Meet Marissa Hernandez of Hernandesignco.

Marissa and I first worked together on a batch of custom cutters that she designed for her polymer clay work! I was immediately excited about her style and use of shapes! She works in a variety of different mediums including painting, fibers and polymer clay. 

What mediums are you drawn to and why?

I am drawn to mediums that can take lots of different forms, something I can play around and be creative with. I find those qualities the most in clay, fiber arts (yarn), and paint. I love how hands-on clay making is, from color mixing to using different techniques to mold clay into wearable art. That process is pretty fun! Likewise with paint, I love color mixing and transforming blank canvases, often walls in my case, into colorful scenes that can really transform the vibe of a whole space. I mostly do fiber art/yarn work as a hobby. Whether it's knitting or weaving tapestries, or doing punch needle work, I love the texture and color of different yarns, and playing around with them 

What’s your favorite thing about working with polymer clay?

I love how hands on it is! I was always big into play-doh when I was younger, so this satisfies my need to sculpt and cut and play with clay. Color mixing is really fun, I probably spend the most time color mixing than anything because I am really particular about color. I also like how accessible and wearable it is. I like buying art from people, but it's a special kind of connection to buy art from someone and then get to wear it and experience it that way. 


What was one of your most rewarding projects last year?

This is a tough one! The first one that comes to mind is a mural I did for Cattell Elementary in Des Moines, Iowa. I had the opportunity to interact with students grades kindergarten through 3rd grade and provide them with some lessons on how I come up with mural designs. They then drew all sorts of great illustrations which I then turned into a mural that hangs above the garden area outside of their school. That was a really rewarding project because I felt like I was healing a part of my younger self, who never was encouraged by adults to pursue my creative dreams. It was Especially rewarding to see the children of color feel represented in the mural and get excited and point out the pieces of their art that adorned the mural. They were also all just super kind and fun to work with, and made me feel valued.


Do you like to listen to anything while making?

I usually listen to shows or movies in the background, sometimes podcasts. I like having the dialogue in the background, and usually watch something light hearted because I feel like I work better that way. I also have a little white noise machine set to rain, because I really love the sound of rain. I usually try to create a calming environment, or an environment that mimics the mood of the earrings I’m wanting to create.


What inspired your texture plate designs?

Most of my work centers BIPOC, plants, and shapes, so I wanted to continue that, but think of what could look cool on clay. I tried to create designs that I would want to wear myself, but that would also hopefully appeal to a wide variety of people. 


What are you feeling excited about lately?

This collab! It's my first collaboration and I was super excited when you first reached out to me, and the whole process has been so much fun! I am also super excited to see how everyone uses the texture plates, what colors they use, and what cutters they use, it's going to be so cool!


How do you break yourself out of a creative rut?

I usually try to do something creative that is unrelated to what I am struggling with. I will try to do fun, mini projects with no rules and just give myself permissions to create without judgment of it having to look aesthetically pleasing. Mood boards and collages are sometimes helpful. I also like getting a really big piece of paper and some black ink, and just playing around with different brushes and just making all kinds of marks and shapes all over the paper. Portions of the end product can sometimes spark ideas, and even if they don't, it's still a fun exercise. I find a lot of the time, a creative rut just signals to me that I need a break. It can be really helpful to step away from a project for a bit and come back to it. It's important to let yourself relax and be patient with yourself, especially for creatives. If you spend all your time creating, sometimes it is nice to sit back and be the observer, and consume other people's art through reading, or listening to music, etc.  and to jump back into your project whenever you’re ready.


Her work explores identity - a snippet from her artist statement:

"A large portion of my work focuses on identity. Growing up in a low-income household, and the daughter of a Mexican immigrant, I struggled to fit in with the upper middle-class white population around me. Low-income BIPOC/children of immigrants often carry the weight of securing financial success for their families, with little time to explore their passions. For most of my life that was my identity; the child of an immigrant who excels in school with plans of working in a STEM field. Creativity was always just a ‘hidden talent’ for me. In college, I discovered my passion for art, and with my parents’ blessing, took a chance on pursuing art as a career."


You can find more of Marissa's work here:





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