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February 17, 2016

Meet a Community Art Star: Javiera Rolando

Meet a Community Art Star: Javiera Rolando

"Meet a Community Art Star" is a regular feature showcasing ArtStarts' amazing group of volunteers who are passionate, enthusiastic arts champions. Read more posts in this series.

Javiera Rolando has been volunteering with ArtStarts since September 2015. She and her husband have recently embarked on an exciting adventure, moving to Vancouver from Santiago, Chile. Leaving their previous jobs, leaving most of their belongings behind and starting over fresh, Javiera has found the move to be a beautiful experience. Formerly a hard-working architect, now she is expanding her art portfolio by studying Advanced Illustration at Emily Carr University and by volunteering here at ArtStarts. In her spare time she can be found working on her illustrations to build her own online portfolio. We are so happy to have her as part of our team!

Where did art start for you?

I think it started when I was just a little girl, maybe about five years old. I remember that I loved to paint and draw with coloured pencils. I used to ask my mother every week to bring me a new little notebook with white sheets. I don't know how much time I spent drawing or how many invented characters and imaginary creatures I made during that time, but I'm pretty sure it helped me to develop my creativity. It pushed me to be able to get focus on any kind of activity I was interested in.

How did art lead you to your career as an architect?

To me, architecture and art are totally connected because in both cases the creative process starts from observing the environment and/or analyzing a specific problem or topic. The artist and architect then create a response to those issues through his or her own art. Being interested in this sort of process is natural to me so it wasn't hard to make a decision about my studies when I went to university. Even though I'm grateful about my career, I wish I had more time and budget to study a second path, such as Fine Arts or Graphic Design. I have always enjoyed visiting a good art gallery, reading art books at the library and of course drawing at any time.

What is your idea of creativity?

I feel that creativity is the result of three things that come together, just like a good gourmet dish. The first ingredient is work, then add perseverance, and lastly inspiration. These all contribute to feeling in a good mood to be able to capture and analyze all the information you need from the environment. Then you have to make connections between the ideas you have built in your mind and the knowledge you have gathered about a specific topic (this is the most interesting and challenging thing to me). This is the way I understand the creative process. I think is applicable to any field or study area, not only to the arts.

During your time at ArtStarts as a Gallery Assistant and Exhibition Assistant, what have you enjoyed doing the most?

Of course I will never forget when I had the opportunity to collaborate as a volunteer on the assembly of the exhibition, Common Ground. It was a wonderful experience to follow the whole process from the beginning, and it was a privilege to help out the team of ArtStarts during that time. Learning from the experience of Juliana, Nargis and Elfred was amazing—and so much fun too! I can't wait to collaborate again in any kind of these projects.

You just moved to Vancouver. Are you liking it so far? What are your favourite things to do here?

I really love this city. It is the perfect size, it is well connected, has lots of cultural offerings and so many coffee shops! During the summer I visited several neighborhoods and parks with my husband by riding our bikes, so I have to say that this is a very friendly place for cyclists, which I really appreciate. After my shifts at ArtStarts I usually go the public library; it's one of my favourite places to visit in downtown. Or sometimes I grab a cup of coffee to just walk around, discovering some old buildings or enjoying some unique views of Vancouver.

Anything else that you would like to share?

Of course I would like to share something really important... I'm expecting a baby girl! She will be born in June. This is our first baby, so we are enjoying and following carefully day-by-day this amazing process. And obviously this is one more reason to feel grateful for this new period of our lives that we are living here in Vancouver as a family.

Thank you, Javiera, for your bringing your talent and your smile to ArtStarts!

If you are interested in volunteering with ArtStarts, please visit

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