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  • Writer's pictureHannah Ghafary

Artists' Corner: Meet Sincerely Art

Hey there, and welcome back to my little corner of the internet. I am coming to you, live from quarantine in the good ole ATL, with the second post in my new series here on Posh & Painterly: Artists' Corner, where I interview other artists and creatives. In this series, you'll get a behind-the-scenes look at the work processes, upcoming projects, and other exclusive content of all of your favorite artists. If you missed the first post, where I interviewed artist Shai Hendrix (@alilpickle), you can read it here. But, before we go any further, I would be remissed to share this post without addressing all of the craziness happening in the world right now. My thoughts and prayers are with each and everyone of you that are feeling the impact of COVID-19. It is a scary and uncertain time for all of us, and I hope you and your loved ones are staying safe and healthy. Amidst all the chaos, I hope that this interview can be a source of some positivity and distraction. This week I am so excited to introduce you guys to Giselle Ibarra, better known to her 80,000+ followers as Sincerely Art. Giselle, who goes by Sin, is a California-based full-time artist, business owner, and mother. I was so excited to interview Sin for this series because her work is a huge inspiration to my own. It was so fun getting to learn more about the person behind all of the beautiful paintings I love, and I hope you'll think so too!

Sin at her latest art show, an event organized and co-hosted by herself and her boyfriend, Robb Anthony. Photo via Instagram.

What's the story behind your name, Sin? About five years ago, when I first started [posting on] Instagram (on a different page than I have now), I was dedicating myself to poetry. So, when I would finish anything [I wrote], I would sign “Sincerely, M” (which was also the username of that account). A couple years later I met my boyfriend through Instagram. Him and his friends […] thought my name was too difficult to pronounce or remember, so they started calling me "Sincerely" because of my Instagram handle. Eventually, it turned into "Sin" for short. It kind of always stuck, because, I didn’t really relate to [either] of my names since I was younger. How do you get through days when you're not feeling artistically inspired? I do whatever it is my spirit is telling me to do. I never fight the art blocks, because I understand that art blocks are just periods of self reflection for me. [I reflect upon] why it is that I am not feeling connected to the piece I am working on, or why I am simply not feeling inspired. When it comes to [creative] blocks, I think artists are so hard on themselves. I’ve learned that it is essentially just the same [as the] course of life. Some days are gloomy, and others are sunny. And that is normal. There are days my mind requires and demands a break, and I am completely okay with that. I never rush the process. So to answer your question: accepting the [lack of] inspiration. Do you always work from photo references? When it comes to [the] body or things [like] flowers or butterflies, yes. Photographs are the best bases to art! But, if it is something like a dream, then I just sketch out what I [envisioned] and [go] from there.

Photo via Instagram.

How did you transition art from being a passion to being a full-time career? Was there a moment when you just decided, "I'm going to do this"? I struggled taking that leap a lot. I think I prepared myself, but [I] was still very afraid. I started [by] making more products for my art, and a lot of people started supporting me. I would set goals for myself in my notebook every month (for example, “This month I will make 3k in sales”), and I would [work until I] hit it. Eventually, it kind of became a challenge for me. I would [say to myself], “If I [reach my goal in] sales this month, then I'll quit my job”. Then, I'd make that amount, but I [still] wouldn’t quit because of fear! My boyfriend told me, “The signs are there. What are you so afraid of? You’re [manifesting] everything you want and [everything you] are working for is coming to you.” I knew [it] too, but it was just the fear of the unknown… Especially having my son, I couldn’t afford to not make it happen. I [worked both] my full-time job and full-time artistry for about seven months until I was eventually drained. [I remember] it was the 26th of November-- I was so afraid. I was crying in my bed, just freaking out. I asked God for a sign. [On my phone] I looked up “angel number 26” because of the date - and bam. I couldn’t go against it anymore, I had to walk in it. What's your favorite part of being a mom? Seeing my son grow. Being able to experience all his little stages and life changes with him. Seeing him develop. He is an extension of me outside of my body. In him, I find so many reflections of myself and my childhood. In an amazing way, watching him grow has truly connected me more to myself.

Sin and her son at an art show (photo via Instagram).

How do you balance a full-time career with being a mom? I don’t think I will ever have a correct answer to that question, because I don’t believe there is one. It is constantly changing and evolving. I can never find the time to divide parenting between my passion; I just naturally navigate through it with instinct. Of course, I [make] specific times for things such as bath time, play time, food time, cuddle time.. Otherwise, I am just going with life as it comes to me. I have learned to manage my work schedule around [my son's] schedule, which is always changing (as are me and my business). 

Is your family supportive of your career? Have they always been? For a long time, if I am being honest, I felt like the ugly duckling in my family. Growing up, I was kind of a mess and all over the place. I was very angry with the world and came from a place of hurt. I think my family thought I would never find myself through that anger and depression. They thought I would probably never have much for myself in my life because of my actions and the way I was living. But I found myself, and they are, slowly but surely, [starting to see me move differently]. Now, they are the most supportive and proud parents, but it took us [all] a while to come to this space. Has art always been your passion? If not, what was the course you envisioned your life taking before? I was always artistically inclined, but I never saw myself here, where I am now. As I said, I had a lot of trouble growing up, especially during high school. All my friends [couldn’t wait to go to] this school or study there or become that. I always got anxiety […] feeling like I didn’t have a purpose or belong anywhere. I [bounced] from job to job, then I got pregnant and I [had no] choice but to work as hard as I could. I fell into postpartum depression and lost my sense of self at [that] time. Art helped me and was there for me when I didn’t have anything. At first, I was sketching a lot of crying eyes---eyes were always my thing. Eventually, I started playing with […] paint, and now I am here. That's why I speak so much on allowing life to show you where you are meant to be. Some of us bloom later than others, and there is nothing wrong with that. Eventually, you will end up exactly where you are meant to be. 

Some of us bloom later than others, and there is nothing wrong with that. Eventually, you will end up exactly where you are meant to be. 

What does your typical work day look like? Wake up, grab breakfast for my little one and I, then write. [Writing] is so important to me. I have a hard time understanding myself most days and how I feel about everything all at once. For me, writing is grounding to [reflect] and feel at peace with where I am at and where I want to be. [After that,] I'll see what tasks I have for the day (paint, work on orders, answer emails etc.). Honestly, I [..] have found [that] a strict schedule limits my freedom to just be and work [with my frequently changing schedule].

A work-in-progress photo of Sin's latest work, "Phases of the Moon". Photo via Instagram.

What's the best and worst part of your profession? Being my own boss. I know that sounds funny but it is true! I am in love with being my own boss, but it is also the hardest part about my job. People think “Oh, you work for yourself---that must be such a dream and so easy!” It is a dream, but it definitely isn’t easy at all. You are your own manager, your own designer, your own website engineer, your own HR department, your own financial advisor, your own scheduler. Everything that makes a [larger business or organization] work is literally handled by only one person, which is yourself. It is so difficult BUT, of course, rewarding! This year though, I’m praying for a team.

Can you tell us some more about the inspiration behind your piece, Outside of Time? What does the window to another universe represent? What about the greenery growing out of the water next to the boat? This is my favorite question thus far! But I am afraid I am not ready to share that with the world yet. When the time comes, I will. I owe it to the people who support me to tell the stories behind all my pieces, and I am thinking about filming a series on the explanations. I will give you a small insight though: perspective.

Detail's of Sin's work "Outside of Time" (photo via Instagram).

Who are some artists that inspire you? I think all artists inspire me. Seeing everyone create in such a unique way always makes me want to create. If I'm being honest, everything around me inspires me. But, visually speaking, my favorite artists would have to be Salvador Dali, Rene Magritte and Jim Warren. I see my heart in their art so much. I draw great ideas and conceptions from their work! What are some of your favorite self-care activities? Writing, nature, and sunsets. I absolutely adore the Earth [that] we are blessed with. [I feel most] myself when I spend time in nature, whether it be the beach or a road trip through the mountains.  What are you binge-watching right now? As crazy as this sounds, I have never really been a binge-watcher (unless someone introduces me to a show and I get really hooked on it). That hasn’t happened since about 2016, after I had my son. I do love to watch animal series like “Blue Planet” and things of that nature. Oh, and I will always like New Girl or Law & Order Special Victims Unit! Have you had any formal art training? I absolutely wish I did! Eventually, of course, I would like to. […] I feel the more knowledge, the better. There are also tricks and techniques that are so useful that I haven’t come across yet but would love to learn. I just can’t afford it at the moment. YouTube though, I gotta give credit to YouTube!

Sin pictured with her work, "Outside of Time". Photo via Instagram.

What is your favorite piece you've created to date? Outside Of Time... is my heart on a canvas completely.

Preview of Sin's new zodiac series (photo via Twitter).

What projects are you currently working on? I firmly believe that you should never speak things into existence that you are not already in or already have. There is a ton of more products that I am working on for my art family and consumers, but I don’t think I should say the names of those projects until they are finalized. Energy is important to me, and I don’t want to destroy the energy behind any of my pieces until they are completed. For now, I am working on finishing my recent painting and my new zodiac series. What's an interesting thing about you that your followers don't know? I am great with numbers! I can memorize a license plate [exactly] just by looking at it once […]. It's like a photographic memory, but [specifically for] numbers or random sequences. Where do you see yourself as an artist in ten years? I have this vision. I don’t know why, but I always see it as clear as day: a huge house around nature on a cliff with glass windows top to bottom. [I am] sitting there on a emerald green sofa painting while looking out through the windows to the ocean, a beautiful sunset. That is where I see myself-- filled with bliss, knowing I made it, enjoying the life I worked for. There are no guidelines or expectations I have [on these plans], because I understand I am not in charge of anything that will come or happen. I am just in charge of following the path given to me to get there to the vision I see.  If you were a crayon, what color would you be and why? I would be yellow--- to remind you of the sun. To remind you of what it feels like to be warm. [To remind you] of the rays the sun creates when it hits the rain. I would be yellow, so when you pick me up you feel the bright. 


If you enjoyed this interview, feel free to shoot me a DM or leave me a comment below to let me know what artists you'd like to see featured in the future! And if you want to make sure you catch future Artists' Corner interviews and other content on Posh & Painterly, make sure you scroll down to the bottom of this page and subscribe! Stay updated on @sincerelyart via Instagram and Twitter, or check out her website.

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