"I decided I didn't want to lie to my parents any longer, and believed that they would understand my passion: that paints ran through my veins to be expressed on the canvas."
"I'm Vilma de los Milagros Ipanaqué Sosa, born September 14, 1968. I was only five years old when I knew I was in love with painting. I remember once, when I was at school, we had an arts teacher who only taught music. I said to him, 'Teacher, I want to learn about painting.' He didn't budge, so I had to be satisfied with listening to music at school and painting at home.
"After high school, my mother enrolled me in an institute to study something completely different to art. She thought painting offered an uncertain future, so I did as she wanted. However, one day walking back home, I saw a promotional poster announcing the registration period at the Ignacio Merino Superior Institute of Art. I didn't have to think twice. I found out about the entrance exam, and took it. I was so happy when I found out I had been accepted!
"I didn't tell anyone about it. I dropped out of the other course and devoted myself to studying art. I used the tuition fee my parents gave me for the other institute to pay the new one, and I kept my notebooks and materials at a friend's house, where I would work on my assignments so my mother wouldn't find out.
"One day my parents saw some small paints between my notebooks and asked what were they teaching me at the institute. I said it had nothing to do with my studies, that I had been painting after school. That was a big scare!
"I decided I didn't want to lie to my parents any longer, and believed that they would understand my passion: that paints ran through my veins to be expressed on the canvas. I told my father first. He was more understanding, and I asked him to tell my mother to avoid a big fight. After a few telling offs, they accepted my life and even started buying me more materials.
"Now my parents are proud of my art and appreciate the wonderful world in which I dwell, which feeds my body and soul.
"The customs of Peruvian communities inspire me to find a way to transmit their cultural expressions through the canvas. I am very proud of what I do. I have exhibited my canvases in various places and have won several competitions, awards, and honorary mentions.
"I want to capture the essence of the Andean world on my canvases, so that you may take home works that is filled with love and a life-long passion for art."