We had the good fortune of connecting with Darlene Olivia McElroy and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Darlene Olivia, is there a quote or affirmation that’s meaningful to you?
“Committing to a dream is not a one time occurrence. It must be done daily, hourly, continually. We must choose to commit to our choice, over and over.” Whether it is painting, learning something new with each piece of art that I create, or figuring how to tie an seemingly unrelated project into the dream — they are all puzzle pieces that make the whole. I love looking for unexpected possibilities that move the dream along. Sometime the puzzle pieces sit and ferment in the back of my mind until their time is right and they explode with a colorful energy. I am also committed to marketing my dream whether by giving back to the creative community through teaching and my art books, helping my galleries promote my work, or just being ready for success when it comes.
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.
Even as a toddler, I knew I was an artist. Supporting myself through art school, I always managed to work in a related field such as a package designer and illustrator. I ended up working as an professional artist and illustrator both here and in Europe for years. It was never hard nor easy, it just was. I have loved every minute on my path. The lesson I learned is that you do not have to suffer for your art. That is your personal choice. My work is both figurative and narrative and reflects my love of people and their stories. I want the viewer to see the stories and, maybe, find themselves in them. I am all about the love of community and the generosity of give and take. It all comes back to you.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If in Santa Fe, I would love you to experience all the small, simple villages, museums, art galleries and hang out at the old plaza in the center of town. Please have lunch at La Plazuela and drinks at the Bell Tower of the La Fonda. If in Southern California, you would have to hang out in Laguna Beach, eat at Javier’s, see the art festivals then move on to Los Angeles for the all the wonderful art museums.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would love to dedicate my shout out to all the wonderful students I have had. Little do they know how their happy accidents have inspired me to try out new techniques and even write books about them. I have always been surrounded by creative friends and community who have helped me see things with a different set of eyes. They always encouraged and supported me to be the best that I can be.
Darlene Olivia McElroy