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Thompson Hotels Playa del Carmen X Luisa Salas

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The Abstract, Colorful, Caribbean of Luisa Salas

Luisa Salas is a graphic designer and visual artist who’s been based in the Riviera Maya since 2011. Working across mediums—murals, print, photography, fine art—her work takes in the color and shapes of Mexico’s Caribbean. She’s left her mark on the place too, having been commissioned to paint murals in Tulum. Luisa sells original paintings and prints online and also works with brands such as West Elm. We catch up with her and get her recommendations on what to do in Playa del Carmen below.

You’ve been very busy in 2018. What’s been your favorite project this year?
They have all been so great, I’ve been meeting such great people as well, it’s hard to choose.

I would probably say the time we filmed the process of hand-painting the Nike Blazers for Malvestida Magazine—somehow everything worked super smooth for us to connect in Cancún while I was visiting there for a mural. The outcome was a great video with some insights in women empowerment, honesty, and living by what you love.

What makes the Riviera Maya so great for creativity?
My artworks have definitely been shaped and inspired by the ever-contrasting colors of this place. It was first for me a catalyst for experimenting with color itself. Right now, I’m visiting the desert of Mexico and I’ve found that my shapes and palettes are somehow molded to this landscape/environment?

Can you recommend some of your favorite spots for eating, shopping, dancing, or just having fun in Playa del Carmen?
Well, I recently became vegetarian so I kinda gained a new love for vegan/vegetarian food, I love BioNatural and The Pitted Date. I always love a good dance, so I really enjoy the techno vibes at Club 01. There’s a lot of good places to visit in Playa, but probably my best recommendation before going to any shopping mall or club would be to get out and explore what the Caribbean has to offer nature-wise—cenotes, lagoons, Mayan ruins, colonial cities, and more.

What are you excited about in the near future?
I’m excited to be part of a new generation of Mexican artists that are making a worldwide impact with our modern approach towards a global art scene. I’m definitely excited to keep meeting the persons behind the big brands I’ve known all my life, connecting with them and traveling much more than what I’ve ever imagined.

My mind is way more open now and I believe, in some way, this change of mindset has been opening new doors for what’s to come next.

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