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

Hi Michelle, other than deciding to work for yourself, what else do you think played a pivotal role in your story?
I think shifting my perception of what success is definitely led me to be more successful. I used to think success was something I could only attain through external factors, like how many people I reached or how much money I made. But I now realize that success is just a mindset. All of those outside forces hold no value if I’m not happy with myself and what I’m putting out into this world. I decided to stay true to myself and no longer allow money to be the driving force to create. Monetizing your craft can sometimes cloud your judgment, so it’s important to remember why you even started making art in the first place. I freed myself from this constant loop of anxiety and pressure to impress others, and just started creating for my own pure enjoyment. I saw a change in my art and I honestly think people respond better to it now.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am an abstract artist that creates acrylic pours on canvas. My work primarily explores the intricacy of energy and how it can operate and shift. I try to convey a feeling of oneness with the earth and eliminate the boundaries between self and the rest of nature through visual imagery. I combine spontaneity and control in order to manipulate my canvas and produce fluid art that has a powerful exchange between color, form, and gestures. My art deals with this intimate connection between the hand and mind in motion, that is simultaneously both subtle and energetic.

This is subject to change, of course, since as an artist and as a human I am constantly evolving. But that’s what is so beautiful about this life, there is no limit to our potential. I feel like I’m only at the beginning stage of my artist journey and I have this intense hunger for growth. I’m so excited for the future and it’s endless opportunities, I can’t wait to see where I’ll end up. I eventually do want to transition from canvas work to experimenting with wood. Hopefully I can create more functional art and furniture. For the time being, I look forward to collaborating with more people, participating in more events, and discovering who I am on a deeper level. I’m also very eager to announce my first solo show in May! I’ll be able to introduce myself to the world and share my most intimate and vulnerable pieces.

For a little backstory, I began with this specific style of painting about 3 years ago in my bedroom. I was always just painting for fun and doing what came naturally to me, but when people started responding well to my work, I decided to take myself more seriously. I fabricated a life where I can thankfully sell what I make and create one of a kind pieces for my customers. Now I’m working in my own little studio in my dad’s backyard, constantly developing and experimenting with new techniques and mediums. I sell mainly through my Instagram or word of mouth, but will launch my own website very soon!

I absolutely love what I do but this journey certainly hasn’t been an easy one. I have struggled in so many different aspects of my life, and I’m sure many other artists or small business owners can relate. The one piece of advice I have, that hopefully people can resonate with after reading this, is to always take care of yourself first. Your well being and mental state are always more important than producing something. When I’m not careful, I tend to lose myself in this business. Sometimes I take on more than I can handle, or I beat myself up for failing, or worst of all I compare myself to others. Comparison, when done negatively, can lead to your downfall. Greatness takes time, so have patience with yourself and never compare your journey with someone else’s. We’re all on our own path and everything will fall into place the way it needs to. I used to rush to post on social media because I feared I would lose people’s attention and my momentum. But life doesn’t work that way. I think society has convinced us that we need to operate like machines in order to receive validation. We’re not allowed to take breaks and need to make something new consistently or we’re not worthy of success. It’s an unrealistic and unattainable standard. Do things at your own pace, in your own way. We’re all fully capable, just tap into your power and continue creating the life you dream of having.

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?
Oh wow there is much to do in LA! I love going to Balboa Park to have a picnic with friends, do some tarot reading and play music, maybe get takeout from a vegan Chinese restaurant called Garden Wok. I also like to take hot yoga classes at CorePower, go hiking up Reseda or at Griffith Park, spend the day at Malibu beach, the list goes on and on. My ideal day would probably have to be going to a museum, maybe the Huntington Library or Norton Simon, getting vegan ice cream from Magpies, then going to the Greek Theatre for a picnic screening of a cute film.

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’m extremely grateful that I have a family that is so supportive. I know that’s not always the case, especially when people want to pursue art as their career. My parents always pushed me to experiment with all sorts of career paths, and reassured me that whatever direction I go in, they will back me up no matter what. My family has a background of artists, so it came to no surprise that I would eventually lead that life.

My mom always encourages me to keep going and reminds me that even when I’m having an awfully low period, it’s only temporary. I definitely get my optimism and confidence from her. She is my number one fan, constantly motivating me and assuring me that I have something worth sharing. It’s funny because she actually never wants me to give away my art. She loves everything I do and wants to keep it so that we can hang it up in our home lol. My dad is also super enthusiastic about my art and always getting involved. He even built me my very own studio in his backyard so that I can have a space dedicated to my work. He always researches new techniques and helps me brainstorm new ideas to tackle. I can’t forget about my brother either. He is so hardworking and is always pushing me to be the best version of myself. He motivates me and helps me understand the financial aspect of having your own business. He is nonstop supporting me and making sure I never give up. He helps me understand the value in my work and how to charge for what I do. He is my best friend and my manager all in one incredible being. I really don’t know what I did to deserve the family that I have, but I would be nowhere without them. They have all shaped me to become the artist that I am and I dedicate all of my accomplishments to them.

I also have the most extraordinary group of friends. They have continually supported me in ways unimaginable. Whether it be by sharing my art on social media, recommending my work to other people and sharing my name in conversation, giving me advice or their opinions that I deeply value, assisting me in art shows, or even buying a ridiculous amount of my work. I’m actually convinced they’ve bought so many of my pieces they can each have a little Michelle gallery of their own…They’re all creatives in their own ways and extremely ambitious, so they inspire me daily. My friends are the absolute best and I’ll be eternally grateful for their massive impact in my life.

Instagram: michellegarriga.art

Other: Etsy page: https://www.etsy.com/shop/MGarrigaCreations

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