We had the good fortune of connecting with Jerilyn Guerrero and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jerilyn, why did you pursue a creative career?
I pursued a creative career because I really love making all sorts of things and expressing myself through different mediums. It brings me the most joy and peace to be in the zone creating something that I could only see in my mind. You could say there’s always been a strong undercurrent pulling me in this direction.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’m a multidisciplinary creative with a focus on illustration. I have quite a few skill sets under my tool belt so I sometimes weave them in to support my creative visions. Other than illustration and graphic design, my skill sets include UX, photography, video editing, motion graphics, murals, web design, branding, and more. I’ve learned all these skills and different programs because I was so curious in learning different ways of expressing myself through my art. If I had an idea of something, I wanted to be able to fully create it myself. I’m excited to really share my illustrations more with everyone. As for how I got to where I am today professionally—it’s a winding road. In short, it took me awhile after high school to decide to pursue a creative path but when I finally did—I was all in. There were many challenging years—mentally, physically, emotionally, and financially—but I went through art school (this was after a year of university, dropping out for a year, and then going to a junior college), got a design internship while I was a student and then got hired as a Marketing Designer in my last year of school. I left my job as a Senior Visual Designer in 2020 to pursue illustration full-time. I overcame my challenges through consistency, patience, and giving myself a lot of grace. I did what I could with the knowledge that I had at the time and let go of a lot of limiting beliefs. It sounds easier said than done. I learned that taking care of myself first—my body, mind, heart, and spirit—would always bring me the clarity I needed to take inspired action towards whatever it is that lights me up. In my art, I generate inspiration from my interests in my own life and what is going on around me. Using bold and vibrant colors, I remind myself and others that we don’t need to look very far for inspiration–it can be found right in front of us.
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?
Times are certainly different now, so I’d say we’re going to grab food and have cute picnics at the beaches and parks—all out in nature with fresh air. There’s so much good food here that I’ve had over the years but notable places that were new to me last year would be: Bread Lodge – for the sourdough pizza, amazing cinnamon bun the size of your head, and pretty much any sandwich or baked good there, Kazunori – simple yet delicious hand rolls, Sidecar Donuts – their butter & salt donut is a must-try.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Before I went to art school, I volunteered at a non-profit organization called 4C The Power. The goal of the 4C The Power program was to build communities by providing workshops with professional artists for youth in the area of the arts to promote a greater connection to education, their school, and community. The workshops helped students to build their confidence as they learned about their potential through creativity, culture, and responsibility to their community. I was really inspired by the students who we worked with. The director of the non-profit, Diann Kitamura a.k.a. “Mama D”, recognized my potential and let me explore my skills as an in-house graphic designer. This time was really special and inspired me to seriously pursue a creative career. I’m really grateful for that experience and for Mama D’s mentorship and encouragement. It really meant a lot to me that someone believed in me that much. A big shoutout to Mama D, the students of 4C The Power, and my friends that were in the team with me! I’m also grateful for friends and others I’ve met along the way who’ve been cheering me on! I’m so thankful to have their support. I also would like to shout out other artists who are on their own journeys for showing everyone what’s possible and being really generous with their own knowledge.