Artisan Organization: Amelia Mayo
Country: Costa Rica
"I was born in the small country of Costa Rica in the province of Puntarenas. But I've always lived in the city. I'm the fourth of five children and the most serious. They tell me I was always frowning.
"At the age of ten, I was given my first sketchbook because I was fascinated by colors and loved to draw. At eleven, I took my first art course in watercolor and began creating my first works of art.
"I eventually majored in advertising art but retired when my son was born. I wanted to be able to be with him, to watch him grow. So I began working freelance as an illustrator and writer.
"Twelve years later, in 2014, I began painting again and fell in love with it all over again. I worked hard to improve my technique.
"Some time later, I felt the need to grow and started crafting my first collection of journals and notebooks. I used banana fiber for the handmade paper and created original paintings on the covers. My themes are those that impassion me — the flora and fauna of Costa Rica, especially birds and flowers.
"My work itself makes a quiet plea for preserving the planet. The banana fiber paper uses the leaves, stems and roots, and is meant to raise a consciousness for taking care of the environment and giving new life to things that are discarded.
"I love it when people appreciate my art. It's wonderful to be able to transmit and cause these sensations in them. For me, painting is like seeing a beautiful sunset when the birds fly home for the night. It's a profound sensation where I am able to find myself.""