If you step inside of her home and you get a sense that you’re walking inside of a studio, you’ll be correct. There are paint splatters on what was once a dining table top. There are piles of canvases and ideas waiting to be finished pressed against the walls. I get a feeling that they’re jealous of the pieces that reside on the walls of artist/entrepreneur Victoria Rodriguez, or better known as, Tori Does Fine Art.
You make your way down to the garage, and around the work station that her father made for her, are several T-Shirt designs, banners, installations, empty beer bottles, and even more paintings.
Tori herself is a work of art. She said it best “as in a physical standpoint, 95 percent of me is covered in paint splatter, or glue. You get a little messy sometimes, but it’s worth it.” At the time during our conversation, it was chalk that the artist was covered with.
We found this hidden gem of a house in upstate New York’s Capitol District after finding this ball of energy’s growing popularity on Facebook and YouTube videos for the past few months in her growing business Tori Does Fine Art.
As a youngster Tori’s parents helped fuel her creative mind. “My parents used to push our creativity, and our imagination. If we were creating something they would ask us to elaborate on it, and ask how we came up with that idea.”
Later on, combined with the love for math, Tori decided to attend FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology) for interior design, which she later realized was not a good fit for her. Until about a year and a half ago after suffering a hernia, Victoria found herself on bed rest and being forced out her everyday habit of going to the gym, she needed something to do.
“I took an art class and got back into it, and it really took off. It was like a new found passion.” The art class also helped her expand as an artist. “Before I was afraid to try new things, and this one class really pushed me to explore new things.”
Delving deeper down memory lane, Tori tells a tale of her first time using a pallet knife in class. “To be honest, the first painting I tried with a pallet knife, I threw in the garbage. I was so angry at myself and annoyed for feeling that way about my own work that I went right to the art store from that class and bought a set of pallet knives so I can get better at it. I was not going to let that happen.”
After asking how her art reflects her personality, Tori said “I’m very silly, very giggly, very free spirited (which by the way, I can surely attest to) but my work is dark. I guess it’s my other side to me. Its how I get it out.” She then goes on to say “some of my stuff is abstract. I’ve been told I’m weird, I’ve been told I’m nuts, I’m very quirky, so maybe I’m abstract” she says before bursting out in one of her patented laughs.
I’ve been told I’m weird, I’ve been told I’m nuts, I’m very quirky, so maybe I’m abstract.”
In fact Tori laughs a lot. But don’t make any mistake about it. Between her full time job and Tori Does Fine Art, she’s pulling in around 80 hours a week on her work. She also carries around a secret notebook full of ideas for her future artistic endeavors.
Between doing paintings, different art pieces and multimedia, her lamps, installations, and now the T-Shirts, Tori sees the future of Tori Does Fine Art as open-ended. “I don’t want to be put in a box. I like having the freedom now to choose what I want to do. I can’t say a lot of specifics about it, but I know as longs as I keep moving forward, there’s no way I can go wrong.”
Describing a quote she once heard, Tori said “Success is being so busy doing the things you love to do; you don’t have the time to think whether or not you’re happy.”
If that’s the true definition of success, then Tori is well on her way towards the goal the more she keeps doing her fine art.