Ruben Hernandez

Dynamic duo

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Tucson artists Daniel Martin Diaz and his wife/partner Paula Catherine Valencia have tons of information at www.blinddivine.com and www.danielmartindiaz.com. To fully appreciate what this duo is all about, check out their Web sites.

LPM: How did your balanced artistic collaboration evolve from your romance?

Blind Divine: When we met and started dating, Daniel was writing and recording songs with his childhood friend, bassist/guitarist Rene Ortega and I was an aspiring vocalist. It was really the perfect fit, because we were both so passionate about music. We called ourselves No Romance, which was a collaboration between the two of us, Rene, and guitarist Fernando Romero. The name really seemed to fit, because we were so absorbed by creating and recording that there was little time left for romance. Even more ironically, the No Romance project may be the most romantic music we have written to date. It’s lush, beautiful, and powerful. We plan on releasing this project sometime in the near future.

The birth of our 16-year-old son, Damian, would come two years later, and would change our lives forever and bring us even closer. Later, Daniel’s art would evolve, which propelled the partnership even further. In both businesses, Daniel is the graphic and Web designer for our three Web sites and I am the press agent and business manager. With the music, we are recording engineers, editors, mixing engineers, songwriters, and performers. It is a lot to manage, but with our mutual love and respect for each other we make it work.

LPM: What advice do you have for other artistic couples?

BD: The only advice we can give to other artistic couples is to believe in each other. Because when you’re struggling and it seems like it’s you against the world, you have each other to keep the fire burning and your dreams alive. And to not be afraid of a little struggle, it can bring out the best in you, and bring you closer as a couple.

LPM: Tell us about the new album.

BD: The new album, Queen Of Venom, is our fourth full-length release in three years. It’s been a transitional period, which is reflected in the music. We feel like we captured a raw emotional flavor to this album: the internal battles about love, loss, spirituality, self-awareness, mortality, angst, and how precious life is.

LPM: Daniel, what new exhibits have you had recently?

BD: In September and October of 2008, I exhibited here in Tucson at Arizona State Museum, and in December I exhibited in Los Angeles at Billy Shire Fine Arts. Currently, I have a group show at Coconino Art Center in Flagstaff. Our band Blind Divine will be having a CD release party and performing on Feb. 13 at Club Congress, where I will also have a small exhibition of my latest works. In March, I will be exhibiting at Perihelion Arts in Phoenix, and during March of 2010, at Yves Laroche in Montreal, Canada.

LPM: Tell us about the newly commissioned artwork in Phoenix.

BD: I was recently selected to work with the city of Phoenix on public art commissions for the Phoenix Light Rail and Sky Harbor Airport. The designs are near completion and will be implemented within the next three to four years. I am equally excited and honored to be involved and look forward to seeing the completed projects.

LPM: Do you two ever see yourself moving from Tucson to Phoenix, and why?

BD: We have actually been contemplating moving to Phoenix sometime in the future, mainly due to the fact that there are so many opportunities there and the people are really cool. We’ve met so many friends through art and music that live there. Tucson is an amazing place and will always be our home, but we are open to exploring new avenues and meeting new people.

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