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Life & Work with Desiree Ruiz

Today we’d like to introduce you to Desiree Ruiz.

Desiree, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
I’m a fashion designer, published poet and self-taught visual artist. When I was 18, I moved to Orlando from Puerto Rico so that I could pursue a career in fashion design. And I did it! I graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. Yet beyond fashion, since I can remember, I have always painted, drew, and wrote. I don’t think I can tell you exactly at what point in life I decided that I would dedicate to different branches of art, in reality, I don’t recall. I do remember that in college, besides making gowns and dresses that would later walk down the runway during Orlando International Fashion Week, I also wrote poetry during my free time, which I kept secret as I wrote them just for myself. But then, after graduating college, I traveled with my family for the first time to Barcelona, ​​where I discovered the poetry book of Spanish poet Patricia Benito, whose way of writing absolutely blew my mind away. Reading her book was the push I needed to dare and gather all my poems and illustrations, put them together in a manuscript, source and contact a great variety of publishing houses and finally publish my own poetry book.

A year later, my book, “El Hechizo de la Amapola”, had been published and was already for sale in different platforms. I was ecstatic! From then, I became fully involved in the art industry. I started working in art galleries as an art consultant while also volunteering in museums as a docent. Being constantly surrounded by art, exhibitions, artists, and so many art enthusiasts made me reconnect with that side of myself that had not painted for years. That was when I began to paint again, teaching myself different techniques and different mediums, working day and night to keep my portfolio afloat, managing to exhibit some of my works at the Orlando International Airport, at the Orlando Museum of Art, at City Arts gallery located in Downtown Orlando and at local businesses such as Sitting Swan in Downtown Credo. As I’m working on my art career, I’m also currently putting things together and preparing to launch my Ready-To-Wear clothing line, Desiree & Denise. Denise, for my sister. The brand will have a focus on women’s evening wear. In fact, the brand already has a social media presence (@desiree_y_denise). Hopefully, very soon, I’ll be sharing progress on the first collection. I am constantly giving myself projects to pursue. If I am not working on a new painting, I’m most likely designing and creating clothes or vice versa. I don’t really see myself doing anything else. I heard it out there once: “if you have a calling in life, it will keep calling you until you listen to it.”

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
It wasn’t a smooth road. Not at all. Life of course happens. My poetry book for instance, was the product of a very weird and toxic first love experience I had in college with a girl. Back then, I didn’t even realize I liked girls until I did. So that was a huge part of my life as the whole experience put my world upside down. Another struggle along the way was quitting my first job. I was unemployed for two months, I had no idea what I was going to do. I had no motivation, I even thought of moving back to Puerto Rico. But luckily, that’s when I found my job as an art consultant, which opened me so many doors later on. Then Covid happened… I was unemployed again, I applied to job after job, and while I was at it, I was also focusing on my art and my fashion design.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I work primarily with oils as a visual artist. Most of my work focuses on crystal quartz studies and female figurativism. My work seeks to shape what has always fascinated me; the hidden. My past curiosity and indulgence into divination and spiritual ascension practices —such as Tarot readings, pendulum dowsing, shadow work, and crystal healing— led me to study esoteric principles and beliefs through my art. Symbolism plays a huge part in most of my works, often connected to meanings and representations found in Tarot, crystals, fortune-telling, existence itself and its many unresolved mysteries, the afterlife, and the spiritual realm. Some aspects of my art are also referred to in my fashion design concepts.

We’d be interested to hear your thoughts on luck and what role, if any, you feel it’s played for you?
My family played a huge part in all this. Luckily, I do have an extremely supportive family, specially my parents and my sister.

Contact Info:

Image Credits:
Desiree Ruiz
Fashion photos – Brion Price

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