Power in the abstract: The artwork of Josseline Castillo

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WAUKESHA, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Some people search far and wide, look inward and outward but still never quite find their purpose in life. But for Josseline Castillo, the answer was right there in front of her.

On CBS 58 Sunday Morning, Kim Shine introduced an abstract artist from central America who found her calling after moving to Waukesha.

Art, like inspiration, is relative.

What is seen or felt all depends on who is looking at the canvas.

Josseline Castillo enjoys the unconventional. 

Her work is inspired by all that surrounds her.

“My daily life, my daily struggles, people, love, hate, you know, compassion, depression – all those things; it’s what inspires me.”

Josseline is a self-taught, abstract artist who works with mixed media.

So instead of just a paint brush, she uses her hands, chemicals and anything else to create.

“And the reason I do abstract is because it feels safe, for myself. Because people are not always going to understand what I’m painting on the canvas and that makes me feel like, ‘oh, I can expose myself. I can be vulnerable, but at the same time I have a safety wall'”.

Being open and vulnerable is something Josseline is getting used to in life.

Over the last five years, she’s lived in two different countries, different states – and started over each time.

In 2016, her family moved from Honduras to Virginia.  

“It was a really rough year because I didn’t have any friends. I just graduated college and I felt like I was missing a lot of things.”

The next year, her family returned to Central America and Josseline decided to move to Wisconsin with her now-husband.

She says this was another moment in her life where her art became her therapy.

Except this time she found her purpose.

Her Waukesha home doubles as her studio and unofficial gallery.

It’s also here where she creates pieces for area craft and art markets.

“People, in general, are more open minded here (in America). They are more curious, explore and over in Honduras, it’s pretty traditional. Here, people tend to explore more and they’re really supportive. Some people might think, ‘oh that girl’s kind of weird'. That usually doesn’t happen that much in the art field here. People really appreciate the difference, something that is different.”

This month, Josseline celebrated a major milestone with her art.

She turned her business – Artistica By JC – into an official Limited Liability Company or a LLC.

Now, she says even more people are turning to her for personalized pieces.

“That makes me so happy cause that will open even more doors for my business and I’m really glad I did it, honestly. I’m really, really happy with that.” 

In the next five years, she wants to use her platform to spotlight other creatives.

She plans to open a studio and gallery in Wisconsin, and contribute to the growing art scene in Honduras.

She hopes her journey reassures aspiring artists, especially artists of color.

And to young girls, Josseline says it’s possible to be creative, curious and successful.

“That way when my little cousins, or kids, or people back in Honduras or even here in the States see, 'oh, there’s a person of color, a woman or a Latina being able to do art as a career or do this', I think that’s really important for me that little and young kids, girls especially, can see themselves represented in me and feel encouraged to pursue what they want and what their dreams are.”


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