Today we’d like to introduce you to Maria Azellea Sanchez – Ordóñez. Maria and their team share their story with us below:

Maria Azellea Sanchez-Ordóñez created her non profit blog/website Hustle – N – Heart as a way to bring resources & information to aspiring professionals so they can have their own starting line as they begin their professional journeys. Hustle – N – Heart began as a mindset to hustle everyday while keeping your heart on your sleeve. While you can always work to move forward you must always appreciate where you came from, give thanks to those who have helped you, empower others around you, and strive to pay it forward when you can. Now Hustle – N – Heart is evolving as a blog to become a mission, movement, and motivation to empower the next rising voice. Below you can find our Mission, Movement, & Motivation!

Hustle – N – Heart is for everyone who is working towards their own personal or professional goals and is currently overwhelmed by the mass amount of scattered information out there. As this blog grows it will strive to be a one stop landing page to set yourself up for success.

Hustle – N – Heart is for everyone who is working towards their own personal or professional goals and is currently overwhelmed by the mass amount of scattered information out there. As this blog grows it will strive to be a one stop landing page to set yourself up for success.

This is just the beginning. Hustle – N – Heart is here to evolve and grow alongside you to bring you the most current & relevant resources to set you up for success! It is also a reminder & a reference for when you reach a checkpoint that you can keep on going. Whether we are beginning our next goal or are on another attempt we can always come back to the starting line and try again.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Hustle – N – Heart is the embodiment of what I strive to bring into my work in any capacity everyday. Whether it’s in my role as a Production Coordinator for Netflix Animation, my volunteering empowering BIPOC in animation on the teams of LatinX in Animation & Rise Up Animation, or as a Owner/Animator as I work to grow myself & my Non Profit website, I hustle to support & empower everyone with heart everyday.

It wasn’t an easy journey, as most BIPOC know all too well, there was/is a huge gap in resources for aspiring BIPOC professionals in animation. In my own journey I learned to create & meet opportunities with being prepared. Educating myself through volunteering, attending events, and having cafecitos with everyone. No piece of advice was too small and no idea wasn’t worth trying at least once, even if you failed as long as you got back up that is what mattered most. Learning what it truly means to come into my own as a rising professional in animation. Understanding that building your “network” isn’t as scarily superficial as the stigma makes it out to be and it’s really about making those genuine connections to surround yourself with like – minded individuals who just love to eat pastries and get excited over how cool animation is with you!

The biggest lessons & takeaways I have gotten from my journey have been:

– The journey takes time! It’s okay that you are going at your own pace, your clock is not defined by the clocks of those around you. You are going on the journey that’s meant for you.

– Burnout is real! Self care is just as important as working and you can’t serve yourself, your craft, or your community from an empty soul cup.

– Timing & preparedness is key. It’s a terribly cliché thing to hear and admittedly used to bother myself as well but, if you work towards your goals that serendipitous moment will come where it will all work out. You have to meet opportunities halfway and do the work to get there.

– Always ask questions & show your work! No question is too stupid and showing someone else your work may just be the fresh set of eyes that you needed to catch something you might have missed or to get an answer you didn’t even know you needed.

Overall my brand, story, and mantra is always to leave people better than you find them through kindness. Even if I can’t help, I strive to be kind everyday because you never know what others are going through and if you can brighten someone’s day with the smallest action that’s the best thing you could ever achieve. This is why I created Hustle – N – Heart, for anyone who needs that kind nudge or to get back up and kick off from their own startling line once again.

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.
A couple of huge go to places for myself when friends visit from out of state (or just my general stomping grounds) is Little Tokyo, Thai Town, Bamboo Plaza in Chinatown, and San Fernando (special shoutout to every paletero & My Bakery). Each of these places are so rich in their culture, architecture, and delicious food that even the thought of them excites me. If you haven’t already, definitely go explore all of these places! Your eyes will be opened to new flavors and you’ll realize how many amazing individuals hold such amazing memories to our state’s history. Definitely make sure to check out the local events as well, there is such a beautiful mix of events that not only celebrate but educate you on the many cultures that reside in the greater Los Angeles area and can introduce you to some amazing traditions.

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?
It’s always cliche to hear that you need to appreciate the journey but looking back on it now, I truly understand how important it is to appreciate your journey. Whether you’re in the middle of it, reflecting on it, or anticipating what’s ahead you must celebrate your journey and those you have helped you every step of the way!

A huge thank you has to go to my mentor Vida who saw something in me that I didn’t even see in myself 8 years ago. She has constantly had the patience, kindness, intelligence, and strength to not only support me but the world as she champions for diversity in media & empowers foster youth. Thank you for being not only the inspiration but the spirit of Hustle – N – Heart. I would not be where I am without you and I hope to be a 1/4 of what you are one day.

Vida’s Instagrams to link: &






Other: For updates & all things Hustle – N – Heart coming soon follow us on our social media channels!

Image Credits
All images belong to Owner Maria Azellea Sanchez – Ordóñez

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.