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Happy New Year!

I love the start of a new year, like the start of a painting on a fresh empty canvas! I am excited to share a major highlight of last year which was also a great way to end the year. I was featured in SHOUTOUT ARIZONAs local stories. So I will be featuring that for this months blog.

Meet Sally Ann Jimenez: Artist, Henna Artist, Poet, Creator

"We had the good fortune of connecting with Sally Ann Jimenez and we’ve shared our conversation below."

Hi Sally Ann, why did you decide to pursue a creative path? Art has always played a huge role in my life as a healing and processing method for me and my mental/emotional well being. There is nothing I love to do more than create. For years I worked for other local businesses building their brand and often becoming unsatisfied with the amount of time I didn’t have to make art and working for others always felt like I was selling myself short. I had allot of determination to grow but I wasn’t able to work on my own artistic growth while working for other people. I found myself surrounded by other artists making a living doing art and It inspired me to face the fear and go full time and start up my art business. Bottom line is life is too short to not do what you love, even if it takes allot of work, in the end it is worth it.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally? My art is definitely a reflection of me and the world around me. Duality, patterns, and spirituality best define my artwork lately. I make it a point not to make “nude” art because I feel that surrounds the whole concept of “sex sells” and I do not wish to support that idea. I am also a henna artist and often stray away from the traditional artwork and challenge myself with tattoo ideas people want to try or any art style people throw my way. I love photography and pretty much love taking photos of everything capturing the many “beauties of life” that surround us daily. Poetry was my first love and I still love to write, mostly about love and my own experiences. Part of my art business includes making dreamcatchers, especially custom ones using color theory, crystals and

intention in the process.

I have loved creating since I was a kid and that’s truly where it all started. Throughout my adolescent years I always drew, painted, and tried new things like dance, wood burning, and other crafts. The art of expression has always been the wave I’ve ridden. My first job was at a local boutique that sold locally made clothing, jewelry and art and eventually I ended up working in the Roosevelt Row Art District in downtown Phoenix where I found myself surrounded by an array of artists pursuing art as a career.

Having the passion for art made it easy to stick to and meeting so many other artists who where doing it as a means to make money made it easy to jump in and start to do it myself. The crazy part is I attempted to start this about 10 years ago but unfortunately could not follow through with the plan due to lack of funds and honestly lack of knowledge and experience on what it took to make it all work. So I am very grateful for everything I’ve learned through the years about promoting, pricing and understanding customers through all the retail work I’ve done. Starting my business this year was a major dream accomplished. I came from a rough upbringing, having nothing, being homeless as a kid and lacking much family support in what I truly desired. Words cannot express the satisfaction in knowing and seeing people purchase my artwork. My art is a piece of me, my past and experiences… my hopes, dreams, and love I have for life. It fills my heart when my passion and message translate through my art to people, for that is my goal!

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.

Roosevelt Row used to be my favorite spot in Phoenix and I still think it’s the best spot for mural hunting and photoshoots, but since the recent gentrification of the area I’ve somewhat pulled away from the neighborhood I used to look up to as a child and teenager. If you are in the area I definitely suggest checking out Made Art Boutique (my old workplace) and the “Warehouse” North of 1st street and Roosevelt, the Monorchid is always a must see. More recently I found solace in the forest areas like Flagstaff or Payson. I lived in Tempe for about 6 years and have 3 favorite shops I love to visit when I’m on Mill avenue (Yucatecan Imports, The Henna Shop, and High Happy Horny Healthy Herb Shop) and you can take a nice little hike up “A” Mountains well. Definitely some of my favorite past times. Mesa and Glendale also has an interesting downtown historic area, full of thrift stores, coffee shops and other interesting shops close enough to walk around and see them all. I highly recommend visiting “Jarrods Coffee Tea & Gallery” in Mesa they have amazing coffee, awesome people, and amazing artwork all around their place, I call them “the best coffee shop in AZ!”

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?

I would have to thank all my teachers growing up, no one specifically but every single one who encouraged me to “keep going.” I

opened up to allot of my teachers about my upbringing and the lack of support from family when it came to my art, it wasn’t until recently I began to receive any support. My teachers saw my drive and always challenged me to push further and

pursue an art career. I’m also thankful for my friends who have always been my biggest fans and supporters, there are way to many to name but they know who they are. I really want to point out my gratitude for extra curricular activities in school, like art classes, choir, dance, journalism, and other fun creative classes. It just helped so much having that balance at school as an outlet and as recourses to be able to try new things, work with other people and find joy in creating.

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Image Credits: Bianca Salazar (BMSV Photography)

Thank you Shoutout Arizona for featuring me!

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