"What I enjoy the most about this lifestyle is the opportunity to create, to use any moment to come up with something new, to discover inspiration in everything around me."
Update (July, 2019)
“A few years ago I found myself needing to leave my country, Venezuela. The situation became more critical and I decided to settle in Mexico, a nation to which I was always attracted.
“I was always passionate about crafts and being able to implement my designs and ideas in this field; so I started with some techniques that allowed me to develop. Always in the part of the design that is my specialty. That is how I got into the art of papier mache, which fascinates me and gives me the opportunity to see more detail in each part that forms it.
“I feel very proud to be able to collaborate so that crafts from different parts of the country can be marketed on something as innovative as a website. This year in working with NOVICA has allowed me to create a large series of pieces and work with several techniques. As a person who works with artisans, this has made me learn a lot from this beautiful country and its wealth.
“I currently work with 20 families of artisans; among them those who work with mud, wood, papier mache and clay. It is a great satisfaction for me to support them very closely in their needs. Being close to them has allowed me to get to know them and be an active part of their lives--that flatters me a lot.
“Challenges have arisen along the way that have shown me that this is my passion; I don't see myself working in another activity. Some years ago I had health problems that made it hard for me to work. But thank God everything got better, and I'm better than ever. More active and more determined that I want to continue working and preserving this beautiful art and this beautiful country that is Mexico.”
Original Artisan Story
"My name is Alicia Urdaneta. I'm from Caracas, Venezuela and currently live in Mexico. For many years, I've had to live like a nomad from my country to promote my designs and the talent of the artisans who collaborate with me.
"I've always loved crafts. In the 1990s, I decided to design and create handcrafted art. For a long time, I lived in artisan communities, which gave me the opportunity to learn about the processes and the craftspeople's needs. They motivated me to begin designing because they taught me everything I learned.
"What I enjoy the most about this lifestyle is the opportunity to create, to use any moment to come up with something new, to discover inspiration in everything around me. It's wonderful to work independently and, at the same time, to collaborate closely with so much talent. I can't imagine working any other way.
"I love designing all kinds of handicrafts and working with different kinds of materials. I work with different artisans — from ceramists to weavers to woodworkers. I seek people who are responsible. It's wonderful to help awaken their creativity and I always respect their opinions.
"Since 2001, I've been president of a non-profit organization which helps people obtain goods and services in the areas of health, education, sports and artisanal work.
"I'd like to help and support needy communities in my home country, which is currently going through one of the worst moments in its history. I think this can be achieved through arts and crafts. I'm committed to being involved with artisan communities and helping to improve lives."