Artisans for a cause: Caro Arevalo ~ The micro and the macro worlds
The DUFMOD team came across Caro Arevalo's hypnotic art peices filled with perfectly symetrical shapes, repeating with intention that guides your eyes over the entire canvas, and speaks right into our soul. We had to investigate further. Her art studio looks like an #urbanjungle dream. We can clearly see that nature plays the main role in her work down to the micro and macro level. Her work makes our heart sing, as you know DUFMOD is all about purposeful raw beauty. A match made in heaven?
We had the honor to interview Caro, ‘Every human is an artist. And this is the main art we have: the creation of our story.’
Tell our readers a bit about you.
I am Caro Arevalo, a visionary artist from Peru living and working in Brooklyn NY. My family comes from the jungles in Peru and it’s from my Amazonian heritage that I embrace the importance of rituals and ancestral wisdom as they taught me that by observing nature we notice that there is no real separateness in between beings, and that the whole universe is connected. These are the building blocks of my artwork.
What was your inspiration for your art style?
The micro and the macro worlds! I love observing the world under the microscope and then through the telescope, I find it fascinating that both by observing the micro organisms and the celestial bodies we encounter the same geometrical shapes repeated throughout nature. I use dots to represent these as it is the smallest expression of existence, and from it we can build huge and different worlds. And the eyes are always present, as they remind me that everything is alive, looking back at us!
Sustainability and the environment is obviously of major importance to you. How do you incorperate the essence of it in your artwork?
I’ve started to paint the evolution of different species and as I mostly work with the mandalic shape, I use the mandala’s different orbits to represent the evolution of organisms as the mandala keeps on growing, as an eternal evolving spiral. A couple years ago I also started using social media tools in order to share with others my conservation and wellness driven lifestyle, sharing videos I create within those topics.
What steps are you taking as an art brand to influence global changes and a more conscious commerciality?
There are countless ways to make an impact that not only include the themes a painting has. When I decide which products I will use daily, which brands I partner with as well as the type of packaging used to ship my work and the art supplies used to create them I think: where are they coming from, what their impact of production was, what will their impact be in the future etc. I believe these are themes we need to talk about more often as in today’s world it can be easy to be unaware of this impacts as, apparently, they don’t have an immediate affect on us as consumers directly, but of course at the end it does.
What are you own favourite products within to use for your art pieces and in your lifestyle?
My favorite products are products that are not only pretty but also make sense to me. By that I mean products that are made in balance with mother earth, by companies that appreciate and are fair with their employers and the producers of their products. Environmental and social compromise are key factors or me to buy or support a company.
Do you have any tips for maintaining a healthy, purposeful mind while life speeds past?
Keeping a morning routine, a spiritual practice, closeness to nature and resting are my best advice. I know life gets hectic and it isn’t always easy to accommodate this on our schedules, but waking up a little early to fit these daily practices does make a difference for me and at the end makes me feel more energetic to create more and do it from a place of love.
What’s your go-to equipment?
Give me a pen, a compass and gold ink and I am good to go! I’ve experimented with different art supplies throughout the years and even tough there are some new medias I’ve been trying out, fountain pens and gold ink will always have my heart and I always feel the happiest playing with them.
Advice for anyone thinking of starting or currently running a small business of art like yours?
For me the best way to keep on growing and making things happen is by focusing on what you have today, using those tools in your advantage and make the best out of it. If you don’t have an art studio start on the floor next to your bed or the kitchen table. Also I find a schedule to be very important, even tough you are your own boss the best way to have your business take off is actually taking it as job with a clock in time and short, medium and long term objectives. Fear will always appear, but don’t let it take you down, follow your intuition.
Best and worst part of having your own business?
I love being able to work from wherever I want. If travelling or going to the beach I can take my studio with me. I also love being able to focus on paintings that resemble the current theme I am obsessed about, and not having to follow other people’s agendas. The worst part is I am still learning how to stop working, as nature is what inspires me I sometimes feel a necessity to paint all the time, but I have found that stopping to just rest or gaze is so helpful too.
Where would you like to see yourself in five years?
I want to work with more organizations focused on bringing awareness on how our relationship with nature is diminishing. I want to collaborate from people looking at nature from different perspectives; scientists, philosophers, anthropologists, spiritual leaders etc.
If you could be or do anything else, what would it be?
I strongly believe we have had many life experiences before this one, and I also think we will have future lives, in this or other dimensions. I would love being able to remember them, I believe somehow we all carry them within ourselves but just imagine being able to remember being a coral, or a cell, or a comet. Wouldn’t that bring more awareness of where we are standing now?
What's your earliest memory of appreciating geometry and symetry?
When I was a kid my family and I would always rent this beach house, and one summer my sister and I found these gorgeous starfishes, I’d never seen them before! And next to them sea urchins, and later on, seashells, that day was magical, and I had a polaroid with me and took pictures of all of them, these perfectly symmetric and colorful sea friends opened my world.
Any embarrassing design mistakes on the way to your current art style?
When I was in art school we had to do studies of human figure, and I felt so stiff when I had to draw, I think I thought it had to look just like in reality, I made THE MORST human figure studies ever! Until one day I thought “It won’t matter if it looks bad, I’ll just toss it, but I want to enjoy the class” so I did, and that drawing came out pretty good, so I started working without the pressure. But those first stiff figure drawings tho… frankensteins!
Have you got a couple of top tips for a balanced life?
Checking in with ourselves in order to feel balanced in between rest, work and love.
Your all-time artist icon?
This is a difficult one! SO many of them. But if I have to narrow it down to 3 it would be Gustav Klimt, Paul Laffoley and Yayoi Kusama
What does your ideal day consist of?
Waking up to do yoga and meditate, cook a delicious breakfast, answer emails and get to work on the studio. Work and get lost in the paintings for hours, stop for lunch and come back to painting, stop working when the sun comes down and being able to spend the rest of the day with my husband and cats at our patio, stargaze and get cozy with them.
And what’s the soundtrack to it?
Search for my playlist “spaceship” on Spotify <3
Guilty pleasure? (life, food, styling, tv ….)
The pizza life chose me!!
Your favourite place you’ve ever visited and where is next on your list?
It’s a difficult one in between La Habana and Istanbul, the energy, the colors, the smells, the water surrounding them, beautiful places that made me feel like home. Next, we are planning on visiting Thailand, SO excited to visit that part of the world for the first time.