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Local Oakland Artist Challenges Stereotypical Representations of Womxn of Color

By Brissa Reyes

Artist Andrea Zamora alongside some of her art pieces. (Photo Credit: @Hustledolly on Instagram)

Balancing multiple passions, Andrea Zamora studies public health while pursuing the pre-med pathway during her semesters at UC Berkeley; but, on her breaks, she spends time honing her creativity as an artist.

Hustledolly is the name of Andrea’s small business that she created during her senior year of high school for a class project. Initially, she made portraits of womxn of color which she called her “dolls.” Her main inspiration for her “dolls'' are representations of these womxn in mainstream media. In particular, she wants to speak for the way womxn are perceived and associated with stereotypes, such as belonging to traditional roles in the home. She challenges these stereotypes by drawing “dolls'' that embrace their culture and femininity, all while striving to achieve their goals.

Andrea’s portraits often include her signature hoops and lashes, which many have come to recognize in her art.

“As a Latina, you don’t see many artists representing you in their artwork. To see Andrea represent the Latino community brings me a lot of joy knowing that there are people out there that believe in you…” says Perla, a current student at CSU Stanislaus. “Her art has a very unique concept, colors, and imagination that allows you to see how humble of a person she is.”

Now in her senior year at Cal, Andrea continues to create stickers and art that focuses on the empowerment of women of color.

“I have the one [of her stickers] that says “no te rajes mija”, which means “don’t give up” and keep going. I feel like all her stickers have that meaning behind them… it makes you feel acknowledged and appreciated,” says Mayte, a full-time cosmetology student and worker from Oakland, Calif.

These past Hustledolly stickers showcase Andrea’s signature lashes. (Credit: @Hustledolly on Instagram)

In her current work, Zamora has transitioned her focus from “dolls” and has begun illustrating pieces that draw inspiration from her Mexican culture as well as nature.

“There was the one [sticker] with the nopalera en frente, and it was kinda in a laughing way — but in a good laughing way. We get told that a lot. When you're Latina, you get told that a lot… It’s like a cute little funny reference, but also takes the power back from what I think is a really empowering message”, said Mariana, a student, worker, and long-time supporter of Zamora from Oakland, Calif.

Through her own spiritual journey, Zamora wants her art to serve as a reminder that we must nurture our growth and healing, much like nature around us.

“I see nature as a way to represent ourselves. We are constantly growing, flourishing, and thriving. I always try to connect it back to us as human beings because we are interconnected with nature itself.”

As Zamora approaches the end of her undergraduate career, she hopes to continue uplifting her local community through her passions in both art and medicine. She looks forward to taking on larger canvases, making her art accessible, and spending more time with her work once she graduates.

“I want to push myself as an artist… I hope once I graduate I can continue to make big paintings. And, bettering my skill at what I’m doing and practicing every time, learning from new techniques as I go, and learning from all my mistakes — that’s definitely a goal of mine,” Zamora said.

This is one of Zamora's pieces titled “Blooming Heart.” (Credit: @Hustledolly on Instagram)

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