We're very fortunate to have by our side in the Amsterdam International Women Network the talented, whole-hearted and bright artist Lorena Fernandez, who is giving us this interview as our lady of August, in preparation for her Creativity Workshop, soon to be launched in collaboration with the AIW. Such a delicious energy!
Take a look! ;)
1- 😊 Lorena, thank you for accepting our invitation to answer some questions as an international woman of our network! To start with, tell us a little about yourself, the work you do, your hobbies, the most remarkable place you have visited abroad, things like that.
Hi! I’m so happy and grateful to be part of this amazing group of international women in Amsterdam! My name is Lorena Fernandez and I am an artist and Expressive Arts teacher. Expressive Arts is art created for personal development and healing. (My website has more on this: https://lfcreative.org/ )
My hobbies are dancing, swimming, spirituality, listening to world music, painting, traveling, enjoyment and humor in all forms. (I also don’t mind good food and wine but I have to be careful due to health issues.) I have lived, worked and studied in Venezuela, USA, Switzerland, Netherlands and Norway.
2- Where do you come from and why did you choose Amsterdam as your new home?
I was born on the Andes Mountains of Venezuela in a city called Merida. At 18 I moved to the USA to study Industrial Engineering. After graduation I moved to Singapore to work in Engineering and I married a Norwegian man, after that I had my two half-viking daughters. Then, I shifted careers towards the arts. I studied Expressive Arts Therapy and Coaching in Switzerland. For the last 15 years I have been working as an artist and Expressive Arts Educator, to facilitate personal development and healing in my students. After living in Singapore for 7 years we moved to Houston, Texas, USA and in 2018 my husband got a work offer to moved to beautiful Amsterdam. Back then I loved my American job teaching Expressive Arts to adults at a Houston college, however I also love adventure, so I quit my job and we moved.
3- For how long have you been living here and how is it going with adapting to the multicultural Amsterdam style? Do you see any differences between here and your hometown?
I just completed my 3rd year living in Amsterdam, and also just endured a full year of semi-lockup due to the pandemic, as most of us have done. In that year I healed a few last things from my past, and I created some more art. In June, in this summer vacation I was lucky enough to be invited to participate in art exhibition at Austin, the state capital of Texas, in the Capitol building to commemorate the LGBTQ community and Pride, and the fact that we humans all belong to this rich and diverse human network. Like Amsterdam, Texas is extremely diverse. Visually, Amsterdam is much more beautiful.
4- Socially: Do you hang out mostly with fellow Latinas or is your social life more multi-culturally oriented?
My family is international, strangely, nobody around our dinner table was born in the same continent: We were born in Venezuela, Norway, Singapore, and USA. So, socially I feel most comfortable with other international citizens. I am open-minded and always curious about all cultures, humans, nature and about lots of things. In Amsterdam I belong to the international community and also the hispanic community, which is also a mixture of many countries.
5- How did you get to know the Amsterdam International Women and how has been your experience with the network so far?
I was lucky to discovered AIW in 2018 when fearless leader and organizer Paula Kelder offered a meeting at De Roos. After that I collaborated with Paula doing a fun collage workshop where women created vision boards cutting images from many magazines that I provided and gluing them to a backing to discover new interests and revive old ones. I look forward to doing fun, deep, interesting art workshops for AIW in my 3rd floor studio. During this month of August I will have open studio every Saturday at 9:15-11am. I will be offering a free short intro to Expressive Arts. Given Coronavirus distance requirement, at this time I can have 6 visitors in the studio. If you want to drop by send me a message in
WhatsApp +31 6 11 68 48 67 or an email firstname.lastname@example.org
Attached are two pictures of my latest art and self, a picture of my studio space and the stairs. If you are coming to try Expressive Arts it’s important you know about the stair climbing required. 😂 Love and light to all!!