Artist bio. Who are you and what do you do?
Artist Mariza Ryce Aparicio-Tovar grew up around artists and makers who nurtured her creativity. Her family, who are a mix of Mexican (Wixárika and Chichimeca) and American (Mohawk) lineages, raised her with practices honoring land and relationships with the natural world. Her work explores issues of mental health and self-awareness, advocating care for our planet and ourselves, so that collectively we may experience our full potential.
Who/what inspires you?
I am most inspired by real life struggles of mental health and the challenges of existing in a capitalist/colonialist society. Much of my work comes from a place of compassion and fierce, loving support because that is what I find I need for what I experience myself and what I wish for all. The ability of our natural environment to guide and support us is by far my most powerful inspiration. I believe it can inspire us to reconnect with ourselves in a way that allows us to supersede the mental and physical obstacles set forth by the destructive culture we live in. The potential unity of people from all backgrounds because of this connection is also an inspiration.
What is your favorite moment in the process?
There is a highly-energetic moment just before the illustration process begins, where the essence/meaning of the illustration has made itself totally clear but I can't quite see the visual yet and all I see are colors - this is my favorite moment! I usually start intuitively with a few colors, which usually make up the background, and then I proceed to allow the rest to follow. It's that starting point, almost like reaching a point of no return and you can feel that the final piece already exists in another realm and it just wants to walk with you to the present.
What is a trick of your trade or a piece of advice for artists in your medium?
I would like to consider my medium deck creation and not just digital art because one can make a deck out of any medium and my advice is creation based, not medium based. As cliché as it may sound - if you feel a call to create something, go for it! Brush doubt aside. It's calling you for a reason, whether your creation becomes public or remains private, it has stories for you and you are worth it.
What is next?
I am currently working on a companion oracle deck for The Gentle Tarot and I'm very excited about it. During the creation process of The Gentle Tarot, there were many moments when I felt there needed to be cards for things not in the scope of the traditional tarot structure. This companion deck will be digging a bit deeper, opening the space for healing a bit wider, and will provide more specific perspectives for processing/integrating our feelings and experiences. I share art regularly and more details about the creation process with my Patreon community.
P.S. One of Mariza's favorite oracle decks is the Chicken Transition Oracle Deck. 🐣