instagram page @flojalife is probably the best place to keep up with shows, new prints and things going up for sale and heads up on secret art drops I like to do periodically around San Antonio. Any commission requests can be handled through my email firstname.lastname@example.org