God and Art Series - Artist expresses love, faith in artwork

Why hide your favorite picture in a drawer when you can expose it to the light of the world? Yessika Torres, a Puerto Rican artist on Etsy, uses this thought as the basis for her creativity. Yessika uses favorite paintings and her customers' personal pictures to make jewelry so that people don't have to hide their favorite things.

"I began developing my artistic self as a child; I spent my free time painting and doing arts and crafts. I have always loved creating things with my hands," Yessika says. At a young age, Yessika had what she calls a spiritual awakening. "My parents instilled in me a belief in an Almighty Creator; seeing the wonders of nature and of life, I have always felt this to be true. I am very grateful to God for having given me the ability and the means to do what I do. I have learned little by little; I had many setbacks, but God always gave me the strength to get up, dust myself off, and find new ways to get where I want to be," she continues.

Her love of museums, vintage paintings, nature, photography and graphic designs translates into her artwork. She displays her work in two Etsy stores: YessiJewels and BeatriziFashions. She also displays her work at local shows.
A quest for beauty and the value of memories are what moves Yessika in her art. "I have seen many things in my life that I would have liked to keep with me as mementos or souvenirs. I recognize the beauty in the world and try to keep a little bit of this beauty with me always. One of my most recent pieces has a photo of my first nephew, born only a month ago. I have an enormous feeling of satisfaction when I see how my small creations become treasured pieces with great sentimental value for people.

"I work with resins, light metals, seeds, beads, paints and photographs. I do jewelry pieces with peoples' favorite pictures and photos that they can carry with them wherever they go. People love personalized gifts, and I love seeing their faces when they receive a piece of jewelry with the image of a loved-one or of a special moment. I marvel at nature, at the colors that surround us, and I try to capture those beautiful moments that can be frozen in time through a photograph. My present outlet brings together my four passions - art, photography, graphic design and jewelry-making," she says.

Earlier in her life, Yessika won an award in an artistic sketching contest. She has moved from that beginning to her current level of craftsmanship and artistry. In the future, Yessika hopes to earn a license as an artisan. She is also working on a doctorate in clinical psychology. "Art is subjective and relative," she says. "Personally, I do my art as an expression of love and faith."

To other artists Yessika adds, "Don't become disappointed or depressed that your pieces don't move or sell as well as you would like. Know that somewhere, someone is looking at your pieces and saying, 'That's a nice piece of art. I like that very much.'