We had the good fortune of connecting with Devin Macam and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Devin, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
My grandfather Gilbert Ortega was one of my biggest influences becoming an Illustrator and Graphic Designer when I was young. He was an extremely talented artist who did amazing portraits from Hollywood celebrities to historical figures. I grew up surrounded by his art and was taught his skills as a traditional graphic artist as well. He was my fellow artist, mentor, and snack buddy for most of my childhood up until my final years of college. I always wanted to be as talented as him and carry on our family legacy. Thank you Papa.
Please tell us more about your work. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
I feel like my art has come a long way from where I once was 10 years ago in regards to context. I am a huge fan of mixed media, or combining the new with the old. I’ve been a tumbleweed through my career, experimenting and experiencing many types of art, but finally came to the conclusion that I am an Illustrator and Graphic Designer to the bitter end. As Ive gotten older my personal art tends to be a bit more vocal about issues I care about including civil rights issues, cultural influences being multi-racial, lgbtqa+ history, and global conservation. I think what stands out is not just the range of tools I use to make art but how it incorporates sentiment, soul and personal stories behind them. I’ve learned to appreciate that art can be just more than a pretty picture, but can tell personal stories, and how those stories can help influence others as well.
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?
My best friend is super easy to please so this will be easy! I would take her to grab a soy iced matcha green tea and bagel at “Portfolio” on 4th street in Long Beach. Then take a quick look down the street at my favorite shop called “The Hangout”. Retro row is known to have good thrift stores, food, and vintage shops in the LBC, making it Los Angeles County’s hidden gem. I’d also take her to the Bamboo Club, which is a fun tiki lounge filled with vivacious characters and tasty drinks!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’d like to thank my amazing parents and family who have encouraged me to pursuit my passions and make them into my career, my talented professors who helped refine my skills and craft, my handsome significant other for putting up with my shenanigans, and my adorable guinea pig.
Portraits done of: Jack Taylor, Bianca Austria, Victoria Castorena, Ruby de Simone, Jonathan Torres, and Leah Ozaki.