Artist Profile: Luisa Salas - Tulum

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Hi Lou! Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am a graphic designer/artist based in México's Caribbean. I usually paint abstract scenarios, minimal compositions with bold colors.

What is your background (i.e. education, previous jobs, experiences that led you to create)?
Well, I started working as a graphic designer at 19. I had just moved to Playa del Carmen and people were really liking my works. I then spent almost 6 years working as a graphic designer/creative director on tourism-related brands. Co-founded México Tropical® travel agency, which made a lot of sense since I love photography and had a solid past experience developing tourism businesses. Started painting again after years late 2016 with Lo and Connie. I've been producing non-stop since then.

Were you always interested in art and design? 
Yes, I always knew I wanted to be a designer. Music and drawing have always been a very important part of my life, but I've been paying much more attention and learning much more now that I've shifted my interests towards an artistic global scene.

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What led you to start Hola Lou? Did you transition from a different career to starting your own business? 
Having the graphic design background made the transition really smooth, I think the main reason I started to create as Hola Lou was a deep need to find myself, after focusing for years on other's peoples' brands, I had lost myself.. or at least that's what it felt like. Hola Lou is kind of my 'safe place', where I can be myself and do things that I honestly care for.

What inspires your work?
Contrasts and balance, mainly. The Caribbean is definitely a major eye-opener, plants everywhere, color everywhere. Asides from that, my interest in this concept comes from all sorts of contrasts: Music, visuals, feels, flavors, social situations, nature, etc.

Do you have a favorite or most memorable project that you have worked on? Do you have anything you are excited about coming up this year?
They've all been amazing so far, it's all so new to me that I am really motivated by everything that has been coming my way. I am most excited to some murals and other very big paintings to come, big formats are always so much fun. There's a lot of really interesting projects coming this year, I'll keep you posted as they start to develop.

What is your favorite thing about your workspace?
The giant palm trees view from my desk, the light's pretty incredible in that spot too.


What makes you passionate about the work that you do?
Expressing my thoughts through art, it brings me closer to the best version of myself. I have found that being my 'truest self' not only brings me happiness but that it's almost contagious to the people I'm interacting with. 

What are some of the setbacks or challenges you face in your work?
It's tough to see where the artist stands in a modern gallery-curator-art dealer game. I am working on finding a way to play, just in a smarter way.

At The Glossary, we believe in women working together and helping one another. Why do you think it is important for women to support each other?
Being a woman is TOUGH and life is definitely not the same for us as it is for men. I had never experienced such a strong bond with other women like these past 3 years, I share my story with many of them: An awakening to ourselves as the tough humans we are. Supporting each other reinforces these concepts and will only result in a higher collective consciousness, I'm proud of the changes in history we've all made together so far. 

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What creative women do you find inspiring?
They are all inspiring, from entrepreneurs, musicians, artists, athletes, performers, etc. This new sense of being a girl boss is undeniably empowering and now coming from amazingly fresh sources, like Syd tha Kyd from The Internet, Polly Nor, Mara Hoffman, name a few.

What have you learned from owning your business that you think can apply to any creative endeavor?
Probably the back structure of any business, I've learned that every single project, plan or idea needs a soul: From having a solid strategy of what to do or how to look to putting everything into making it come alive and then committing to really making an impact with that new creation on others peoples' lives.

How do you manage your time?
I work all day long. That being said, I tend to do the 'not so fun' stuff early in the mornings (like responding to emails), and then I take the most part of the day keeping myself productive/creative: Either painting, producing new stuff, taking product pictures, website maintenance, work on commissioned artworks, getting in touch with new people or projects, etc. I try to hit the gym at night, it helps me disconnect my never-not-talkative mind and helps me with my sleep too. I also try to get out as much as possible with family or friends, I recently found the amazing benefits that this can bring to your creativity.

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How do you deal with moments of self-doubt?
I try to get away, do something new, disconnect and give space to everything. I've realized that most of my insecurities come whenever I lose perspective, a product of being 'too close all the time'. While I'm most likely working on reaching my personal goals, I find really important to log off every now and then, especially if it involves doing something completely new..the outcome is always good.

What tools or resources have been most helpful for you in creating your business?
Graphic design for sure. Having the ability to make something look good is a very practical skill whenever it comes to creating a new brand. Also, Stevie's creative/visionary way of thinking/selling has always taken me to see how one can make things bigger, or go deeper into any given project.

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What are you trying to learn right now?
I've been very curious about random stuff like painting murals with spray cans, making new friends as an adult (haha), learning French or even practicing patience.

What are some of your favorite places in Tulum?
There's too much good stuff down in Tulum to choose from, Tacos Eufemia, Tulum Art Club, Kiki, pretty much every single restaurant, cenotes, the beach is incredible too. But I'm normally around Playa del Carmen, now planning on moving to Cancún soon, which also has a pretty rad local art/design/music scene itself.

Images by  Conie Suarez Bravo

Find Luisa at: