We had the good fortune of connecting with Marta Stattmiller and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Marta, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
Funny enough, I actually avoided a “traditional” artistic career path for the majority of my adult life. I grew up in a very creative family and was actively doing art until about high school where I just stopped. I thought I should be more pragmatic and go to Business School for undergrad but choose marketing because it did seem to provide the most creative outlet out of all the majors. I then spent the last decade or so doing experiential marketing, which did allow me to express a different form of creativity through live events and experiences. It actually wasn’t until this year and the monumental impact of Covid-19 that brought me back to expressing my creativity through illustrations. I found myself being forced out of a very active events-based lifestyle to countless evenings alone during quarantine. To pass the time, I decided to start drawing again and creating personalized artwork for friends and colleagues. I’ve always loved storytelling and entertaining people and found that illustrating comics and storybooks was a natural fit of talent/interests. I thought it would be fun to share these passion projects on social and to my surprise started getting hired for illustrations gigs. This unexpected result came at such perfect time as I was just laid off from my role as a national events director and was unsure of what the post-Covid world would be like for that industry. I am beyond excited and inspired to be creating again and to be using my artwork to bring joy to others!

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I guess what would set me apart from other artists is my personal and professional experience. I think by delaying my art career and spending so many years at marketing agencies, my client and project management is on point. I come with a very professional and seasoned POV and can provide additional insights to projects from my marketing experience. My personal perspective is influenced by my years of work with women empowerment, my deep love of animals, as well as my experience as a bi-racial woman who has always been concerned with the racial injustices in America. The combination of all of the above allows me to come at every project with multifaceted sensitivity and consideration of the message, even when it may be just a silly comic strip. Style wise, I was an avid fan of the Simpsons growing up and through that I developed my love for bright primary colors as well as satirical and comedic storytelling in my own artwork. As mentioned, I love to entertain people, so creating personalize art and including special little details that will make them smile or even LOL is a real motivator for me! I’m a pretty positive person and have been able to try to find the humor in life and think my artwork portrays that. My biggest hurdle so far has been my own insecurities during this transition. As with most major career changes, you have to fight the urge to turn back and return to the safe and known path. However I have been beyond blessed to have a core group of supporters that have encouraged and inspired me to continue to pursue this new venture.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Well it’s a little tough with the Covid restrictions, but we’ll have to make do! As a resident of West Adams, we’d have to start here and give my own neighborhood some love. Definitely brunch on the back patio at Alta, enjoying their delicious take on California soul food. I love to hike, so I would probably suggest we head over to Griffith Park and get lost in one of their many trails. Then if we were going to stay in my old neighborhood of Los Feliz, I would recommend we go to one of my favorite city parks in LA, Barnsdall Art Park. Small but jammed pack with an art gallery and center, theater, beautiful views, and of course the Hollyhock House. Then for dinner I would recommend again tacos and margaritas on the patio of Salazar in Frogtown. Oh and if they were opened again, I would probably end the night by forcing my friends to go bowling with me at Shatto 39- I love to bowl!

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?
Of course! I have to shout out Helene Cornell for inspiring & hiring me to do custom artwork for her real estate business. Also Justin LaBaw-Rivers, of Original Thought , who brought me on to do logo design for a new restaurant and was incredible to work with. I selected these specific clients because they were the first two people to hire me as an artist for their projects and that was so encouraging for me transitioning into this new career path. I also would like to shout out Marley’s Mutt Rescue Group, an inspiring organization in and of itself but was also the inspiration for my new children’s book The Journey of Courage. Finally my superbly talented siblings, Andy Stattmiller and Eva Stattmiller as well my always supportive & creative Mom!

Website: martastattmiller.com
Instagram: @marta_st_miller and @stattmillustrations
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/marta-stattmiller/

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