Paulina Eguino is a third year art major concentrating in neon and cartoon art, and is one of only two students at the University of Wisconsin with neon as one of the concentrations for their major. Though she didn’t start working with neon until college, her work has appeared all around Madison in shows at the Chazen Museum of Art, Art-In, 100state and others.
Hailing from Los Angeles, Eguino is a Posse Scholar and is also involved with the Associated Students of Madison as the School of Education Representative. She currently works at Fresh Madison Market and will be studying abroad in Italy next semester.
Eguino credits The Studio — the creative arts learning community for freshmen on campus — as her inspiration for pursuing neon. When The Studio took a trip to the Art Lofts for a demonstration on glass blowing and neon, Eguino said she was immediately captivated by the craft.
“They showed us the hot shop and neon lab and I fell in love,” Eguino said. “They called it adult play-doh, this super hot material and they’re just playing with it like it’s nothing. I got hooked.”
Creating neon can be dangerous if it is not done properly and meticulously, as the craft involves working with an open flame and gas which can be released into the air.
Eguino doesn’t mind the danger involved, but rather enjoys this aspect of her art form.
“It’s weird, but I actually like burning my fingers,” she said. “It makes them stronger and I can get close to the flame for longer.”