Día de los Muertos is quickly approaching! It’s a time to celebrate life by honoring those who have passed. Originally a Mexican tradition (An Aztec festival dedicated to goddess Mictecacihuatl, Lady of the Dead), this holiday is celebrated over the course of two days, November 1-2. To honor those who have departed, many people visit the graves of family members, make elaborate altars, and celebrate the lives lived with processions, music, dancing, and art.
It was only a year ago that I painted my face for the first time for an art show at Self Help Graphics in Los Angeles. The show was a display of beautiful altars in remembrance of those who died. I didn’t grow up with this tradition, but I’m fascinated by it and hold the day sacred as a time solely dedicated to honoring my grandmother.
Funny how the subconscious minds works. My boyfriend noted that my Day of the Dead look resembled a soap and skincare line called Maja. The collection features an illustration of a Spanish dancer dressed in black and red lace. My grandmother always had Maja soaps in her house. My grandfather always got me a something from the collection for Christmas and sometimes for my birthday. He was very consistent in his gift giving! Even though I looked at Sylvia Ji’s artwork for inspiration, the little Spanish dancer that brings me back to the comfort of my grandmother’s home was there with me.