One of the most striking aspects of Mexican culture is its deep tradition of folk art. It is everywhere: from market stalls to the humblest homes; in everyday cooking utensils and street murals, in restaurants and clothing. A quick walk down a street can reveal sculpted wood doors, paper mache piñatas and papel picado punched paper garlands.
The tradition of making things by hand is so deeply rooted that art and colour seep into practically every aspect of life.
As a designer, seeing this folk art tradition in Mexico fills me with awe every single time. It can be hard to wrap your mind around so much colour and artistry and intricacy surrounding you, especially when you're from a culture that's less exposed to art in day-to-day life.
I wanted to share some of my favourite images of colourful, awe-inspiring artesanias from our last trip to Puebla, Oaxaca and Mexico City. While this is just a scratch in the surface of getting to know these customs, I hope these images bring you a dose of joy and colour and visual inspiration.
One of the best places to get a full overview of Mexico's vast folk art tradition is in the Museo de Arte Popular in Mexico City. A museum fully dedicated to preserving and promoting folk art, it is filled with collections of handicrafts and explanations of their history.
The museum explains how folk art in Mexico is deeply linked to indigenous traditions, the country's mixed historical roots and its vast biodiversity.
Geography and the environment play a role in the type of folk art that is produced in different parts of the country, with more muted earthy colours in the desert-filled north and vivid colours in the lush south.
The museum happened to be having a piñata art competition.
We also stumbled upon a free exhibit in Mexico City honouring the grand masters of folk art. This was the point at which my brain and senses overloaded on Mexican artistry.
Mexico is truly a land of artists. I can't wait to keep exploring these folk art traditions.
Have you been to Mexico and seen any folk art? Let me know in a comment below!