By Monica Morones

I always love meeting talented women that set the standards high of what it is to be driven, artistic, and business savvy. I was able to photograph and interview artists Cait Magraw and Aisha “Life’ Ortiz and was blown away by the unity and positivity they exuded. Looking at Cait’s attention to detail and Aisha’s abstract touch, collaboratively they entice the viewer with their unique styles blended together. With a new business venture on the horizon, 2015 looks like it’s going to be a productive year for these two.

MM: Where are you from?

Cait: I was born in Placentia, CA, though most of my childhood was spent in Washington and Oregon. I returned to the desert about three years ago.


Life: Some would say New York and others would say California. However, I have been traveling the states from coast to coast for most of my life. So, I’d say I am from “All over.” I made my way back to Palm Springs full time roughly 3 years ago.

MM: How did your art journey begin?

Cait: My grandpa, Jim, would say I’ve been at it since birth. I was fortunate to live on beautiful island with nature all around me to draw from. I use to crush coal from beach fires and mix it with salt water in a seashell creating a sort of paint and begin what I thought, was a masterpiece. I had such a great support system which encouraged me to expand into several other creative areas like designing jewelry, photography and so much more.

Life: I can’t say for sure when, but I loved taking things apart when I was kid. I was fascinated with the way things were made. Deconstructing them, I realized that I could give them a new purpose with a little glue and some paint. Back then, it wasn’t art to me I was just having fun. Today, they are one in the same. As an artist, I go by the name “Life” which came from the meaning of my birth name, Aisha.

MM: What would you describe as your style?

Cait: I’d describe my style as meticulous. My pieces are highly detailed and vibrant in color. Most of the time there is a plan, but once I begin my emotions tend to take over creating a balance between my conscious and subconscious.

Life: Until now, I have been mostly private about my work, creating for myself as an outlet, but if I had to describe it, I’d say it’s on the abstract of things. I have a blast mixing media and working with found objects in funky ways.

MM: Did you go to school or are you self-taught? And what are your thoughts on that?

Cait & Life: Cait and I are self-taught. Our feelings on either OR, has more to do with the individual than the method itself. If you are an artist, find a place where your art is your own, be it in or outside of a classroom, make sure it is your voice that is heard.

MM: Where have you shown your work?

Cait: My art has been featured in Washington at Bainbridge Island Play House, Off the Wall Artist Collective as well as locally, in the Joshua Tree Music Festival, Open Air Market and Crystal Fantasy. I have also had my art in Birdy Magazine out of Colorado.

Life: My works are privately owned, though, recently, one of the collaborative pieces Cait and I did for the Joshua Tree Music Festival, titled, “An Offering”, was auctioned and went to artist, Bobby Furst. It can be found on display at Furst World Gallery in Joshua Tree, CA.

MM: What do you think is your biggest struggle as a working artist?

Cait & Life: Time to do it all.

MM: What artists have influenced you the most in your art?

Cait & Life: We can agree, while there are incredible artists out there, our best pieces apart or together have come from self-influence.

MM: What do you think of the art scene in the Coachella Valley?

Cait & Life: It’s growing by the minute. From organizations like the Coachella Valley Art Scene to the Open Air Market, weekly Street Fair and local music festivals to name a few, artists have more and more opportunities to be seen. This sends a strong message of welcoming and appreciation that we feel is important as our valley continues to evolve artistically. We are so lucky to live in such a beautiful place!

MM: How long have the two of you been making art together?

Cait & Life: Not long at all, probably about a year, both on and off canvas. It’s been an amazing experience working alongside of the one person who gets you.

MM: How would you describe the style of the collaboration?

Cait & Life: Complimentarily. It’s funny sometimes when we think about it, on one hand, we can get so carried away feeding off of each other’s ideas and energy then, on the other hand, we can snap out of it and dial it back so we can actually finish the piece. Let’s just say we won’t be running out of ideas anytime soon.

MM: You two have been busy this past year planning for the official opening of your own gallery in 2015. What has it been like working together as partners, starting a new business, and keeping the creativity blossoming?

Cait & Life: As partners, we practice the art of communication actively. Brainstorming is our favorite part, we each make our case and in the end what we come up with reflects the both of us. Starting a business has been exciting and hard at times, but we rely on each other to make sense of things when it gets muggy. Keeping the creativity flowing, for us, is that of looking and re-looking at the world we wish to realize with our gifts, lots of dancing and making time to be silly whenever possible.

MM: What are your goals and hopes for this newfound adventure?

Cait & Life: We aim to provide artists with a unique space to feature their works alongside of ours and to share with art enthusiasts through culture, community and charity.

To stay tuned on what these ladies are up to and for gallery announcements please visit:

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