We had the good fortune of connecting with Lucy Manalo and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lucy, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
My work/life balance has changed dramatically over the years. I used to just work and work, with little regard to time. It’s easy when you love what you do. I soon realized I was slowly beginning to neglect the precious time with my family. They’ve always been so supportive of everything I’ve done. The realization that time isn’t something you can get back, was the catalyst I needed to make a change.
I have ADHD. So being organized with my time, has always been a huge challenge for me. I’ve had to adapt new techniques, in order to be better organized with my time. Now I use planners and set schedules with Google Calendar. Additionally, I even set timers for how long I should work, otherwise I will keep going and lose track of time. Now, I’m much better at remember ing that my family and my own self-care are my priorities, above everything else.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I primarily work in metal sculpture. But I also like to draw, paint, take photos and work in graphic design. I enjoy the process of “making”. It is so relaxing and stress-relieving. I’m surprised more people don’t do it.
I’m excited about working with metal. I like creating something new from what was once a boring piece of metal. I enjoy building and using tools, because that action is empowering. It gives me a sense of strength and control, in a world where that can often be taken away.
It wasn’t easy to get to this point. I’ve had personal setbacks, family emergencies and the like. But honestly, who hasn’t faced some sort of adversity in their life? The point is to get back up and move forward. Like the saying goes, “It’s not how many times you’ve fallen down, but how many times you get back up.”
If anyone can take anything away from my art, it is that they feel some sense of empowerment. Feel the strength and belief in. yourself that so many things are possible. Don’t quit. Because it’s usually our own self-doubt that holds us back from our potential. Learn to set that aside, ignore what drags you down and just keep moving forward.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If I could take a friend anywhere, I would go to the Hollywood Sculpture Garden. (I have some of my work hanging there.) The garden just looks so stunning at night, all lit up!
I would then go to the observatory to take in the view of Los Angeles and go for a hike. Afterwards, I would take them to In-n-Out to eat those absolutely delicious hamburgers!
For the rest of their time here, I would take them to all of the museums in Los Angeles. We’d go to MOCA, LACMA, and the Broad (to name a few). I’d want to go visit all of the galleries. The Huntington has a lovely collection and a beautiful garden.
Lastly, I would be sure to take them to see the beaches we have and visit Big Bear. I find the mountains and lake to be so calming and peaceful. It would be a nice way to end the trip.
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 definitely have to credit some people and organizations for my success. I have to say that my mother is a tough cookie. She gave me the discipline I needed to be hard-working. She taught me to to work hard for the things I wanted and that thinking has taken me far.
My husband is my rock. He has always been supportive of all of my crazy ideas, regardless of how far-fetched they may have seemed. He’s always believed in me, even when I didn’t believe in myself.
I appreciate my children for loving me and being my cheerleaders. My family is the reason I work so hard. I want to show them that anything is possible if you put your mind and muscle to it.
Lastly, to all of my teachers at Claremont Graduate University. They pushed me to try new things and to explore an artistic side of me that I didn’t think was possible. I will be forever grateful to the faculty and staff at CGU for guiding me during my time as an MFA student there.