14: Cuban Bahamian Illustrator and Artist Reyna Noriega


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This week’s guest believes making money from art isn’t harder than any other career. In this episode, I chat with Cuban-Bahamian artist and author Reyna Noriega who’s worked with clients such as Apple, Old Navy, and The New Yorker. Reyna and I talk about the complexities of being Afro-Latina, why NFTs are dumb, and why she ultimately decided to leave teaching art to focus on being an artist.

Reyna initially tried to tread cautiously into freelancing by taking a creative director role at a startup, but quickly realized it wasn’t for her — so she jumped into freelancing earlier than expected. After just a few months, she was able to stabilize her income and move out of her parents’ house as a full-time artist. Now, she creates illustrations for brands, runs an online shop with the help of her mom, and writes her poems as a form of self-reflection.

In this episode, Reyna shares her journey to becoming a full-time artist, the growing pains of running an online shop, and how she’s now working on creating a legacy for herself and her family.

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, Stitcher, iHeartRadio, or on your favorite podcast platform.

Topics Covered:

  1. Her passion and love for her hometown of Miami
  2. Gentrification and the rising cost of housing in Miami
  3. The struggles of being Afro-Latina
  4. Why she prefers the word Latinx
  5. Impulsively pursuing Psychology at FIU
  6. The reality of being a teacher in the public school system
  7. Why she ultimately left teaching for a creative career
  8. How she decided to take the leap to freelancing
  9. Why she loves being an independent and freelance artist
  10. The growing pains of running an online shop
  11. Creating art beyond social media in order to create a legacy for herself
  12. Why NFTs aren’t real and are cash grabs for artists
  13. The process of writing her collection of poems, “In My Cocoon”
  14. Her experience self-publishing projects
  15. Her upcoming projects in 2021
  16. Her amazing Reel

Guest Info

Check out Reyna’s Instagram, Portfolio, and Shop!

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