Text & Photography by Hunter Armistead
Capturing the Creative Culture of Our City
Artist, Blogger, Art Community Organizer, Clairvoyant, 4 Years Sober
From Migraines to MantrasLine Noir, the Instagram feed of Yovi Veliz, is a life on display. Veliz calls it her diary. Each day the prolific artist posts one of her works as well as a mix of quotes, most of which reflect a largely upbeat and exuberant life. A few, however, are revelations of her past struggles that brought her to where she is today.
Raised in Napa as an only child to young absentee parents, Veliz attempted as an adult to capture the love she missed in childhood. In a series of fascinating moves where she successfully reinvented herself each time, Veliz followed men to Key West, Upper New York, and finally to Nashville in 2011, where she became a retail manager. While she was again successful at another job, here the stress landed Veliz in the hospital with an acute migraine in 2013. The next year she “went on permanent leave” from drinking on the job.
“I realized then I could never be a part of that world again,” says Veliz, who incredibly turned to painting only in 2015. After joining AA and working the program, Veliz has courageously and generously dealt with her painful feelings and emotions in a different manner.
“I am trying to take on my vulnerability and feelings head on,” says Veliz, who now embraces her feelings and transforms them into her art. Not long ago, after a bad breakup, she created 90 paintings with a riding crop.
Veliz’s articulate paintings and ink drawings belie her brief experience. In series like Predators in a Pond, Veliz expresses a full-blown faculty for expression. Anthropomorphic figures in ink, created as a way to free herself from the confines of her own traumatic experiences, the work helped her to heal, break her silence, and trust her observations.
Veliz seemingly has bottomless inspiration, but not always. “Sometimes I’m running purely on spite,” says Veliz.
Follow Yovi on Instagram: linenoir
And look for the launch of the new collective The East Side Artist Society