A Conversation with the Crafty Chica on Art and Success

The Crafty Chica BELatina Latinx
Photo courtesy of thecraftychica.com

Art and evolution are inseparable concepts. Between trends, ideas, and realities, managing to secure a sustainable business is one of the most difficult achievements in the industry.

That’s why we spoke with Latina artist, author, and entrepreneur Kathy Cano-Murillo, also known as the Crafty Chica, to get an insight into one successful artist’s secret to monetizing and building a long-term career.

With decades of experience well spent, the Crafty Chica currently has several projects in the works, from launching a line of greeting cards to a line of fabrics that will see the light of day in November — all while celebrating her brand’s 20th anniversary with her new book The Crafty Chica Creates.

For Cano-Murillo, the love for her work is inspired by what she describes as “Latinx-Inspired DIY Projects with spirit and sparkle.”

Her new project will be her eleventh publication and follows her successful book Forever Frida, which she created hoping that her readers would find in its pages curious facts and insights about the Mexican artist beyond her famous paintings.

“My goal was to show how she was such a creative person in everything she did – not just in her paintings but even setting the dinner table for Diego. She made sure to have fresh flowers that matched with the plates she had painted for them,” Cano-Murillo tells BELatina News.

Currently, she is focusing on ceramics and illustration, which, to her surprise, became an essential part of her business

All this derived from her roots; Cano-Murillo came from an artistic family, and she knew she wanted to continue her elder’s legacy in her beloved Phoenix community early on: “I learned my dad, as a teenager, used to make resin jewelry and sell it at a local jewelry shop. This was in the 1950s! It makes me so excited to carry on the tradition.”

Moving forward to the next generation of Latinx innovators, Cano-Murillo advises the following in regards to shifting careers throughout your life and building her brand: “I call it evolving! When I was in high school, I made a long list of life goals. I kept adding to it. By the age of 50, I had completed all of them! Published novels, product lines, touring the world, speaking, teaching, interviewing celebrities, being a newspaper reporter. These days I made a new list! This time licensing is a big portion, and I’ve been doing so well in that area. Here I am in my mid-fifties, and I landed a national greeting card line, a line of fabrics, appearing on HSN to sell my Crafty Chica paper crafting line. Licensing has been a wonderful way to evolve my brand. And to celebrate 20 years, I’m doing a whole rebrand this summer! Gotta keep things fresh!”

As far as getting into the creative field, the Crafty Chica encourages people to come up with a signature style that is all their own: “You have to have a point of view that is exclusive to you and your personality. And you have to be ready to evolve and change but still, keep that essence. I truly believe that is what has kept Crafty Chica going strong all these years; I’m always taking risks and trying new things. If you get a ‘no,’ it means you are not ready – or it is not ready for you. [Additionally,] I always keep monthly vision boards, and I often move around the pieces to match with what’s going on in my life, so the energy is synced. I’m a big manifestor and have learned to keep things fluid.”

Y’all heard her! Stay evolving and stay manifesting!