Learn a little more about Menta Days , a Peruvian artist who inspires us with her art and story of how she managed to find her passion and purpose.
1. M: Tell us… who are you and what do you do?
Q: I am Pamela Diaz Escalante, also known as Menta Days. Menta is the pseudonym I use to share my art. I am 36 years old, I am Peruvian, I am currently dedicated to art, to inspiring and I also work in the corporate world.
2. M: Where does the name “Menta Days” come from?
Q: Menta Days was born as a result of a personal search for more than 30 years of my life. I didn't know what to do with these hands, until I discovered my passion for art, for painting and when I had to create an account, create a space where I could put my paintings, my name couldn't be used because back then and today it's still popping up for notes related to all my corporate role. And I said, what do I do? and Mint has always been my favorite color and Days is my last name in English.
3. M: How did you find your passion?
Q: Look, I've never been good at arts or crafts; I think they were never my specialty. Everyone around me was shocked when I started developing the theme of Menta Days. I have done everything, I have studied everything, in the sense that I have taken classes in pattern making, fashion, interior design, I set up a home decoration project and it was like, what do I do? with these hands? and I looked at Pinterest, I saw workshops and I didn't know what to do. Really like it was an answer that I didn't have and it distressed me a lot. On December 24, I went to buy a bag in Miraflores; I got to the store and they told me: “it's out of stock”. Back then I didn't use to walk as much as I do now and I found myself on December 24 with the streets totally empty, I don't know why, surely everyone was already celebrating Christmas, it was 4 in the afternoon in the center of Miraflores. I started walking and I came to a store called "La Clave", dedicated to painting, and I saw the beginner's kit and it cost the same as the wallet and included the lectern, the canvas, the brushes... everything, and I kept looking and the store clerk said: Do you want it? and I told her yes, and she asked me, for a gift? and I said yes, as a gift and then they wrapped it for me and the next day thinking that maybe it was one of the most expenses you make in your life when you say I'm going to undertake something, well this time I wasn't wrong...
4. M: How is your creative process?
Q: The creative process is the most magical, that is, I believe that the result is not the painting, I believe that the beautiful thing is in the whole process that it takes. I can tell you many cases, but one that is my favorite is how everything starts through curiosity. If you start to wonder about a word, its origin, where it comes from, what it means, you already start giving inputs to your brain. I was driving, I saw an announcement of a discussion of the daughter of Chabuca Granda in the Cultural Center of Piura, I signed up one Friday night, I went, I listened to her, she inspired me, I wrote down, I started to watch documentaries, I looked for her, I had a coffee with her and talking to her she told me that she made a whole collection of poems of the botanical flowers that appear in Chabuca's songs and that there were twelve of them and when she gave me those twelve, I imagined them in paintings and suddenly I started buying canvases to put together a sample of "Let me tell you." So every time I went to find out about the song, I got more inspiration about the painting. So, I think that the creative process can range from something as armed as "Let me tell you" to finishing reading a book on "Becoming" by Michelle Obama and being inspired to paint that force it transmits. They can be very limited things, they can even be quite elaborate processes, right? They are all exciting, they all have their thing.
5. M: How do you carry out so many projects in parallel? Because you told us that you work in the corporate world, you paint and more.
Q: Yes, I have a super exciting corporate life too. I love being in this world where I also read all the thoughts of people who sometimes don't allow themselves to be creative, right? So that for me is also a feedback for my art. I think one of the main keys is ORGANIZATION; because I am very organized in my work, I am very organized in Menta Days and I don't try to advance by leaps and bounds, I don't try to do big projects; I'm doing a Monday and a Tuesday and when you realize, uff you start to see a list of things you did, but many tell me: When will you leave the corporate world? and it's not about leaving, it's about things going to happen as they have to happen at some point, but now I'm enjoying it a lot because I work from Monday to Friday and on Saturday and Sunday I paint. So on Saturdays and Sundays it is not that I stand in front of the painting and say “no, today I don't want to paint” “no, today I am a little sad”, “no, today there is no light” NO! Today he paints because there is no other day and it also works in my favor because my art is very dynamic, energetic and forces me to be able to give it that injection of energy; so I think that the corporate part also generates a pleasant inspiration in my Menta Days world.
6. M: What is the greatest difficulty you have encountered on your way and the greatest gratification?
Q: The biggest difficulty is time. Sometimes it frustrates me a lot because I want to do a lot of things, and also time that I have sacrificed with friends, with family... because sometimes they say: "Hey, Pamela dedicated herself to art and we didn't see her anymore" (laughs) and sometimes I have to be in all the meetings, parties or celebrations, but I know that it is worth it and the most gratifying thing is to receive messages from people who had never painted and are allowing themselves to have a creative life, people who have bought a painting from me and have put it after having a very sad or tragic situation and they tell me: "I bought you a painting because I needed happiness in my life" and it's like "how nice that I am filling, not with anxiety, nor with sadness but that I am placing happiness through Of art".
The greatest gratification is having brought the “Reinvent your creativity” books together with the NGO Juguete Pendiente. I felt and feel that I must thank the universe for allowing me to have discovered my passion; I feel that many people do not even want to find it or do not want to take the time to look for it and having found it is such a complete satisfaction that I felt I had to do something and I launched a book that is “A challenge for adults and a game for children ”; which is an activity book. But I said: if I am going to do this, I must be grateful to the world and for each one that I sell, I am going to donate one to this Pending Toy NGO and when I get to Manchay, to the Children's Hospital, to the Puericultorio, to Puno 4400 meters above the sea level, children who have math, language and an art book was never going to arrive and tell me thank you and they finished painting and returned it to me and I told them: No, it's yours. They were super happy, they hugged me and seeing the image of all the children running with books in hand when we left in the car was incredible, beautiful for me; because art is a hope for them, so that they know that beyond what is in the world, art is a way to get ahead and to be able to give them that hope. I arrived super sensitive and excited.
7. M: Can you give us any advice you can give to women who are looking to reinvent themselves or who need a boost to start something new?
Q: For the drive you need energy, you need a lot of perseverance and above all you need training. Knowledge is the lottery for any project one wants to do; So when you want to start something, it's not about "how much money is it?" or "no, I'm going to quit my job." One constancy, two is goodbye fears and three, you have to understand that by reading, knowing and learning you already have everything.
8. M: What is that garment that you can never miss?
Q: Woah! The garment that I love is the white blouse. I'm lovin 'it! In fact, I always paint with a white blouse and it seems to me that sometimes you don't have to wear it and you wear pants, a palazzo, a white blouse and earrings and you look spectacular.
9. M: What is the best advice you have been given for your art or your life and who has given you this advice?
Q: Woah! I have received very nice advice, but one that came to mind is the one that a great friend told me: Pame, you have to understand that you should not compare yourself with anyone, because sometimes I felt a little bad and It was like saying: he has studied for ten years and the intense Menta Days comes here with its colors and I haven't studied at all and one day I said I want to paint; I don't want to disrespect the artists who have dedicated so much time... and my friend tells me, you're not doing anything wrong, you're not disrespecting anyone, just don't compare yourself. They have their path and you have yours and when you see that you advance without having to see what they do or do not do, you will be Menta and you are already Menta Days. And now I say, the path of the artist is understood by some in a different way; In my case, I have been a Hotel Manager with a master's degree in Marketing and Sales Management and other artists may have started from school.
10. M: What goals do you have for 2020?
Q: One is painting for me. I always paint for others and now Pamela's paintings are coming, that is to say from me and I think that one does not understand what it is to portray oneself or paint oneself even in the abstract, whatever you consider because you are putting the photo of your soul on your canvas and this sample is going to require the recipient of the canvas to go a little deeper and see more.