Hello, My name is Shmi. I am a visual artist native to Santa Ana, California. I am of Mexican descent and the daughter of two migrant parents who settled in Santa Ana. I have been painting for over 20 years. I have always been drawn towards creating and building with my hands. I began painting mural backdrops for plays in grade school and helping my pops build sets for plays at church. 2007 marked and important path in my artist career, I began working as a muralist. My work evolved from graffiti characters and lettering to colorful murals that adorn public,private and commercial spaces. I am inspired by my culture. Folk arts rooted in and reflective of the cultural life of a community. I use color in a way to decorate and adorn each piece giving life to tanginble and intanglble doors that I like to open for my community. Art has opened many doors for me and has allowed me to share my story. In 2013 I Co-Founded The Heavy in Santa Ana, California, A public art intiative.
The Heavy Collective is a collaboration between myself and Bud Herrera, aka Thirds Realm. The Heavy focuses on using Art as a tool to enrich the community and beautify both public, private and commercial spaces. We emphasize on developing quality mural work by creating custom art pieces that are made with lots of love. We have become Santa Ana's most prolific artist due to our large body of work that we have created in the city. We have received three Investing in Artist Grants from the City of Santa Ana and The Arts and Culture commission to help develop more Art and Culture in the city. The Heavy has utilized this opportunity to help create public art spaces for the community in Downtown Santa Ana. In addition, our work aims to collaborate with youth to develop public murals that celebrate diversity and educate the community on the rich culture of the city. Through public art we beautify public spaces and bring artwork to daily commuters. The body of work we have created aims to empower people to be proud of there culture and spark awareness in others through visual art. Using art as a universal language to create and build a stronger community.