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Exploring Life & Business with Mai Gutierrez of Studio Sin Fin

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mai Gutierrez.

Hi Mai, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
The owner and principal at Studio Sin Fin. I was born and raised in Monterrey, Mexico. I’m an artist and designer. The artist focuses on sculpture and public art. The designer focuses on architectural and interior design. These two sides are not mutually exclusive, they thrive when dependent on each other.

The beginning of my career began somewhat “off-course”. I was sure I didn’t want a desk job. With architecture becoming a computer heavy career, despite my two degrees, was not an option. I had a plethora of diverse jobs. Starting with jewelry production, to running the CNC machine at a woodshop that fabricated dovetail drawers, to fabricating cabinets in one of the best millwork shops in Austin. Soon after, I had the opportunity to work under one of the most recognized sculptors in Monterrey; Jorge Elizondo. I spent a year in El Eje, working on the most incredible marble and steel sculptures.

Early in my career, I aimed to shatter the preconceived notion of success. I set architecture aside, sure money-making career and focused on what I loved, working with my hands. It was wonderful, yet it lacked the financial means to achieve what I truly wanted, my own shop. Upon my return from Monterrey, I bit the bullet and did the thing my twenty-two years old self would not approve of; a full-time job as an architectural designer. I felt I had “given up on the dream”. Little did I know how fun the challenge would be and how hand-in-hand it went with the artistic career.

Today I’ve completed the construction of my shop and opened my own art and design studio. I intend to focus my efforts on a continued balance of variety in my practice. Sin fin means without end in Spanish, meaning endless possibilities of where my practice will go.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
There’s been numerous challenges and even more help from incredible individuals. The biggest struggle to overcome was starting; gaining the courage to allow self-confidence to rise and take the leap. My biggest limitations were my expectations; the fear of failure and the unknown. I learned to ignore the voice in my head spouting off concerns and aimed to keep momentum. There’s still some oh-shit moments, but I continue to remind myself that the universe does provide.

I’m fortunate enough to have amazing mentors which I depend on not only for professional advice but also for friendship. Knowing I have that network of brilliant and resourceful people gives me assurance that there is always a solution, it’s just a matter of figuring it out. My advice to others is to lean on people whom they’ve learned from, more than likely they want to see you succeed, don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know?
Studio Sin Fin is a multi-disciplinary art and design studio focused on architectural and interior design services, furniture design-build, and visual art. A word that has stuck with me throughout the years is gesamtkunstwerk, meaning a total work of art where different art forms come together to create a cohesive whole. I like to offer my clients not only the design of their new or remodeled space but also the design and construction of their furniture and millwork and aid in curation of art and interiors. Their project becomes a total work of art provided by a single multidisciplinary studio.

This philosophy does not exclude single-faceted projects. Much of the visual and public art created in the studio is individual by nature. However, much like the artist and designer that leans on each other, these projects gather inspiration from each other’s materials and processes. The variety in my practice keeps me engaged. I like to give every project significance regardless of its size and essence, always drawing from previous experiences to produce the best aesthetic and functional solution.

How do you define success?
My definition of being successful has evolved as the years have gone by. We are taught at an early age to believe that having a money-making career, marriage and kids are the ultimate goals that one must achieve to become a successful human being, yet I’ve found independence to be the key to success. Becoming a business owner can be very daunting, but having the flexibility to choose the people and projects you want to work with is gold.

Success is moving forward even though the task at hand is overwhelming; working through the issues to find a solution. Success is learning when to say no when your instinct kicks in despite the fear of not knowing what your next project will be. Success is finding the balance between work and home, between passion and needs. As Studio Sin Fin grows, I’m looking forward to creating an environment that harvests creativity, where achievements are celebrated by all parties involved feeling energized, inspired and motivated.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Amanda Julia Steinback, Ale Gutierrez, Andrea Calo, Phillip Rogers

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