Hailing from a strong family lineage of designers, the work of Isabella Rivera Suazo is like a chrysalis found in nature; beautiful in its origin and unpredictable through its metamorphosis. Since childhood, Suazo has embraced her creative and artistic self; it is her essence and her natural state. Her developing style and craft is in itself an expression of her process and her message to the world. To catch a glimpse into her mind, read the full interview with the artist below.
What is the earliest memory you have of yourself doing something creative?
As far back as I can remember. My parents had a dinner party one night and had left us alone with a babysitter, which was one of our younger Tia’s. She encouraged my brother and I to play dress up and put on a full performance for her.
My brother Diego Andreas Rivera and I shared and loved an old DVD my dad had given us, it was a Britney Spears and N’Sync compilation of their music videos. We had already rehearsed all the videos and had the choreography, costumes, and most importantly the stage, ready to go! We took off the sofa’s cushions and lay them down on the floor for a 2-step stage experience.
We bounced up and down to all the songs and when “Oops!… I did it again” started playing I was already halfway to the bedroom to grab some white bedsheets so that my brother could lay on them and sing just like Britney. Diego is still a great performer and I’ll always have his stage set-up on cue.
What kind of creative work do you do?
I’m a Creative Director and Set Designer for OURCAMP. OURCAMP is a Miami-based collective and brand which aims to deconstruct and renew the notions of art-making and business. Comprised of 5 talented young musicians, designers, and creatives, OURCAMP is considerably a grassroots organization, organic yet experimental. With the goal of reimagining the creative industries and their possibilities; the collective will push for change and ingenuity in all its projects.
Tell us a little about yourself and your background.
My legal name is actually just Isabella Rivera, I added Suazo my Mother’s maiden name because I want my artist name to carry on the legacy of a Suazo designer. Both my parents are from EL Salvador and both had to come to America due to the civil war.
How would you describe your specific style? What makes you unique?
Hmmm.. style. I’ve struggled to find the language of my style.
I’m constantly changing it, but I would say that over the years, in all the styles I have explored, they all had one common idea, a form of reaction.
I would say that at this stage of my life my style is trying to drop those ideas. I’m redesigning myself at the moment, and a style is really just a physical form for your subconscious. Since I’m changing my style will too.
What have been some of the biggest influences and sources of inspiration in your work?
Miami, it’s my main source of inspiration right now. I have been taking in all of its beauty and glory after living here my whole life. The environment and people that I surround myself with are a great deal of influence.
Do you have any rituals to help you get the creative juices flowing?
What helps me is deep cleaning my room and redecorating it. Since my room is always my workspace, I really value the space I spend most of my time in. It’s really important to create your space, at least for me. My mind is never at ease until the space feels right for it to create in.
What have been some of your favorite projects you’ve worked on? Any current projects you’d like to mention?
CAMPOUT, my baby. CAMPOUT is a panel conversation among creatives and an exhibition. It’s a non-profit event for young creatives to gain knowledge from established artists. We had two already, and another one in the making.
A current project I’m working on is TOUCH, a branch of OURCAMP. Touch is the design aspect of OURCAMP; production design, furniture, and social engagement. Touch’s goal is redesigning spaces, communication, and essential goods. I’m very excited for the upcoming projects coming out of TOUCH.
What are some of the best lessons you’ve learned while developing your craft? What valuable advice could you offer to other Creators like you?
DOCUMENTATION IS KEY! Document your work from the moment it’s scribbled onto a notebook until the final version is complete.
Where can we find more of your work and follow your journey?
You can see more of my work on my personal Instagram @phat.belly or @ourcamp.us