The first time I saw artist, Diana Contreras', work was in Miami during the art crawl during our Sugar Does America Tour. I fell in love with her work instantly and had to have her showcase at our show. Her work spoke to me. It was feminine, whimsical, and nostalgic. I got her information from the man that selling her work, and contacted her immediately. Only to find out that she was a sweet and kind as she was talented. Upon our first time meeting, Diana greeted me with warmth and sincerity, and to top it off she gifted me a handmade purse with one of her beautiful ballerina girls on it, which soon became a cherished object of mine.
I've been watching Diana on social media for the past 3 years or so, and it's been inspiring watching her artistic skills expand and her noteworthy and fanbase sky rocket. I feel so blessed and fortunate to be able to say that I know this talented and kind woman, and to be able to include her in my network of incredibly talented people.
TIMMERY: Tell me about Diana Contreras. Who are you, what do you do, and what do you represent?
DIANA: I am a girl who loves to make others happy! I like to paint, love hard, travel and help others. I want to leave a legacy, I want to leave the earth better than how I found it, and most of all I want to fulfill my purpose in God and to use the Gifts He has given me.
TIMMERY: What is your artist name, and how did you acquire it?
DIANA: My artist name is Diana Contreras. My friends and family have always called me Didi. There was this boy that called me Didirok, and since my instagram is Didirok, everyone is calling me Didirok. Some people say that should be my artist name. It is catchy…
TIMMERY: How long have you been creating art?
DIANA: I have been drawing ever since I can remember. My mom’s family owns a leather shop in Peru and they would make their own designs. They were always drawing and I would draw with them. I thought everyone was good at drawing until I started school.
TIMMERY: How did you get into the street art scene?
DIANA: Honestly, I thought that graffiti was bad and childish. I didn’t consider it art until I started watching documentaries about it. My favorite was Jean-Michel Basquiat “The Radiant Child”
Documentary. Additionally, I was greatly influenced by the Wynwood Art Murals and Miami writers. They encouraged me to paint my characters big on a wall. After my first one, I was in love.
TIMMERY: Who/What is the biggest influence on your art?
DIANA: My first big influence was Frida Khalo. I thought that she was so brave for painting her pain so boldly for the world to see. I also loved that she used herself as a source. She paints what she knows. I painted many self-portraits in the beginning. Another big influence has been street art starting in Wynwood. It was so inspiring to see all the huge walls that would change ever year. As I started painting murals I learned about many other amazing artists such as Fafi and Miss Van.
TIMMERY: What's your favorite part about being an artist?
DIANA: It is the joy that it brings to others and now I have the ability to use my art to raise money for great causes such as No Kid Hungry, Raw Project: Re-Imagining the Arts in Wynwood, Touching Miami with Love, etc.
TIMMERY: What are your special talents that make you unique from others in your field?
DIANA: Most street artists are self-taught no schooling. I put myself through school and studied a variety of art styles. I think that the combination of traditional art education and the influence of graffiti makes my work unique.
TIMMERY: What has been your biggest accomplishment as an artist, thus far? DIANNA: Being able to pay for my “dream wedding” with my art and traveling for my art.
TIMMERY: What are some exciting projects you're currently working on or gearing up for?
DIANA: I’m flying to Iowa to paint a mural for Voices, a mural in Little Havana for #BecksUrbanCanvas, and a solo show called “Enchanted Damsels” at Redefine Gallery in Orlando.
TIMMERY: What are your goals as an artist?
DIANA: My goals are to be an artist and have no need for another job, keep growing becoming better and paint bigger, collaborate with big makeup and fashion lines…etc. My goals are nonstop! I love having goals !
TIMMERY: If you could collab with any musician/artist who would it be and why? DIANA: I would love to collab with Lauren Hill because her record, “The Miseduction of Lauren Hill” was the soundtrack of my life and I also loved even her MTV Unplugged album. I love her voice and would try to capture her lyrics into visual paintings.
TIMMERY: Why is girl power and sisterhood important to you?
DIANA: I have always had lots of good girlfriends. For instance, I’ve had the same bestie since the third grade. I love female bonding time where we can talk about boys, share clothes, makeovers, etc. However, I did grow up with two brothers and I played with them and their friends. I would play sports (I was never the last one picked), beat them at Nintendo, and watch action films. I always felt like I could do anything they could do while still doing girly things. I like being an equal. My mom taught me girl power = to be independent. I want all the ladies to be empowered to dream and dream big! It will make the world a better place for men and women.
TIMMERY: Who are some of your favorite up and coming artists, musicians, and/or designers to watch out for?
DIANA: My favorite up and coming artists are all ladies kicking ass in the Miami art scene, Delvs, Jenny Perez, and Lulu107. They all have their own signature style, are hardworking, and have beautiful hearts. I wish them all the success in the world.
TIMMERY: Name 3 of your favorite girl bosses!
DIANA: There are so many girl bosses that I don’t know personally, but I look up to Drew Barrymore and how she turned her life around. Girl bosses that I love and know are artist Amanda Valdes, Photographer Miranda Kruse “Misstakes", Lida Fe Castro and Flora Resto co owners of Tanama, an upcycled boho chic fashion store and they also own a fashion truck. Sweet Empire NYC co-owner Ashley Betito, and Professor and Life coach Tali Turgman. I can go on forever! I am so proud to have these girl bosses in my life and to call them friends <3
TIMMERY: What's in your purse?
DIANA: Always have lipstick, extra hoop earrings, “buff princess” stickers, spraypaint tips, wallet, shell phone (by Valfre), business cards, and a sketch book.
Connect with Diana!!
Facebook: Diana Contreras Art