We had the good fortune of connecting with Marisol Del Valle and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Marisol, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
Work Life Balance is super important to me. There’s a time for work and a time for rest. Over time, working too much can lead to issues, both physically and mentally. I try to set a time frame for when I sit and work, making lists and schedules along the way so that I have dedicated times to allot for things that make me happy. Time with family and friends, not to mention times to sleep too. I try to make sure that I have set days to relax so I can recharge for the next work day. It keeps me motivated and happy. Sometimes regrouping can help me focus better while I work or inspire me to make new pieces. Setting a good work cycle for myself tends to work well for me and my artwork. I consider myself an emotional artist at times, so if I’m too grumpy or negative, the vibes will throw me off. I enjoy what I do and I can still enjoy what it allows me to experience in life. Setting a good cycle for myself, sets me up for a successful day.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am a digital artist, and usually work on procreate or photoshop. I also do traditional work with acrylics and ink. I love to merge the two when I can. I tend to draw a lot of bats and female figures. I love creating my own characters and making a world that they live in so I can share with others.

When I was younger, I had negative responses towards being an artist or working as a digital creative. I am most proud of being at events and meeting young artists. Having them see me as something they can be inspired to be in the future. I like to meet parents and let them know that the “starving artist” can actually make a living being a creative and be happy doing it. I love to help people with their creative journeys often give advice or guidance with making it work for them. I am all about community and am happy to share all I can with anyone that wants to learn or listen. At times someone can see another artist as competition but I feel like there is room for all of us to share and grow together. Everyone has a story to tell, and even if you are a digital artist like me or if you paint like the next person, we are all different and can connect with our audience in different ways. Everyone has a story to tell, and there is always someone willing to listen.

There as so many lessons I have learned along the way in the my art career. One is to never stop learning. Practice makes progress and the best time to start something is right now. I was always worried about not being good enough or wanting to nail a technique to perfection before sharing it with the world. Now I know that if I waited to be perfect, I would never have started.

Getting to where I am now was not easy. But is anything easy worth getting in the first place? Hard work, time, trial and error. Learning from mistakes, taking risks, putting myself out there. That’s what got me where I am, and where I will continue to grow. Having support from loved ones is always a plus. I have people like my “big lil sis”, Kris, always helping me push out of my comfort zone and cheering for me to win at anything I want to accomplish. I appreciate everyone that checks out my work, connects with it, purchases an item, or just says hi. It’s what keeps me going and I feel blessed to be able to share my work with the world and I hope to continue to inspire others when I can. I’m grateful for every minute of it.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I am currently in Aurora, IL. If you are visiting, I would definitely suggest going to downtown aurora during a First Friday of the month. There are so many artists and local businesses coming together to celebrate community. Shops like the Cotton Seed Creative Exchange showcases several local artists, vendors and small businesses. Go eat at Chupacabra Puerto Rican Kitchen and get some locally crafted drinks at McCarty Mills too, they have such good food and staff. Those are my favorites in my area.

Anywhere you visit in the world, I suggest making it to a local artshow, and support local small businesses.

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’d love to give a shout out to Steve Crespo, who at the time was a creative director at Nickelodeon. When I was in school, we had a portfolio review. Since I was a last minute addition to the review, I was sat with web designers and he didn’t get to my table before it was over. I built up to nerve to approach him to get some advice about my work. At the time I was studying graphic design but I did digital illustrations as well. He was super nice and took some time to check out my pieces. He told me that I should stick to digital illustration and he liked my work. At the time, my resume had a bat illustration. He said for me to do more work like this. (pointing at the bat as well as some character pieces I did for some online games.) I began to focus more on what I liked to do, what I wanted to draw and what I wanted to be known for. From then on I felt my journey as an artist became one that I was going to be proud of. He was one of the first people to let me know that it was ok to do what made you happy, and that you could be successful with your passion and creativity.

Website: www.dzhelasi.com

Instagram: www.instagram.com/dzhelasi

Twitter: www.twitter.com/dzhelasi

Facebook: www.fb.com/Dzhelasi.Art

Other: www.dzhelasi.etsy.com www.thecottonseedex.com/collections/dzhelasi

Image Credits
Kim Sowa

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