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Pawtucket, Rhode Island's Giraffes And Robots Is The Perfect Antidote To The Negativity Of Our Times

By Paul Rowe

Artist and scientist Atabey Sánchez-Haiman is the proud owner of Giraffes and Robots, an art studio that provides a much-needed antidote to negativity. Offering up big, bright, and peaceful images that help put a smile on people's faces is what motivates Sánchez-Haiman to create art. This drive stems from her understanding that art elicits powerful emotions.

After two years spent painting daily in Barcelona, Sánchez-Haiman became an artist. Surprisingly, before then, her first love was science. Studying Biology at Brown University exposed Sánchez-Haiman to the creativity and fun of the laboratory. Much like an art studio, a lab is an inspired place. There is something about the spontaneous creative impulse of a lab that led her to the world of art.

"Art and science complement each other beautifully," Sánchez-Haiman said. "Scientists can discover and develop techniques or substances to make you happy yet art is a powerful way of eliciting emotions effortlessly: all you have to do is look at your wall."

After getting a degree in Biology from Brown University, Sánchez-Haiman moved to London to attend Veterinary School and spent a year living and studying in London. While in London, she caught the travel bug, so she put her veterinary studies on hold to travel the world full time. A few years into her travels she moved to Barcelona and was deeply inspired to start painting. Sánchez-Haiman was enchanted by this city that seemed to live and breathe art.

One day, she spontaneously went into a little corner art store and bought a blank canvas, some paintbrushes, and an acrylic starter set. After two years spent painting daily in Barcelona, sometimes painting from sundown until sunup, Sánchez-Haiman became an artist. She has been painting giraffes and robots ever since.

"A smile can go a long way to making a difference in our lives. Therefore. I create bright, happy and whimsical images that will bring you joy," Sánchez-Haiman said. "My palette consists mostly of oranges, reds and yellows because I love the combination of these three colors, and coincidentally, these colors are scientifically proven to make you happy!"

Sánchez-Haiman's scientific background continues to influence her artwork to this day. In fact, she still considers herself a scientist. Her studio is full of tins, jars, souvenirs, boxes, toys, papers, postcards, illustrations, books, and photos she has collected on her travels. All of these items are sources of inspiration for my work. Although she traded in her dream to become an astronaut for NASA in favor of the art world, Sánchez-Haiman is an astronaut after all because she discovers, creates, and explores new worlds.

"I strive to keep my prices very reasonable so that people can get my images really big and add a pop of color to their living rooms, kitchens, bedrooms, playrooms, classrooms and offices," Sánchez-Haiman said. "I can print my illustrations as large as 7 feet tall!"

In the past, Barcelona activated Sánchez-Haiman's artistic imagination. Nowadays, it is the state of Rhode Island that nourishes her artistic impulse. The small business community in Rhode Island has been very welcoming of Sánchez-Haiman's work. She loves having so many local artists and business owners as friends who encourage her to explore, discover, and inspire others through her art.

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About The Author

Paul Rowe is a graduate instructor of writing and master's student of Literature at...

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