We had the good fortune of connecting with Aaron Aguilar and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Aaron, why did you pursue a creative career?
I pursued an artistic career because it is what has always given me a voice when I felt like I didnt have one. Growing up as a queer person in a very conservative area was difficult and I always turned to character artist as a ways to throw myself into characters and living a happily openly gay life. I have continued to purse this as career because I want to continue to expand representation for the animation industry especially for transgender and people of color voices.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I would describe my art as being very nostalgic and cute. I take inspiration from my queer experiences growing up in rural California, early 2000’s nostalgia, mid-century modern art, and motifs in Latinx art. I love using over-saturated colors and almost all of my characters are queer in some way. My use of a queer narrative sets me apart in the industry I believe. I have a very strong standing on queer characters because our stories are not told enough! We need more representation for children who do not have it. I personally am very excited about working on my project Chola y Chula. This story centers around a 15-year-old girl and her quinceañera. I personally have not broken into the industry yet but I think the biggest challenge I’ve overcome is creating artwork that is very authentic to me. I have always been a perfectionist and for the longest time felt like I needed to be palatable to a white cis audience. The more I create stories centered around latinx or queer characters the more I feel accomplished and closer to my goal of inclusivity. I want people to know that they are loved for who they are. I grew up in a traditional nuclear family riddled with misogyny and homophobia. When you feel like you have to hide until you can get away is no way to live. I really hope that small stories like mine can show anyone of any age that they can authentically live as themselves and know that they are loved and have a family or community that they can create and will love them back just as equally.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Im a big food person, Some of my favorite restaurants I would take them too would be, Katsu Sando, Myung In Dumplings, and Pasta e Pasta by Allegro. Desert would be Mumu delicious croissant taiyaki sweet or savory. Drinks at Johnny’s Bar. And a trip to Leo Carrillo State Beach, dog friendly beach in Malibu!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would like to credit my story to my friends who have accepted me from the beginning. Maddie Jack, Hal Hoover, Anna Benedict, Mattea Muzzy, Julie Durant, and Aaron Paboojian. I consider these people to be my family who I love vry much. They are the first people I came out to about my transition and who have supported me from the ground up.