Once a month, Arizona Oddities features a Q&A with a talented Arizona artist who is influenced by our state’s people, places and history. This month, budding photographer Claudia Torres explains how living in Tucson has shaped her portfolio.
Featured Artist: Claudia Libieth Torres
How did you get started as an artist?
I was always the “artsy” kid, and I wanted to find something stable because I did everything from musical theater to ceramics. At 16, I enrolled in VOICES, Inc., an after-school program to teach low-income youth documentary arts. I decided to take photography classes because I wanted to be cool, mysterious and needed a reason to start a new fad of carrying a camera. I was surprised to find out I was pretty good at taking photographs. I was immediately mesmerized at the craft of painting with light. Now my camera and I are inseparable, and I’m less concerned about my social status and whether or not my camera is hip. Now I create beauty from the simplest things. Creating beauty is my passion.
Where do you find inspiration?
In the smallest places that no one pays attention to. I also love capturing those quick moments in life that happen so fast. The photograph creates a permanent memory. I go on many adventures in Arizona and I want to remember them when I’m older.
How does living in Arizona influence your art?
I’m very influenced by my love for the Sonoran Desert and my Hispanic culture. I also love the energy that Tucson has – vibrant and colorful. I love to photograph the movement and spiciness Tucsonans have.
Favorite Arizona getaway or adventure:
Apple Annie’s Orchid in Willcox is my favorite adventure. I also adore Saguaro National Park West in Tucson. It’s the most peaceful place on Earth with millions of towering saguaros and chirping of birds.
I live in Arizona because…
I cannot stand cold weather. I attend school here at the University of Arizona. Also, I have a deep love for the desert and I cannot imagine living anywhere else! I was born here and I have all of my family here.
How would you describe Arizona to someone who has never been here before?
Arizona is magical with nightly painted sunsets across the sky, diverse in its people and wildlife. It’s an adventure.
Best Arizona sunset:
My backyard or Gates Pass (Tucson)