Diana Garcia is an actress, artist, activist and most recently a festival producer. She has graffitied the streets of Mexico City, Monterrey, Oaxaca, Playa del Carmen, Tulum, Holbox, Austin, Berlin, Miami, NYC and Los Angeles with the Be What You Dream movement. Be What You Dream includes unique drawings of fantastical morphed animals, most famously the Uniwolfcheetah, which was first seen on the wall outside of Gjelina. Thousands of people have stopped for a photo with this unicorn, wolf and cheetah hybrid. Be What You Dream is not just the title of an art movement, it is her life motto and she is the preacher. Her message encourages people to go after their dreams and she is a living example. She tells us that it is not always easy, but worth it. Reminding us that only we suffer from silencing our dreams. Diana is an extraordinary person. She is one of the hardest working people I know, always carrying artwork and glue in her purse to paste a mural. Diana’s excitement is infectious and inspirational. She is beautiful inside and out. She is passionate, creative, spiritual and philosophical and I hope you get a glimpse of that through this interview.
Story and Interview by Miwa Sakamoto
Let’s get started. Where were you born?
I’m from Monterrey, Nuevo León, México.
What brought you to Venice Beach?
Love. Met Greg in Mexico City and 8 months after I decided to move to LA. He was living in Topanga at the time but needed more space, so we decided to move near the ocean.
Tell me about this festival you are currently working on...
I’ve been developing a social innovation festival in Oaxaca, Mexico called Catapulta for the last 6 months. I haven´t been able to focus on my art as much as I´d like, but been doing a few murals and brand collaborations.
That sounds exciting. Can you describe what a social innovation festival is?
It is a festival and platform for social innovation to create new ways of doing good in the world that are more effective, collaborative and long lasting. It´s going to be a 4 day event (June 17-20th) that will include: a forum on social innovation, talks, workshops, site visits, marketplace, films, pitch rooms, art, music festival, dinners and parties. (www.catapultafest.org)
How does your culture influence your art?
My art reflects my spiritual process, and some of my Mexican teachers and native Mexican rituals have inspired and influenced some of my creatures and the message I try to give. More than my culture, I think my art represents my experiences, and that is a mix of various places, people, other art, conversations, etc. Definitely Frida and my artist grandmother were a huge inspiration in my evolvement on this craft when I was young.
Explain the Be What You Dream movement?
Be What You Dream started as a motivation for myself. I realize that I should only put energy into the things I love to do, because it’s what is real in me, it’s my essence. The Uniwolfcheetah and my other hybrid animals represent the mix of all the talents blooming in ourself, the possibility of mixing it all and becoming a unique and free creature. We should not be afraid of who we are, we gotta embrace it with beauty, consciousness and love.
Are you fulfilling your dream?
I never said it was an easy concept to apply, it requires lots of self discovery and presence. I’m on the path and I believe it´ll never end. But more and more, I´m getting to the place where I’m proud of what I focus my time on. Restructuring the concept of who I am in this world, has been challenging since it’s not easy to go against what I’ve built for decades. My motivations and ambitions have changed, and that´s a huge step into being honest with myself and letting go of social concepts that actually where not making me free or happy.
What advice would you give to others to live out their dreams?
I’m not an expert and I work on it every day, but…. just do it! We shouldn’t be scared of following our intuition, when we connect with it, it becomes like a magic power. Life is a weird game and all we gotta do it and try to be as joyful as we can. We really don’t know what this is all about, we just have theories of stuff, but a fact is that we are living it, so we better make sure we are doing it the way that resonates better with us trying to bring as much love, peace, connection and compassion as we can.
I know you use the hashtag #BeWhatYouDream on your murals. How important has the internet been for you?
I think that the internet and social media are amazing when they’re are used in an inspiring way. Thanks to these tools the Uniwolfcheetah and the message of #BeWhatYouDream have been able to reach thousands of people.
What inspires you?
Nature, love, honest, sexy, fun, yummy, unique, artistic, free, real, dreamy, strong, adventurous...
If you could collaborate with any artist or brand, who would it be?
I love collaborating with nice and fun people that have the same visions as mine. I’m open for magic to happen.
Describe your clothing style...
Comfortable, basic, natural and easy. Lately, I’ve been into jumpsuits.
Will you or will you not get wheat paste on your Christy Dawn dress?
I definitely would. I actually love working on art in nice clothes.
Can you describe yourself with a single song?
A fictional character?
What is your super power?
I can disappear food!
If you made a time capsule today and put one item and a message inside, what would it be and what would it say?
A drawing of Jícuri and the Uniwolfcheetah with the message BE WHAT YOU DREAM. See more of Diana Garcia and her artwork here: www.dianagarcia.org www.bewhatyoudream.com