Spotted at: Yerba Buena Gardens, SF
Occupation: Artist, Illustrator
What are you up to today?
I'm trying to find the Cartoon Art Museum right now.
What are you going to see there?
I just want to check it out. This is my first weekend ever in San Francisco!
Oh no way! What brought you to San Francisco?
It was just time to visit. I'm from New York and right now it's this crazy snowstorm and just in general really awful winter happening, so I was like, I need to leave.
What's your occupation?
I'm an artist. I'm an illustrator—I post on a blog on Tumblr, but I'm also kind of in between jobs. I used to work in museums, but now I'm looking into startups.
How did you get into museum work?
I studied art history at Hunter College in New York. Yeah, I just really love art. I've always really liked it. Now I'm sort of doing more of my own practice, whereas I used to just study it before.
Do you know what first sparked your interest in illustrating?
Actually, you know what it was? I was thinking about this today. Do you remember, it was a series by Marissa Moss called Amelia's Notebook. It's so cute! It was a children's book—it was designed like a lined notebook, and it was about this girl Amelia's adventures. I was thinking about that and I've always really liked this idea of a narrative with drawings and things like that. That was when I was a little kid, I would read that stuff so I think that's what really got me into illustrating my own things. But then in high school a teacher lent me Maus by Art Spiegelman and I was so inspired by that. Just, you know, random things brought me to it.
What are your main subjects when you're illustrating?
Almost always people. I'm so fascinated by people. I like to do that, and I like to sort of think of stuff that's going on around me. I'm not so interested in the grand scheme of why we're all here, but more so like little events. You know what I mean? Like things that make the day better, or make the day worse, who knows?
Like little slices of life?
What are your plans while you're here in San Francisco?
I've been checking out some museums, mainly I love walking around so I've done tons of that today. I have a friend who's out in Oakland and he's going to take me to a market tomorrow. I'm not sure where it is but he says it's huge and it only happens once a year.
Have you gotten any recommendations from people on things to do out here?
I have a friend who gave me a bunch of recommendations of places to go and she told me you should go to Martuni's Bar, that's a cute spot. She said if I could afford it I should splurge on a vegan feast at Millennium, which I've heard is nice. Maybe I'll get around to doing that. And I've been told that if I get Mexican food anywhere it's going to be amazing. I've done a lot of that! [laughs]
Are you considering moving out here?
Yeah, I'm definitely testing the waters. I can definitely see myself here because it's so nice!
How long have you lived in New York? Did you grow up there?
I grew up in New York, yeah. Born and raised.
So you're definitely a city person then?
Definitely. I studied abroad in Italy once, and that was cool. It was a small town, but I really can't do small town life. It's too much by virtue of being too little.
What's a recent challenge you've overcome?
Today? Figuring out the transit system! [laughs] It's a challenge today—so many things!
Have you gotten any good advice lately?
A couple weeks ago in New York, I was having a hard time with the job search—figuring out what I want to do. And the best advice I received was from my best friend and it was to just listen. Just stop overthinking things and just listen. Whatever you want to do and whatever you want to get done, whatever needs to happen is there and you just have to be open to it. I think it can be your inner voice or it can happen in the form of somebody else. Maybe you're not thinking about it and then you meet a stranger and they say something and you're like—yeah!
I also wanted to ask you about your personal style because I love this dress!
Sometimes I like being a tomboy—I love wearing boots. I thing they're just the most convenient thing to put on. I have been wearing black for a while but then got sort of tired of it, so now I'm experimenting with more color. I found this dress at a Zara sale—I just picked it up and was like, I need it! I've been getting compliments on it all day—I'm like, oh! This is nice! [laughs]
The sweater is cute too!
Thanks! This cardigan I got from ASOS a few years back and it's really served me well. I wear it all the time.
What's the story of this necklace?
These are spirit beads. My best friend and I are Puerto Rican. He's full Puerto Rican, I'm half. His grandfather does shamanistic practice, so I actually had to pray in Spanish for these beads! [laughs] They had to be blessed and now I wear them almost every day.
You can check out Cindy's Tumblr at thecnamed.tumblr.com.