Angel grows plants and sells art. She’s an illustrator and has been getting tattoos since she was 15. And now she is a beautiful tattoo collector who loves to immerse herself in what she does.
Hello Angel would you like to introduce yourself to our readers? What do you do for a living?
I grow plants, I make and sell art and I’ve been a professional colorist for 11 years, but I never felt like I fit into a typical salon environment- so I’m in the process of opening my creative space: Understory, in Oakland Park, Florida. Where I can merge my passions for art, plants, color and community.
On your Instagram page I saw that there are many photos of you with various types of plants. How come?
I’m Autistic, ADHD and OCD. I collect a lot of things and I have a lot of special interests. I collect Foliage Anthurium because I like the process of growing them from seed to adulthood and it’s extremely therapeutic for me. These types of plants are usually cultivated for their unique characteristics, like massive leaf size, irregular shapes, beautiful coloration, and my favorite; the glittery and velvety varieties.
Most of these plants are endemic to cloud forests-high elevation rain forests, I source seeds and plants from local south Florida growers because unfortunately, a lot of the anthurium sold online are poached from the wild. I completely immersed myself in the plant hobby 3 years ago and there’s no turning back!
Let’s talk about your passion for tattoos: you have a big one covering your chest and belly. When did you choose it and what does it represent for you?
My torso tattoo is symbolic to me in a lot of ways. My mom has a dragon tattoo on her back that crawls onto her shoulder, I always knew I wanted to honor her by having my own dragon. The custom design was made for me by Javier Betancourt, Owner of Ocho Placas Tattoo Company in Miami, FL. We spent hours working through different ideas, styles, researching mythology and we landed on this winged serpent design loosely based on Kulkukan. My favorite part about this tattoo is that it is both so masculine and feminine. Soft and strong, it just feels like me.
And what about the arms?
I’ve been getting tattooed since I was 15. My son’s father was a tattoo artist so a lot of my early tattoos were done by him before he passed away in 2010, including my son Maxamillion’s name. I’m lucky to have beautiful work by some of my favorite local artists. Most of my earlier tattoos are American traditional. I took a break from getting tattooed in 2014 and recently started again last year with Hell’s Bells on my neck.
I saw the drawing of the big black leaf, did you do it by any chance? Are you an illustrator?
I am an illustrator but I work with all art forms. A little over a year ago I started making hand stippled designs that are based off of my plants, as a healthy way to cope with depression and express myself. Each piece takes roughly 60 to 300 hours to create. I offer fine art prints of my work on my website Anthuriumangel.com I’m in the process of having 3 more of my recent designs printed and I occasionally take commissions for original work.
Are you a spiritual person? What do you like to do in your free time?
I don’t have spare time. Haha I fill all my time with things that interest me because if I’m not interested in what I’m doing then I get depressed. I don’t like crowded places or being around a lot of people so you’ll find me alone in nature or with the other eclectic people like myself.
I am an extreme hobbyist and I’ve never relaxed a day in my life! I like learning how to do things and being good at them.
I cycle, I rock climb, I grow a native biodiverse pollinator meadow in my front yard, I study herbalism and horticulture. I collect and grow anthurium, I make art, I prepare ridiculous meals because I love to cook and make things pretty.
I don’t consider these to be things that I do in my spare time because these are things that I completely immerse myself in. Special interests are everything to me. I am spiritual but I’m not religious, if you want to meet god, take some mushrooms and walk barefoot into a forest.
Anything about your character to reveal in closing this short interview, or any hidden passion of yours?
I think my passion is being passionate about what I’m doing. Following the dopamine. Learning by experience, sharing my experience with others. Raising my kid to be the best human he can be. Building up my community and inspiring folx to care about the planet, mental health, authentic connection with others, working hard to be the person they want to be and for the world they want to live in. Feel free to feel free, you know?