100 Creatives

100 Creatives 2014: Sylvia Narvaez Blanco, an Artistic Hired Gun

What She Does: Sylvia Narvaez Blanco has been painting for the past four years. Drawing and doodling were always a part of her life, but it was painting that really drove her to where she is now, mostly doing commissioned orders for a variety of clients.

Her first public work was painting the side of a DMX ramp for an event with Red Bull Urban Rhythm. She's also painted a mural at the Houston Food Park on St. Emmanuel Street -- her first large-scale work -- and a second one on Navigation Street for Frenetic Theater. Aerosol Warfare Gallery, Shape of Things Art Gallery and East End Studio Gallery have all hosted her paintings in group exhibitions.

Her work is unique. It's oddly flat, like classical Japanese art, but uses strange twilight colors to give it an otherworldly edge. The minimal details allow large shaded areas to broadcast like an amp at 11, especially on the bigger pieces. It's whimsical, but darkly so.

Why She Likes It: "I love the way I feel when I paint...It's an inexplicable feeling of peace that I cannot find anywhere else. It's the only time where my heart, mind and soul are in sync. It is truly my happy place and it has taught me so much about self, opened the door to so many opportunities, has taken me out of my comfort zone, and I think it makes me a better person."

What Inspires Her: Nature, music and good friends are the things that most get Blanco going as an artist. She can draw from anywhere, but it's simple human pleasures that inspire her the most. Almost all of her personal art heroes are local talent, people like Anat Ronen, Ana Marietta, Gonzo247, Article, Black Cassidy and Katsola.

If Not Here, Then Where: "Maybe Colorado. I've never been, but I hear it's beautiful and scenic."

If Not This, Then What: if painting were off the menu, Blanco would like to pursue something like zoology. She's a big animal lover, and they feature often as subjects in her work.

What's Next: "Nothing set in stone as far as events for 2015 yet, but I will be working on my commissioned paintings for now, and those are always fun."

More Creatives for 2014 (In order of most recently published; click here for the full page).

Pureum Jo, opera singer Camilo Gonzalez, interdisciplinary artist and educator Kendall Kaminsky, playwright Christopher Turbessi, pianist Chuck Norfolk, filmmaker Reginald Smith, Jr., opera singer Luke Hamilton, dancer, choreographer and actor Jera Rose Petal Lodge, metalsmith and jewelrymaker Lauren Burke, dancer and choreographer Ben Fritzsching, comic book show promoter and character actor Will Ottinger, novelist Greg Starbird, theater lighting designer Dominique Royem, symphony orchestra conductor Marc Boone, Sneaker Gang founder and designer Andy McWilliams, sound designer and composer Maria-Elisa Heg, zine queen Allan Rodewald, artist Anne-Joelle Galley, artist Michelle Ellen Jones, ballroom dancer and actress Morris Malakoff, photographer and filmmaker Terrill Mitchell, dancer Deji Osinulu, photographer Mason Sweeney, artist K.J. Russell, sci-fi author and writing teacher Emily Robison, choreographer and filmmaker John Cramer, violinist and concertmaster Shipra Mehrotra, Odissi dancer and choreographer Winston Williams, comics artist Octavio Moreno, opera singer Dylan Godwin, actor, storyteller and teacher McKenna Jordan, independent bookstore owner Steven Trimble, mixed media artist Sandria Hu, visual artist and professor of art Robert Gouner AKA Goon73, photographer Shawna Forney and Erma Tijerina (aka SHER), culture gurus Mark Bradley, photographer James Ferry, comics artist Keith Parsons, author and philosophy professor Alonzo Williams Jr., photographer Rudy Zanzibar Campos, painter Paige Kiliany, director Betirri Bengtson, visual artist Melissa Maygrove, romance novelist Natalie Harris, bridal gown designer Larry McKee, cinematographer Tiffany Heath, filmmaker Jonathan Pidcock, Jewelry Maker Mallory Bechtel, actor, singer, dancer Janine Hughes, visual artist Nyssa Juneau, artist John Merritt, artist Leslie Scates, choreographer and dance educator Denise O'Neal, producer, director, playwright Jason Poland, cartoonist Courtney Sandifer, filmmaker, actor, writer Lloyd Gite, gallery owner Henry Yau, The Children's Museum of Houston's publicity and promotions guru Angeli Pidcock, fantasy writer and mentor Jennifer Mathieu, author Scott Chitwood, writer Anat Ronen, urban artist Amber Galloway Gallego, rockstar and sign language interpreter Michael Weems, playwright Lane Montoya, artist Jordan Simpson, SLAM poet Joey & Jaime, designers Suzi Taylor, photographer Ashton Miyako, dressmaker T. Smith, artistLindsay Finnen, photographer Kaitlyn Stanley, tattoo artist Eleazar Galindo Navarro, video game maker Kate de Para, textile and clothing designer Shawn Swanner, video game painter Andy Gonzales, painter Chris Foreman, comic book sketcher Theresa DiMenno, photographer Jessica E. Jones, opera singer Atseko Factor, actor John Pluecker, writer, poet and language justice worker Ricky Ortiz, painter, tattoo artist Rabēa Ballin, artist David Wald, actor Lisa E. Harris, performing and visual artist Stephanie Todd Wong, executive director of Dance Source Houston Pamela Fagan Hutchins, novelist Heather Gordy, artist Mark Nasso, comic artist Shelbi-Nicole, artist Marian Szczepanski, novelist Jonathan Blake, fashion designer Doni Langlois, interior designer Kat Denson, dancer Blame the Comic, comedian Margaret Menchaca Alvarez, artist Jacquelyne Jay Boe, dancer Rene Fernandez, painter Teresa Chapman, choreographer and dancer

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Jef Rouner is a contributing writer who covers politics, pop culture, social justice, video games, and online behavior. He is often a professional annoyance to the ignorant and hurtful.
Contact: Jef Rouner