We had the good fortune of connecting with Cynthia Nava and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Cynthia, what’s the most important lesson your business/career has taught you?
Being genuine and kind leads to better odds of networking in the field and attracts other kind artistic individuals. Building friendships and having a good spirit goes a long way. Leaving a good impression on people can open many doors in your career path.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am a Mexican American illustrator from South Los Angeles and I enjoy creating fun and vibrant artwork! I illustrate cute, bright, lively characters and environments. Nature, animals, and my surroundings constantly inspire my work. I occasionally slip in a little of my Mexican background into some of my pieces to honor my roots. My love for art has always been present in my life but really took off once I started college and explored what my career really had to offer. I learned about various art mediums and was able to really delve into the world of illustration. Being a first-generation college graduate from South LA did not make this journey easy. Whether I liked it or not, my socioeconomic background played a major role in some of the decisions I made in my career path. I know many can relate to this. I was able to overcome obstacles by keeping my goals in mind and acknowledging all the hard work I had already done. For those creative individuals out there who are going through the same journey, remember that we belong here and that our hard work is rewarding. I want to evoke the feeling of happiness, positivity and optimism through my artwork and I want to inspire others to do the same.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
Los Angeles has amazing sites to see and foods to try. I’d start by eating brunch at Urth Caffé in the Arts District. Their grilled cilantro chicken breast pesto sandwich is my favorite, along with a delicious iced matcha. I would also walk around and check out all the street art, galleries, and restaurants in the Arts District. I’d also enjoy a nice bike ride or ride an electric scooter down beautiful Venice beach. There’s always something happening at the boardwalk. There are many art museums in LA to visit like the Getty, the Broad and LACMA to name a few. As for dining, a top spot on my list would be PHOnomenal in West Hollywood. They have the cutest courtyard filled with string lights, a fountain and delicious Vietnamese pho. There are also great spots in Little Tokyo for when you’re craving ramen or sushi. For evening outings, my top two places to have a couple drinks are at Las Perlas and Adelitas Cantina in Downtown LA. I usually get a Michelada. As for late night cravings, there are tons of great spots here in South Central LA like King Taco on Washington Blvd and San Pedro St. Be sure to get their red sauce! Other places I love grabbing a bite to eat from around my neighborhood are Las Alondra’s Bakery which have great pan dulce and Tacos Los Carnales for when I have burrito cravings. There’s also great Salvadorian pupusas at La Flor Blanca on West Vernon Ave. near the 110 freeway. I love that LA is a melting pot of different cultures because there’s so many delicious foods to try!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Mi familia and my friends! I say it time again and again. I’m very grateful to have a supportive circle around me. Their encouragement interweaves with one another and serves as a support net for me. Growing up, my parents would always buy me art supplies and small painting kits, encouraging me to embrace my creativity. My close circle of friends have always been supportive in all my projects and never fail to make me feel appreciated and loved. My artistic friends and colleagues are always uplifting and motivating me to do better. Their work constantly inspires me and I’m grateful to work alongside such talented individuals.