JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Action News Jax Gets Real about celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month.
We’re introducing you to a Jacksonville artist whose unique style has made her a local favorite.
Action News Jax’s Lorena Inclán shows us why the woman behind the name, “Kiartist,” is hoping to spread the love one “doodle” at a time.
“We have the Jacksonville skyline mugs, which these are already sold out, so going to be shipping those out this week,” said Kiara Sanchez as she showed her inventory at her home.
Sanchez’s business is booming.
“I did not think people were going to spend money on custom art this, and I wouldn’t have blamed them with everything going,” Sanchez said.
But if you look at her work, you can see why it’s so popular.
Sanchez, 28, who signs her work as Kiartist, has a word for her unique style.
“My art is kind of ‘doodley.’ Not even sure if that’s a word,” she said.
Her art also speaks to her Hispanic heritage.
Sanchez is one of the proudest Puerto Ricans — neither raised nor born on the island — that you’ll ever meet.
“Both of my parents are from Puerto Rico. That’s like a huge part of my life. There should be like flags everywhere right now,” she said.
Which is why it bothers her when people don’t believe she’s Latina.
“I think it comes with the stereotype that we all look a certain way, and that’s absolutely not true in any culture, I think,” Sanchez said.
In her portfolio, you’ll find a lot of sazón and even some azúcar.
In the last five years, this Flagler College grad’s work has become a local treasure trove of Hispanic culture that’s not only gracing homes but also local businesses.
But she’s also influenced by the unrest we’ve witnessed this year.
She created a drawing following the death of George Floyd and donated a portion of the proceeds to Black Lives Matter and the local E-vac movement.
“Art is not meant to be quiet. It’s not meant to be silenced. It’s meant to tell stories and to tell stories of different people,” Sanchez said.
And another one of her recent drawings also went viral.
It’s of Chadwick Boseman, one of her favorite actors, who lost his battle to colon cancer in August at just 43 years old.
Her drawing of the Black Panther even got picked up by The Oprah Magazine’s Instagram account.
But lately, she’s been working on showcasing the many faces of Puerto Rico from the Jíbaro, meaning farmer, to the island’s African history.
“I want to make an entire painting series and have it in a gallery one day, so that’s the goal,” Sanchez said.
In the meantime, you can find her doodling and spreading the beauty of Hispanic culture from Jacksonville to the world.
Below is some of Sanchez’s artwork:
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