Hey go-getter, bride-to-be! We are going to equip you with 5 questions to ask your wedding artist!
Today we have the lovely Karina Puente joining us.
Karina owns and operates a women-run company called Karina Puente Arts Studio where she creates gorgeous, handmade Art Installations and she is going to tell us about her company and let us know what 5 questions to ask your local, wedding artist that will help your dreams come to fruition on your big day!

AN ETHICAL WEDDINGS CHAT WITH KARINA PUENTE

Praise: Hi, good afternoon, everybody. My name is Praise, I’m the founder of Ethical Weddings and I’m here with my friend Karina today! Karina and I met because we worked together on one of my favorite weddings last year. I knew I wanted to have her here to give me some of her wisdom nuggets. 

Karina, can you tell us who you are and what you do?

Karina: Sure! Thanks so much for having me. Hey, everyone. My name is Karina Puente and I am the owner of a woman-run business called Karina Puente Arts Studio. We specialize in creating large scale, hand cut, art installations. These installations are generally used for weddings, cultural centers, and museums. And now on Windows too, which I’m excited about. 

Praise: When she says hand cut, she made this gigantic installation. You said it was 20 feet by 20 feet? 

Karina: Yes. The installation was 20 feet tall by 20 feet wide. It was ceremony artwork for a wedding that Praise was photographing and that’s where I met her. And she was so beautiful, I had to know who this woman was! 

Praise: We had a heart connection. This is how it happens! But we have a mini version of that kind of behind us here too. This is more of an example of your window treatment online, right?

Karina: This is the piece that lives in my art studio and inspires me all the time. And it has inspired my new interior line called Window Works, artwork for home windows. 

Praise: Excellent, excellent. And this is inspired by your cultural heritage. Is that right? 

Karina: Yes. My work is anchored in the traditional Mexican folk art called papel picado. I contemporize this tradition in my use of scale and how it’s made and shared. Traditionally, the artwork is cut with a mallet and a hammer. I use knives and so I really rely on my background in drawing and painting as a technical artist. This background helps me to cut designs. So, for example, I can cut flora, fauna, seeds, flowers, pollinators, and anything that client and I can dream up. 

Praise: Oh, that’s wonderful! And one of the biggest ways that someone can have an ethical wedding is to work with a local business, is that right?

What is the difference between buying decor that you can get easy and cheap on Amazon Prime as opposed to working with someone who is a local artist?

Karina: Yes. As a result, the reason why I make artwork is because it’s a heart centered practice for me.

Honestly, I make it just to blow my own mind every day! I want to know how I can make artwork that blows my own mind in a collaboration with someone who wants artwork for one of her most special and important days.

So when I can bring my art my creative practice to the table for a client, a very meaningful and special connection happens. This occurs in that moment of when that artwork is shared with loved ones.

Praise: I love that! We were trying to make that connection that a wedding is such a heartfelt day. It’s so important! And so with the people you work with, what you implement into that day should be heartfelt too. So hiring a heart-driven artists, like you, just makes sense, right? 

Karina: It makes sense and it’s an absolute joy! I enter the creation of my work from a place of feeling really good, aligned, my team is well fed. Everything is satisfying in the moment where we step into the studio to create the artwork.  

I believe that in that space of creating, that feeling is transmitted through the prep and through the work. That feeling is held inside of the cloth. It is held inside of the inside of the paper. It’s held inside of the tradition, and that’s what’s felt on the wedding day or on the day that you give the gift.

And that’s why artwork is so important and special, because it holds that spark.

Praise: I love that. And I would even argue that’s true even when you look at the video and at the photos afterwards too. Because I know when I look at the photos of our collaboration together, it just still feels really good. 

Karina: My favorite photo is when you photographed me looking at our mutual, wonderful client that we love. The first time she looked at the artword, Praise photographed me looking at her. And then I photographed Praise because we had to capture this moment of when she saw the work the first time. It was so beautiful! And that’s really an effective translation of what I aim to do.

Praise: Yes, that photo is so meta. It’s a picture of me taking a picture of someone giving a gift to someone else. So much art involved! So many layers.  Most brides only do this wedding planning thing once and so if they really want to create something custom for their wedding day, what are some key questions that they can ask if they’ve never done this before?  

What is the best way to work with someone like you?

Karina: Two types of clients come my way. One is a woman who’s familiar with my work and has followed my creative journey since I was a young artist. Another is someone coming through who just needs to be guided on how to make a dynamic design statement for her ceremony or reception. And so from those two places,

I invite the client to gather inspiration images of what she’s drawn to.

That inspiration board is really important to bring to the table and to send it over so that I can see where her sensibilities lie. What is her style? How do I take that vision of something that she has already seen and customize it for her special day in a way that she has never seen before? That’s where that expanded, co-creation really happens.

Praise: I really love that. Being able to share your vision with your planner and with your designers too. For instance, you can even bring images if you’re like, “I don’t know how to put this into words, but I like this picture.”

Karina: Yes. This way we know “I like this”, “I like these colors”, “I like this drapery.” Whatever it is that you appreciate and value. I know that it’s so fun to put a collection of images on a style board together. And then bring that inspiration board to the table so that I can help, as a visionary, take that further. 

Praise: I love that.

Okay, so that’s one key thing to do is to bring what you’re visualizing. Is there another key question that they could ask that would really help the process?

Karina: Of course. A client can come to me and ask, “What do you need for me to present the vision? To present an estimate? Or to prepare something that I can see a digital rendering?” And what I generally need are pieces of information like venue, the size of the work that they are looking for. Is it as complete ceremony artwork installation? Is it a photo moment? Just having that discovery call is helpful where I can find out the scale of what they are looking for.

Praise: Right, right. Because we need to know if they need something that can fit on their wall? Or do they need a 20 foot by 20-foot thing? Right? Those are very different things! 

Karina: Or even a 40-foot-long ballroom installation. 

Praise: Okay, that is wonderful.  I think that this is really helpful for people who want to make an impact with their wedding day. For instance, hiring a local artist and really sharing your vision with them has a ripple effect.

We know that you also hire other minorities, other women too. Which means the positive impact on your community is unimaginable. Right?

Karina: Yes. When a client is working with me, they are also working with my team. My team is composed of other professional, women artists, as well as other people of color who are coming together and putting their hands on this work. And my team is also composed of other designers and also other visionaries across the board and across the spectrum. So this means that when a client works with me, I’m able to then hire out and keep that effect going.

Praise: Oh, I love that. I love that. And how can all these people find you on the interwebs? What is your website? How do you find on Instagram?

Karina: My name is Karina Puente and I invite you to come follow along my journey on Instagram. My handle is @KarinaPuenteArts and my website KarinaPuenteArts.com

Praise: Excellent. And so Karina actually came up with four other questions that you can ask your wedding artist.

We now have a total of five questions that you can ask an artist that creates custom work for your wedding:

  1. What’s needed for an artist to prepare a custom quote and vision? 
    Please email us the name of the venue and event planner or day-of coordinator, photos of the venue, size of the artwork desired. 
  2. What is our working timeline and would you like to have check-in calls?  
    We will reverse engineer the timeline from the day artwork is installed to the start of the design process. Check-in calls are fun! And a way to ensure everyone feels confident throughout our time working together. 
  3. How can I incorporate a touch of my personal story into the design? 
    Artists provide custom artwork options that includes a custom pattern, a color story in unique hues or meaningful text. 
  4. Is this a rental or purchase? 
    Large artworks are usually rentals with the option of an Heirloom Plan where the artist will turn a piece of the artwork into a smaller section that can be displayed a home window or framed above the mantel. It’s the first artwork the couple will own as a married couple. 
  5. How does the artwork arrive? 
    It arrives rolled in a box with an installation plan determined well before the wedding day. 

Praise: Thank you so much doing this with me! 

Karina: Thank you so much for having me, Praise! I adore you and your work, and your photography is next level. 

Praise: I appreciate that, thanks! Bye!

We love these amazing prompts from Karina, a wedding artist who uses her skills to create deep, meaningful work for couples on their wedding day.
By working with local, heart-driven artists like Karina Puente Arts Studio, you can get custom art created specifically for your unique wedding as well as give back to the community at the same time.

For more resources to make sure your ethical wedding is everything you are hoping and dreaming for it to be, you can find more goodies here!

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