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Interview with Yanca Zoccarato, Artist

Updated: Sep 17, 2022

Hi, Yanca! Thank you for agreeing to be part of my Interview with a Creator feature. For our readers, Yanca Zoccarato (Instagram: @artistayaya) and I met through Rome Art Program in July 2021 where we were flat-mates for the month. We took painting and drawing classes as we navigated to our en plain air locations all over central Rome.

1. What inspires your creativity?

I find inspiration in viewing others’ art through its’ highlighted intensity and beauty. What I see in patterns, shapes, and figures gives me ideas or questions to further explore. In looking at photographs, shapes of silhouettes inspire me. How light shines through a window when I am out walking encourages me to capture it to use in my work later.

2. Yanca, how have your family roots in Brazil and growing up in the USA influenced your creative work?

My family moved here from Brasil years ago. My parents not being from the United States encouraged me to excel in my grades to earn a scholarship for a college degree. Grades were more important than sports or other after school activities. Growing up I didn’t see art as a realistic part of my adult life. Instinctively, I knew I was good at drawing. A seed was planted at age seven with my first visit to see my Aunt Vera in Brasil. She took my siblings and I into her studio to create paintings that still hang in my family’s home. Aunt Vera inspired me to nurture my curiosity and talent in art. Given my parents’ sacrifices, I never thought art would be part of my professional future. As an adult, I added an art minor to my major in criminology and minor in sociology. The art minor allowed me to be groomed by artists and later creative my path to attend the Rome Art Program. Today I work with rehabilitating people involved with the justice system. Simultaneously, being Brasilian opens up more inspiration for my art through the culture, and the energy or vibe of music. What I hear in Brasilian music, I visualize into my art.

3. How did Rome Art Program impact the artwork you are creating today?

Rome impacted my work in many ways. My first day I made a detailed plan of painting a statue, first sketching and then coloring in the lines. The instructor said I had not painted the assignment. It was a humbling experience and helped loosen up my style. I learned that I could met or draw with aggression rather than aiming for perfection or excellence. I didn’t know I could create art like that; my art reflects this style today.

4. What else do you wish I’d asked?

I wish you had asked me what I'm up to now. I have a whole bunch of work started but not much finished. I've been getting into painting on hoodies, playing around with digital painting and with other traditional pieces. My career in criminology takes a lot of time and energy from finding space for creating my art. Finding stillness and time to put love and attention into my creative work has been difficult. Indulging in art is like going to the gym for others; it’s healthy, makes me feel good, and I get good results. Having energy to commit to my creative process is challenging. I think about my art everyday and hope to get past this rut.

—Written by Amanda L. Mottorn, © 2022, author of Finding Moksha: One Woman’s Path in Uncertain Times and Artist at Modern Moksha Designs & Publishing.

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