We had the good fortune of connecting with Zalen Cigainero and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Zalen, do you have some perspective or insight you can share with us on the question of when someone should give up versus when they should keep going?
“You’re gonna die someday. Do something about it.” is the advice I’ve always stuck with when it comes to “giving up”. Nothing has resonated clearer than that.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I dabble in everything. You name it. I do it. Or at the very least, I attempt to do it to the best of my ability. Every medium that can allow for expression, I will attempt. I just remember starting to record song ideas in my room when I lived in my home town, and figuring out that no one else would dedicate to the visions or ideas in order to bring them to life. I ended up nose diving into any tutorial I could find on any subject I wanted to know and started to broaden my horizons in order to make the things I see/hear in my head. If you have to rely on anyone else in a creative capacity, you’re probably going to be held up or let down, so it’s better to just roll up your sleeves and figure it out. Be collaborative, but be careful who you’re letting in. NOTHING about this is easy. An artist in a single medium (let’s say songwriting) can spend a very VERY long time failing upward until they start succeeding in that one thing. Now multiply that by eight to ten times for each other thing one could stack on (photography, 3D design, painting, etc.) and you have a recipe for perpetual disappointment. I’ve learned to live in the small victories and keep my nose to the grindstone. If I’m letting the world know anything, it’s that I’m a man of very little talent, who is utterly obsessed. I’m not better than anyone, but I’ll work harder.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If any of my close people come through, they know what’s up. We’re making art. That’s pretty much it. I’m a hermit to my core, and a broke one at that. Plus, I don’t live near anything exciting, and the pandemic has everything closed, so it is what it is.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I owe a TON of people my thanks in the course of becoming able to create things, so I’m honestly not going to try to name everyone. A lot of thanks goes to this family I’ve found in the Dallas area, and the ones I keep in my immediate circle. I’m not surrounded by a bunch of “yes men” anymore, or people who are just looking to get by. I’m flanked on every side by folks who want to truly excel and push their limits. That’s more than I could ever ask for.