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My Name is Domingo Zapata and I Am an Artist

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Picasso said, "Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up." Where I am from, Spain ... Federico Garcia Lorca, the Spanish poet killed by Franco in 1936, called it Duende.

Duende is a fairy that lives inside your guts and evokes arts and feelings.

But really what does being an artist mean? I paint and I don't remember a day in my life when I did not. I come from a very humble background, my father was a car painter and my mother was a tailor. Even though I dreamed as a child to be able to live from my art I never thought I had a chance.

Every day, I feel the blessing of having the opportunity to share my creativity with the world and every day I know that I was not supposed to be here. This is my challenge and my destiny, I studied Political Science while painting in the dark surrounded by all my demons. I would get all the art classes possible to learn and understand my craft. I mostly taught myself through life and practice what I know today. Even today I learn from my MFA assistants, art shows, art publications as well as from street artists that I see during my long walks around New York City in search of inspiration.

My parents where craftspeople and they could execute any art or creative direction, for craftspeople repetition is the key to master their jobs ... but what's the job of an artist, what's my obligation and responsibility? What allows me to fulfill not only mine but the critics expectations?

I was asked by an art critic the other day ... What's the reason behind my paintings? Sometimes I think there is no reason, I like to create and be spontaneous in front of the canvas, I enter a sort of trance and it happens. I don't even question it, I am free and I am happy when I can paint. I want to represent my world and my experiences and capture what I see and feel. I give myself no rules or limits, I just create ... Then I step back and see what has come out of me. Sounds simple right? Well I guess it is, but it also makes me the artist that I still am at 39 years old, and that is a challenge for me on its own.

If I was not successful painting canvases I would be paintings houses, roads or cars just like my dad did for 50 years. The point I want to makes is that being an artist does not only require skills or success, just persistence, love and passion to create and create. It's simple, good or bad ... but don't stop creating ever, because in the end without creation life would be a little less compelling, a little less moving, a little less breathtaking and ultimately, we would never be here.