Sindy Varela

Collage made up of images from video projects, photography or documentation, by Sindy Varela

Hello all! My name is Sindy Ari Varela. I am a free-spirit, have a massive collection of books, and like using my creativity as much as possible. My biggest mission in life is to make a difference for the existing, and future generations. At heart I am someone who likes being on the go, living in new cities, discovering new music and having good conversations.

What do you do and what excites you about it?

At the moment I am on the move with life. I graduated at Parsons The New School For Design in NYC, and majored in Design Management. That being said, I'm a versatile person - that is what excites me the most - I have a drive and ability to realize anything I set myself to. I really am at the age of experimenting, and being open to new experiences. As Marie Forleo helped me discover I am a Multi-Passionate Entrepreneur. Any woman reading this should check her out, she is the guru for business and creative savvy women! At the moment, I am a work in progress - getting the experience to follow my bliss.

What are you passionate about when you're not working?

I'm passionate about as much as possible, from the mundane task to my inner bliss - so work never feels like work I think that just sets you up for a rocking day! When I am not working, I like to read books on spirituality, try new raw cuisine, cook healthy food for friends, produce music, just really challenge my creative flow. I like to get over my fears as much as possible, whether it be going to a city on my own, to skydiving (have yet to conquer the sky!)

How do you feed your passions, what sources do you use? Are there any unique things about Chicago that help with this?

To feed my passions I look within, and research people that are making a difference or have made a difference. I love connecting the dots, seeing the interdependence that exists in this world - it always amazes me how I know someone that knows someone, its the huge circle of life! When I hit a dead end, or slump I turn towards my biggest mentors. I almost feel like an anthropologist when I feed my passions, I seek, I learn, I observe, I apply and do. Best source is google, the people who have been there and done that, and your experience - it will show you where to direct your energy to.
Chicago is a unique city as a new friend told me, the rent is cheap and the people are reasonable! I always thought people were just as down to earth as people here, but I found out that there is so much more flavors of people, once exposed to studying and living in New York and Paris! I would have to credit Chicago for being such a diverse city, that I was able to understand and face adversity head on, it made me much more grateful for my roots - I am 100% Mexican - and have had the luxury to keep those roots one way or another alive! And honestly, it gives you an edge to be Latina - being bilingual with Spanish is a plus!

What would you recommend that a visitor to Chicago should see or do while they’re there?

They should definitely check out Wicker Park and Bucktown, there is just an air of everything and nothingness. Chicago keeps it smooth, but there is so much wonder to discover, you really create your day here - you want it to be a chilled day, cool, you got it! You want it to be wild - you got that too! Must places are Myopic Books, Empty Bottle, SmartBar, The Burlington, Heaven Gallery - and you're best tool to keep up with what is around is asking around, people are so friendly they will let you know where it is at! And I am a foodie at heart - its one of the most sensual experiences, right? So Birchwood Kitchen is my favorite - the design - the ambiance - and the aura of it - joyful and colorful. Also please do go to an authentic Mexican restaurant -best bets are at Pilsen or by Bucktown!

Are there any trends, cultural shifts or movements emerging in Chicago right now that really excite you?

I think I am excited overall about our generation, about the times we live in. There is so much down talk about the economy, but this is a time to rise - I love how people use their creativity to inspire, to make us ask questions, to ponder, and listen to and follow our bliss. I've been a firm believer that if you don't use your full potential, and let your light shine, you will feel a void. I love the limitations that we are facing, because it makes you really think what are the important things, what matters most! Everything is interesting, at this time not being unusual, is unusual. There are start-ups beginning everywhere, because I think people are desiring to control and design their own lifestyle - experience life the way they want to, not the way it's been story-told-happily ever after - it won't work, well, at least that is how I feel.

What kind of projects would you like to get involved in with the sense network?

I would love to get involved with projects that deal with holistic health, raw food, eating design, fashion, user experience, to music events. I really like projects that speak to people in an emotional level, makes a difference to their quality of lifestyle. I also enjoy networking for projects that involve social entrepreneurialism - solving social problems by using entrepreneurial skills. It really intrigues me how many products are turning into services, and even the idea of bartering, community gardens, to communal living. In essence anything that creates connection, difference, or a unique experience.

If you could improve just one thing in the world what would it be?

One thing I would improve the world in, is applying gratitude, by being more present in the moment. In a world where image, luxury, and instant gratification seems to be the "life" it's important to slow down, and feel, taste, smell, listen fully, and see clearly. I think by being present and calming down our negative thoughts, there would be less conflicts in life, less fears, uncertainties and doubts, exponentially bettering the quality of our lives. With experiencing gratitude, we would realize that the universe is abundant enough for everyone to live a great quality life, no hunger, no poverty, no hate. The ego would just be diluted. In the words of my favorite artist, Nicolas Jaar - " the ego is the most expensive thing"

Is there anything you'd like to share with the rest of The Sense Network?

I love to meet new people, and learn new things! So feel free to connect with me, any questions about Chicago, Paris, New York, even Mexico or desire to collaborate in a project does not matter the scale, small or huge is welcomed. Even bartering, I love collecting things from around the world!
P.S I just founded a website called Arifact ( it represents a new age lifestyle brand geared for the modern woman that wants to grow spiritually, live creatively and be independent, knowing they are worthy of their dreams. Thanks for reading!

Field Senser

Sindy Varela

Sindy Varela