Community Educator Spotlight | Alivia Ruiz


We are pleased to feature Alivia (Dulce) Ruiz in our latest Community Educator Spotlight

About Alivia

Alivia’s love for painting began m when she was just a toddler. Armed with paper, crayons, and markers she would draw for hours thus starting a love for all things creative. Since then Alivia has nurtured her innate talent by learning to work with a plethora of mediums. She centered her professional studies on acrylic & watercolor but also creates handmade jewelry, garden sculptures, pottery, murals, and animations.
She currently works as a graphic designer at SUNY Geneseo, creating informational materials for college departments, along with other student centered projects.
When she’s not working professionally she continues to hone her craft through teaching art and using it as an enticing vehicle to elicit change.

When did you start your business?

AR: I began my graphic design business in 2014, and had the opportunity to start teaching in the summer that same year as a drawing instructor.

Where did you get the inspiration for your business brand?

AR: My middle name is Candace, so I chose the Spanish word for candy or sweet to include in my name.

What makes you want to teach/do your business?

AR: Ever since I was a toddler, I’ve been drawing, building and creating. I make art because it’s a beautiful catharsis, and a way for me to share my own story. It also helps me feel seen and understood to be able to show it to others. I’m super appreciative to be able to tell visual stories, and to be able to help other people tell theirs.

I’ve been inspired to teach because growing up, even into my early 20’s, I had a lot of experiences where I wish I had been taught certain skills, certain truths about the world, and about real life as a human in general. I feel like my years in school could have been so much more enriching and engaging. Seeing children struggle with learning in the current educational system, and knowing what I know now through experience, inspires me to pass on my knowledge, so that I can be the type of mentor and way shower I wish I had when I was younger.

For you, how does your business/brand relate to wellness?

AR: Making art, and being creative, is a wonderful way to express emotions, and to play and have fun, which are all important for mental health. I also have my BS in Medical Illustration, and have created freelance work that helps visually translate the processes of the body into easily understood illustrations and graphic design. I’ve been able to continue my design work in both mental and physical health throughout my career, and hope to eventually make all of my living from creating work that educates people (especially children) about nutrition, natural health remedies, and all things earth related.

How do you stay healthy?

AR: I drink as much water as I can, I spend time with happy, generous people and animals, I like to cook as much of my own food as possible, I journal, and every morning I make a smoothy with raw ginger and turmeric, as well as do self-chakra cleanses, which helps me feel relaxed and ready for the day.

What do you feel is the most challenging aspect of your career?

AR: Balancing all the obligations of life, as well as all the thoughts that can take up space in my head. I love that I have an artists perspective, but it can definitely be a double edged sword; seeing things in so many different ways can become overwhelming, and cause me to think more than I act. Both for my art, and life in general, the blank page can be very intimidating.

When you aren’t teaching classes what do you like to do?

AR: I love to sing, garden, and spend as much time in nature as possible. I also like to make jewelry, write poetry, play piano and guitar, and cook good food.

What is it that inspires you to keep going as an entrepreneur?

AR: Freedom is my biggest inspiration. I want the freedom to create work that is meaningful to me, and that makes me feel purposeful

What are you working on now?

AR: I’m working on different pieces for my upcoming Paint & Sip class, as well as content for an invention I’m working on that will help make learning about plants’ medicinal and nutritional value much more engaging and fun.

What’s has been your best experience thus far in your business?

AR: Without a doubt, it has been the Paint & Sip class; I was able to teach both painting, and the nutritional values of garlic as a medicinal food. It was a beautiful culmination of ideas that had been brewing for a while. I was thrilled to see how much fun everyone had, and how the subject matter sparked such informative conversation.

What has been your biggest challenge as a company? Have you been able to overcome that challenge? If so, how?

AR: My biggest challenge has been knowing where to focus my energy; I have a wide range of different services to offer, and I enjoy them all, which makes it hard to focus and find my niche. Every day, I’m learning more and more about how to prevent stretching myself too thin.

What advice do you have for others interested in pursuing their own business?

AR: Be incredibly patient with yourself and your growth. Once you accept that failure is inevitable, you’ll be able to act with more purpose, and with more energy since you won’t be giving it to worry. When worry does come up, treat it like a child that needs your attention and comfort. Take it by the hand, and move forward anyway.

Is there anything else you’d like the readers to know?

AR: You can follow me on instagram @dulceruiz57, where I post all of my creative ventures, gardening experiments, and travel. Please come to 540WMain to learn and grow in community!

To learn more about Alivia or connect with her reach out via the following channels:

IG: @dulceruiz57

Published by Calvin Eaton

(he/his/him) Calvin Eaton is a disabled community educator, content creator, and social entrepreneur, whose area of expertise includes antiracism, equity, justice, instructional design, and program development. In 2016 Mr. Eaton founded 540WMain, Inc. a non-profit online and community-based organization for accessible education and events that promote justice for all.

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