Creator Spotlight with Artist, Author, & Doctor Grisell Vargas

This week we’d like to introduce Artist, Author, & award-winning physician, Grisell Vargas. Grisell is the author of three pain management books and has been published in over 60 medical articles. After reading her spotlight blog, be sure to follow her on Instagram.

What was the inspiration behind becoming a creator? What do you enjoy most about the creative process?

Since my childhood, creation has been part of my life. When I was a child, I made up stories for my siblings and created decorations. I also painted and made posters to decorate our bedrooms.

Creation has always been part of my life. Creating is giving life to something that does not exist from an idea and expressing it in different materials and means of communicating such as writing and the transmission of knowledge.

What I enjoy most about the creative process is trying to give shape to my ideas and finding a way to transform that idea and creative energy into something tangible. The second thing is to give color to my created forms and transmit joy in each brushstroke to the eye of the observer. In each brushstroke and each combination of colors I leave a dash of emotion and a part of myself. It is a little piece of me that goes into creation and is what makes it unique and unrepeatable. Each work is a reflection of that journey, that personal path, it is like a window to a little piece of my inner world as a creative artist.

Can you talk through your creative process? How long does it take? Does everything you produce make money?

I could say that my professional and artistic life are marked by creativity.       

In addition to being an artist, I am a doctor who works in pain management. I have a professional life that I practice with passion and in which I have expressed my creative spirit through clinical research. I have written several books, and I have created innovative methods in medical pedagogy. On the other hand, the artistic part has always grown in parallel to my very active medical life. Unfortunately, I have not yet made money from my art.

What do you think is the biggest misconception about your line of work?

That artists only need to know how to create art. In fact, we need to about marketing too, and I am not yet sure of how to sell my works.

When did you first become aware of copyright, and why?

The first time I learned about copyright was in 2010, after creating all the teaching materials needed for a therapeutic education program for patients suffering from chronic pain. After doing so, a person tried to take possession of the material and it was at that moment that I had to investigate and create the copyright protections for the therapeutic education program.

Before this happened, I was also robbed many times in presentation creations and in photos used at conferences, making me realize that it’s essential to protect my works through copyright.

Have you experienced copyright infringement and, if so, how has it affected you personally and financially?

Feeling that someone takes possession of an intellectual work produces a lot of anger and what I do is defend my creation with strength and enthusiasm. It is very hard, but I am a person who always looks for the positive in every experience and I firmly believe that fighting for something builds an internal strength that helps the process of healing the wound of intellectual theft.

Financially speaking, I didn’t lose money, but I did lose time and time is priceless.

What do you do when you encounter someone stealing something you’ve invested your intellect, time, and money into?

I feel a lot of emotions. Firstly, I feel very angry with myself for not having seen this coming and secondly, I demonstrate that the intellectual theft occurred by presenting concrete facts such as my copyright registrations. I am a fighter and I have learned to fight for what is important.

What is the best piece of advice that you would give other creators in your field about copyright and how to protect themselves?

I think it is important to be well informed, and secondly not to let yourself be overcome by the negative emotions that feeling stolen from can generate; thirdly, I establish a plan on how to prove that the work is copyrighted; and, fourthly, I fight to prove that the creation is my work.

What is your biggest copyright-related challenge?

Being well informed, knowing how to act and who to turn to, to prevent the theft of intellectual property and how to deal with it when it happens.

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