We had the good fortune of connecting with Miranda Grijalva and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Miranda, any advice for those thinking about whether to keep going or to give up?
I am still learning how to know when too keep going, and when is the time to give up, but I try not to see either or as strictly a success or failure. Sometimes, even the passions we pursue can become overbearing. I think it’s important to step back once in a while. In my last year of high school, I wanted to go to art school, and as soon as I arrived, my whole life became about art. And only art. It became so overwhelming that I dropped out after one year. I had no intention of giving up, but I was confused, frustrated, and even regretted leaving at the time. The only things I knew for sure was that I wanted to go to school, and I wanted to be an artist. The next school I attended was a Junior College. There I learned that not only was the passion to be an artist was still there, but I also had interests for writing, history, and storytelling. I eventually transferred to California State University of Long Beach, and graduated with my BFA, along with goals to write and illustrate stories, become a background painter, and more. I don’t know when is the time to give up, but I know that it’s important to occasionally back away from our work, passion projects, and dreams when they become overwhelming, to the point where we lose sight of why we are going after them. It may look like you are giving up on your dreams, but in actuality, you are stepping away to see the whole picture, taking care of yourself, and revisiting the reason why you pursued those dreams in the first place.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My main focus is background painting. When I was in high school, I used to read novels and try to draw and paint the environments from the stories I read. For my professional career, I’ want to become a background painter, and I am currently working on my portfolio and applying to different studios. But what I am most proud of as of right now is my passion project. For almost two years, I’ve focused on writing a story. I want to tell a story about a girl who is about to go to college, but her whole life changes when she accidentally travels through space. I always had a love for science fiction, my favorite stories are Star Wars and The Twilight Zone series. I like to think, what if a person could travel anywhere in the universe, anytime they wanted, without limits? This story is my answer to that question. My goal is to the complete the scripts for my story, design my characters and world, and hopefully make it into a graphic novel. Coming up with my story idea was not easy. It took a lot time to put together, but I am very proud with the progress I have made. I admit, there are times when I wonder if I’ll really make it into a book. I understand that making a graphic novel is a lot of hard work. But I’ve come very far in this project, and as of now, I don’t see any sign of stopping. The more I work on it, the more I want to share my story with others. My biggest challenge that I face is being patient. Things take time to grow, whether it’s a career, a story, or even myself. It’s important to work hard, but also take time to learn and take care of myself so that I can do what I love.
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?
One of my favorite places to eat is, C&O Trattoria, an Italian restaurant in Venice Beach, California. My family has gone there before I was even born. We go there for birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, and other special events. I have yet to go to another Italian restaurant with better garlic knots. As for hanging out, one of my favorite places are bookstores. Whether I’m looking through art books, or discovering new stories to enjoy, I can spend all day in a bookstore. My favorite store is called Half off Books in Fullerton, California. It’s a great place to invite a friend and spend some time looking through books, movies, and even old records. There are also lovely small businesses and restaurants in the same area, making it one of my go to places to hang out. And when I have time, I love to check out museums, art walks, and art fairs. I am so excited to start going to them once it is safe again. I love asking artists about their work, and listening to them as they talk about how they made their work and why it means so much to them.
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?
Thank you to my high school art teacher, Mrs. Everett from La Serna High School. I thought the only job and artist could have was an art teacher until I met her. She introduced me to the idea of working for animation, film, and other media. And I’d also want to thank my parents, who encouraged me to pursue art, and supported me through out my creative journey and my life.