One of the things that inspires me the most to create my art is music, any type of music. I’m also really inspired by vibrant colors, mainly neons. When I first discovered my hidden talent,
I wanted to express and share emotions through paintings. One of my favorite technics for painting is splashing paint. That’s how I express my love of art in a painting.
What does success look like to you?
I feel that success is measured in different ways, it all depends on the person. Success for me looks like getting my art known in the fashion industry and the art community. For people to recognize me not just for my personality but for my talent and what I create.
How do you manage the competitiveness of the art community?
When I first started painting I used to look at other artist’s work and I used to feel intimidated but then I realized that if I continued to look at other people’s work, I will never find my own. Sometimes our worst enemy is our own mind. Yes, we can use other people’s work as an inspiration, but that doesn’t mean that we should copy them completely. I believe that everyone has an artist inside and the difference between an actual artist and a person that doesn’t create any type of art is that we execute and others don’t. I manage the competitiveness in the art community by staying in my lane and by being true to myself.
What does the style of a hat really tell you about a person?
Well, since hats go way beyond 100 years, a hat can say a lot about a person. I believe that a hat can be an extension of someone’s personality. It can also indicate a person’s sense of fashion. For example, a baseball cap is more for casual, sporting or laid back look but nowadays it can also be dressed up. Fedora hats give a classic, sophisticated look, but could also be worn as street headwear. It is very important not to make assumptions or stereotype based solely on someone’s choice of hat.
Tell us about your most proud project to date.
I am super proud of all of my projects. There’s not one that is more than the other, they are all equally proud moments for me. What I am truly most proud of is the people who have reached out to me because I have inspired them to follow their dreams. Technically, it is not a project, but it’a a major accomplishment for me and nothing makes me more proud that inspiring others.
Where would you like to see your company in five years?
I would love to see my company in five years collaborating with celebrities, different brands and retailers. Helping artists from the Dominican Republic and others to find their pathways to success. Expanding to new markets, bringing opportunities and opening doors for people of color and minority. Helping communities in need and inspiring the new generation of artist and youth.
MY NAME IS SMILE URENA, I WAS BORN IN THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC AND RAISED IN NEW YORK. GROWING UP I WAS ALWAYS INTO FASHION, COLORS AND DESIGN BUT NEVER KNEW WHAT TO CREATE OR DO WITH THEM. IN MY CASE I WAS GRATEFUL AND BLESSED TO HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO FIND MY HIDDEN TALENT DURING QUARANTINE. MY INTENTION WAS TO SHOWCASE ALL THE DIFFERENT THINGS YOU CAN DO AND CREATE WITH THE PAINT, BUT PEOPLE HAD OTHER PLANS. SO FAR, I HAVE DONE MORE THAN 100+ CUSTOM PIECES AND ABSTRACT EXPRESSIONS; I LOVE EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM. UNTIL THIS DAY, I’M STILL LEARNING ON THE DAILY BASIS. I HAVE NOT FOUND MY FULL POTENTIAL BUT I AM ON A HUNT TO FIND IT.
Heart & Soul recently sat down with Tiffany Hightower Executive Director at ILLINOIS LEGISLATIVE BLACK CAUCUS FOUNDATION Tell us about your conference. The Illinois Legislative Black Caucus Foundation will host its Annual Legislative Conference the […]