We had the good fortune of connecting with Belen Islas and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Belen, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
Work life balance? It seems at this point a far off myth or perhaps a fairy tale… With two kids, my career and a pandemic on my plate, my work life balance looks more like an off-kilter juggling act. The truth is that after the pandemic we all had to adjust to new challenges. I believe the main lesson learned from the pandemic was that we are resilient.
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.
My story as a professional visual artist started when my daughter was born, three years ago. Giving birth to a new life is a transformative experience. The day my daughter was born, I realized that what matters is the community we make and what we give to others. My training as an artist did not follow a straight line. I took classes in painting, sculpture and photography while I was studying for my bachelor’s degree. Next, I received a certificate in Communication Arts from the UCLA Extension. In the first part of my life, I created art only for me. After my daughter arrived, I started creating artworks that addressed the female perspective. Soon after I began to work on public art, in order to have a greater impact on my community. My most recent public murals are located in the neighborhoods of in Los Angeles, and this March I finished a 158” W x 100” H art installation for the County of Ventura utilizing indigenous themes from my heritage.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
There are many places that I’d take my friends to. For example, it would be so much fun to go for a hike in the Santa Monica mountains; we would pack a picnic with fresh fruit from the farmers market, a small selection of cheeses and home baked bread. A visit to a Malibu beach would also be fantastic. On another day we could go for a tour of the street art around the city. There are many amazing murals all around LA. Of course, I would take my friends to see my own public art. One is located in the Palms neighborhood on the corner of Venice Blvd. & Overland Ave. and the second in NoHo where Lankershim Blvd. meets Weddington Street. Of course, no one should leave without trying some Mediterranean food from Moishe’s Restaurant located at The Grove, and of course Churros & Chocolate in Santa Monica.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are so many extraordinary and loving people, who support me in every step of this life path. My list of those amazing people is long, very long and all of them know that I am grateful for their love and support.