Masa Toro – interview

Marisa (Masa Toro) is a Mexican artist based in Los Angeles. We first became familiar with her whimsical woven pieces at some point in the pandemic; the moment when we all wanted to create a new world where we could stay, take a break from the overwhelming reality, and, feel protected, and safe. As a result of these feelings, some artists began to rise from the nooks and crannies, sharing their own realms with the rest of the world, providing a doorway for all of us who wanted to rest somewhere safe for a while. Social media allowed them to share their vision and express what was inside of them.

Masa’s work reminds us of the feminist quilt and knitting artists, in which she develops wearable art pieces that not only serve as a garment but also have a creative, special and magical charge and since each piece is made by hand it’s more of a treasure than an ephemeral piece of fast fashion. Masa also works with drawing and painting as well as the creation of accessories that undoubtedly evoke our childhood through the use of bright, pastels and vibrant colors, and the juxtaposition of textures, materials, characters, shapes, charms, and various elements.

In addition to this, the artist has turned her room into a crowded magical, and crazy fort, full of trinkets, art pieces, illustrations, toys, plants, materials, books, and many other treasures gathered by the artist herself all crazily arranged in the walls of her bedroom, covering each tiny corner with pieces of her daily life, dreams, and creations. In her childhood, the influence of her older sister prompted her to draw and study art, develop creatively and create through the field of painting, sculpture, tufting, knitting and working with resin. Mediums that, in addition to allowing her to create a visual and plastic imagination, would enable her to channel her emotions and slow down her brain a little bit.

We asked the artist a couple of questions to get to know her a little better and this is what she told us:

If you could be any kind of candy what would you be?
I would be those rainbow sour belts, because those are my favorite (I love sour candy!) AND they’re rainbow colored!

What’s one of your favorite childhood memory?
I think one of my favorite childhood memories is when my friends and I got detention in fifth grade and had to stay after school in the computer lab but we were all laughing and after it was over we ran outside on the grass, The sun was so beautiful in the evening. 

photos: courtesy of the artist

What do you think you owe to the younger- kid version of yourself?
I definitely wish I’d let myself wear more embarrassing outfits – but I had an older sister that stopped me every time lol. I definitely still have my fair share of cringy photos but I kinda wish I had more- I feel like self-expression in a way goes hand-in-hand with embarrassment as a kid, but once you’re older it’s nice to see how much you’ve changed.

What’s the favorite item you’ve put on your wall?
I think my tufted Kiki rug is my favorite because of how vibrant the colors are and I love the change of texture among all the flat pieces.

What’s the favorite piece you’ve designed?
I think my latest long-sleeve sweater is my personal favorite- but really any of my early vests are awesome I can’t believe I did that- and sold for so cheap too! I wish I had respected myself as an artist more and not underpriced myself. 

If your life were to be a movie what would it be?
I think it would be a slice of life, of course, there’s a huge mix of emotions so I can’t say it would be strictly comedy or romance or drama. Right now I’d say it’s one of those indie three-hour-long peaceful movies, but with an awesome wardrobe.

How is a day inside Masa’s life? Well, this past year I’ve been working in a restaurant and doing Masa Toro full-time- I would’ve to wake up and go to work and immediately after getting off I would walk home and work on as much online store stuff as I could, along with planning content. I’ll spend the entire evening in my room on work days, and on my days off I try to spend some time with friends and my boyfriend! This September I’m going to be going into school as a full-time student so it’s definitely going to change.

What’s next for Masa Toro?
Well I’m finally going back to college and I’m very excited to learn more about myself as an artist, I feel like running a shop keeps me tethered a little bit, and I think learning more about my skills would be very helpful in the future. I’m still going to try and keep up with the shop as much as possible…. it’s going to be a lot of new balances.

To see more of Masa’s work go to:
her website
her instagram

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