Anna Valdez’s artistic career began unexpectedly: during an archaeological dig, she found herself keeping a sketchbook in which she reinterpreted spaces, maps, and lived experiences. Valdez, who has an academic background in archaeology and socio-cultural anthropology, thinks of her paintings and animations as cultural self-interpretations. “I am working on various narratives that investigate my own traditions and history through a visual format,” she says. In addition to her own store of memories, Valdez looks to her immediate surroundings, family photographs and recipes, and “vague stories” for the subjects of her work. Recurring motifs in her work include patterned objects, masks, and veils.