"Inocente" is a documentary that tells the story of an undocumented, homeless teenager, who uses art to lift herself out of her surroundings. The doc, which will air this Friday (8/17) on MTV at 10 p.m. ET, follows Inocente for roughly two years of her life, as she comes of age and decides to take control of her situation.
MTV News spoke with Inocente in the lead up to the documentary's premiere to learn where she is now and how making a film of her life will hopefully help people to learn about homelessness.
Even with the story of her life premiering on national television, Inocente sees herself and meaning of her art as relatively unchanged. "I think I'm still the same person, just a little bit older now," she said. "I try not to think too much about painting, but in the documentary, it shows how all of my paints are very meaning full to me, but I say in the documentary that I never paint anything sad, so if I'm sad, I try to paint something really happy. It just makes everything better."
In the time since the documentary crew follower her around, however, Inocente's art has become more controlled, but the message has remained the same. "I used to be really messy. I got my hands all over the paint," she said. "I think now I've been a little more clean, and my art has cleaned up a little. It's all still the same. It's still coming from the heart, and it's just matured a little bit."
Inocente agreed to the documentary about her life in order to help spread to word about the conditions in which she was living. "I said 'yes' initially to the documentary because it's giving a voice to those who really don't have one, and it's putting a face on all the issues, so it really is working," she said. "It's rewarding to see that. People are actually paying attention."
One of the first things you'll notice when you see Inocente is the elaborate ways in which she decorates her face. Inocente still does her makeup occasionally, but not as elaborately as she used to. "I used to a lot, not so much anymore, but sometimes I still have the courage to do it. I like to start my days off with paint," she said. "That's why I paint my face, because it's the first thing I see anyways. I do take inspiration from someone. Do you know that band Panic! At the Disco? One of the guitar players, Ryan Ross, he always had this cool makeup, and he's the reason I started painting my face actually."
"Inocente" debuts on MTV at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT on Friday, August 17.