We had the good fortune of connecting with María M. Castro Ruiz and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi María, can you tell us more about your background and the role it’s played in shaping who you are today?
Sure! I was born 32 years ago. When I was little we lived on Mallorca, and it was here that I discovered my love for artistic creation. Just before my family left the island, a charming old lady gave me a gift that touched my life in a profund way. She gave me her painting briefcase, brushes, easel and some artworks, her constant companion that her exhausted hands could no longer enjoy. At that moment, I felt like the luckiest girl in the world.

Years later, on the Spanish peninsula, I attended art classes that led me into the decision of studying Fine Arts. This I did at the University of Seville. There I stained my hands, gown, face and even my hair with pencil, charcoal, pigments, varnish, clay,
sand, lime, wood shavings and many other materials.

After completing my degree, I went on to achieve my Masters Degree in Graphic Design and Prepress at the Gauss Multimedia School Málaga. Here my designhead went from realism and trompe l’oeil to flat images, vectors, reticles and pixels.

During this time of my designing career, I learned there are an infinite amount of ways of expressing and creating including the surprising medium of computer based systems. However, touching and smelling that painting case I keep as a treasure will always return me to the essence of who I am, and my origin. Thanks to Carmen Pelluch.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My time at the design school was a perfect complement to my studies in Fine Arts. My head had always been torn between the taste for abstraction and the viscerality that a few paint stains convey and the beauty that can be obtained through a neat and thoughtful design.

Within the world of design I am especially attracted to several areas: branding and its ability to make a brand unique and genuine; infographics as a tool to explain a topic and dissect it into as many parts as desired, for analysis; the versatility that a packaging devised from creativity or the powerful images that result from flat design and a play with color palettes.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I have been living in Dallas for a year, and I’m still discovering the hidden secrets of the city. However, I have already been able to enjoy many of its wonderful highlights. Without a doubt, one of the first visions that everyone who visits Dallas should contemplate is that of the skyline. By day, you can already perceive that it is special, but at night the skyscrapers become a spectacular play of light.

Naturally, one should go to the DMA and the Design District, visit Bishop and have some good ramen at Waya, my favorite Japanese restaurant in the Lakewood area.

Without a doubt, one of the must-do activities would be to take a bike ride along the Santa Fe trail until you reach White Rock Lake.

Another of the requisite plans, would be to spend a day enjoying the artistic and festive atmosphere of Deep Ellum, finishing the evening listening to music in several of its venue. And, trying craft beer at the Deep Ellum Brewing Co.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My thanks to Carmen Pelluch, that charming woman who opened up a world of possibilities for me when she gave me her painting briefcase. To my classmates from the faculty, with whom I shared painting sessions, talks about life, and a lot of love, to endure the hard years. To Saúl, my husband, for believing in me and supporting me with every step I take. And, of course, to my parents, for giving me the wonderful gift of life and not leaving me alone for a single moment.

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