We had the good fortune of connecting with Cara Jaclyn Martinez and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Cara Jaclyn, any advice for those thinking about whether to keep going or to give up?
I believe if your art or your creative pursuit is making you absolutely miserable, then that’s the time you should either change your mindset about it and question what’s making you miserable or give it up and find something that actually brings you joy. Usually if someone is contemplating giving up art, it’s because they’re too hung up on the end goal and don’t realize that they actually need to enjoy the journey and process. Or they’re trying to fit into an industry that doesn’t fulfill them. In terms of whether to give up becoming a professional artist, sometimes it’s more about finding which industry your art belongs in. Someone who’s not finding much luck breaking into the animation industry may be more successful in book illustrations for example.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
It took me awhile to figure out which profession and art field I wanted to be in. I went from pre-med to painting to sculpture and photography to 3D modeling and finally to visual development and 2D layout for animation. I find almost all art forms interesting and want to learn all of it so it’s hard to limit it to just one at a time, but I know that eventually I’ll get to do everything and that there’s always something new and exciting to learn.

The art program I studied in focused mainly on teaching visual development for 3D animation. I later realized that I mostly watched 2D animation so I decided to take some 2D layout and Background Design classes and found that I really enjoyed the process. For 2D layout, figuring out how to warp perspective for a layout to work with the more complicated camera movements creates a puzzle that I found very fun and fulfilling to solve. I’m currently collaborating with some friends on a short film as a layout and background artist. I’m learning lots from the experience and it’s exciting seeing the project develop and come together into the finished film.

I also took a lot of classes outside of my school’s art program to round out my education so I was always busy doing homework assignments. After graduating, I realized I hadn’t created much personal work outside of classes and was burnt out. So I took a break and decided to relearn how to make work for myself and to actually enjoy drawing and painting traditionally again. This helped me recuperate a bit and I’m now excited to work on some new personal projects that I have planned.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’ve gotten really into biking recently so I’d have us take a couple of bikes and go around SF. We’d bike through Golden Gate Park to check out the trails, gardens, the Dutch Windmills and have a picnic and paint. Exploring the Sutro Bath Ruins and Lands End trail would also be fun. The Musér Mécanique at Fisherman’s Wharf is also a fun place to just explore and play around with some interesting 20th-century arcade games. Then we’d head over to the East Bay and bike up the SF Bay Trail and take in the sights.

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?
I’d like to give a shoutout to my school’s Tea Time Animation Club! Tea Time was founded by a group of students at my school and has since grown into a community-driven organization with chapters at other schools. Being able to spend time with other students to learn about things we were all passionate about was inspiring. I owe alot of how I’ve grown as an artist and person to the friends I’ve made and continue to make in the club.

Website: https://caramartinez.blogspot.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/caramartinezart/

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