What does it mean to be #Latinx?
We have launched a weekly series called #15SecondsOfColor! We put the tools in the hands of our audience by highlighting Latinx artists and filmmakers such as Gabby Zapata, Fred Focus, Eddie Fernandez, Kat Aileen, Rony Portillo, Yocelyn Riojas, and more.
Each of them was asked to create a 15 second piece that answers this question: What does it mean to be #Latinx?
This Week’s Featured Artist: Yocelyn Riojas
Yocelyn Riojas is a Mexican-American, bilingual, and multi-disciplinary artist from Austin, TX. She is passionate about uplifting her community by creating a voice for people of color. Her art focuses on themes of Latinx culture, women’s empowerment, colorism, and immigration, with the goal of creating safe spaces for stories to be shared.
“To be Latina is to accept my roots, the color of my skin, and the blood that runs through my veins. Being a Latina.”Yocelyn Riojas
Each of her pieces is layered and complex. She pays homage to her roots while challenging stigmas and questioning patriarchal norms. In doing so, she inspires activists, nationwide.
She has been a guest speaker for TEDx Texas State University, and her powerful work has been used in campaigns for the TPS Youth Alliance, as well as featured in the Washington Post, The Austin Chronicle, and The Daily Dot, as part of their immigration coverage.
You can follow Yocelyn on social media at @yocelyn.riojas.
Stay tuned to this page every Wednesday for a new #15SecondsOfColor.
Want to submit your own? Answer the question, “What does it mean to be Latinx?” in your own style, post on Instagram using the hashtag #15SecondsOfColor, and we’ll share it!
We take a look at the personal rebirth of Rony ‘Xavi’ Portillo seen through various moments of his life in Brooklyn. A tribute to his mother, community, his love for skating, and a borough that has helped acknowledge his heritage and define what it means to be Latinx.
You can follow Rony on social media at @xavi.nyc.
Bay Area native, Katheryn Zeledon has taken her interests in cartoons, art, and culture to strike the perfect blend in storytelling. The multi-disciplinary artist and filmmaker, whose clients range from fashion to music, merges her eclectic tool kit of skills to create evocative films. Katheryn is also a part-time collector and obsessor of mini objects—which served as the inspiration behind her short film, Mis Cosas.
Ed Fernandez is a Brooklyn based illustrator who studied animation at Pratt Institute in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn. His work incorporates experimental perspectives and features expressive character designs with a vivid color palette that evoke a dream-like experience.
As a devout practitioner of the Santeria religion, Ed’s Abuelo, kept a room dedicated to the worship of Saint Obatala. “Growing up, I was scared of that room, that is, until I learned about the culture behind it,” he says.
In this short 22 second film, “Obatala,” Ed explores those feelings, and brings to life the saint he once feared, only to realize he was there to watch over and protect him all along. Just like his ancestors.
You can follow Ed on Instagram at @sillybrownboy
Fred Focus is a Dominican director out of New York City who has mastered his surroundings using his unique eye. He began his career by shooting street level videography, and is now doing visual marketing campaigns for clients like Coca Cola. He is also a go-to director for music videos that feature up-and-coming artists in the music industry. Through his efforts he has helped launch the careers of talented performers from major and independent record labels; such as Def Jam, Sony, RCA & Mass Appeal records. His career is expanding rapidly, and he’s even breaking new ground in Netflix documentaries, and so much more. You can follow Fred on social media at @iamfredfocus.
Gabby Zapata is a senior lead visual development artist working for Disney Digital Network in Los Angeles. She has worked on “Legend of Tembo” at Digital Domain, IDW Publishing for Tangled: The Series, and much more. To learn more about Gabby go to gabbyzapata.com and follow her on social media at @GabbyZapata.