We had the good fortune of connecting with Rosey D’Angelo and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Rosey, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
When I think about Work-Life balance, I see this idea more as Life-Work-Passion balance. My life has been a constant balancing act between these three: Work, games research; Passion, painting; and my Life, everything else. I spent most of my 20’s focused on my work career, sacrificing both my spheres of Life and Passion. Maintaining balance feels like a delicate achievement, and has virtuous effects across all three areas.

I only recently made the conscious choice to revive my relationship with my Passion, painting. Alan Watts said, “This is the real secret of life — to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it is play.” This concept is similar to how I currently calibrate the areas of my life: 1) Structure: I organize my week/schedule to ensure I have dedicated time for each area, and 2) Focus: I engage wholly with the experience at hand, be it Life, Work, or Passion. Spending time to structure my schedule helps me ensure I won’t fall back on old patterns of imbalance, and allows me to give each space the gift of my full attention.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My art and work both begin with empathy. The word Empathy comes from Greek “Em” and “Pathos” (“in feeling”) and is defined as “the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.” Empathy is the beginning of human connection. In my work as a games researcher, empathy is the path to understanding, and can be achieved by asking the right questions and deeply listening. We listen to understand a player’s experience, what motivates them, what frustrates or confuses, and ultimately, how a game might impact a person’s life.

With my art, the process feels similar. I create oil portraits, and I think of it as beginning with empathy for the subject. In many ways, the process of painting feels like asking questions with a brush and listening to uncover the human on the canvas. In selecting my portrait subjects, I’m fascinated by and celebrate the spirit of resisting definition. I think about counter-culture icons who fully embrace & emanate their “otherness.”

I’m currently creating a series of “Cultural Outsiders” portraits based on the Tarot. The Tarot’s major cards are made up of 22 familiar archetypes (e.g., the Queen, the Fool, Death, etc.) I like to think about these Tarot cards in the context of Jungian archetypes and archetypal psychology – the general idea being that humanity’s collective unconsciousness creates universal symbols or icons (archetypes) to understand the world. Many myths are built of archetypes (the Hermit, the Guide, the Hero, etc). You may identify with multiple archetypes at any given time, and these may change (for example, becoming The Mother). In painting these portraits, I seek to create contemporary representations of these archetypes with folks who trailblazed their own genre. For example, my portrait of MF DOOM represents the archetype of The Villain, while Missy Elliott is The Chariot (willpower, momentum).

Finally, I want to end with a quote from a friend of mine: “Every now and again, I come across artists whose actions or inactions almost say directly to me: my practice is not merely for your consumption, satisfaction, or pleasure. It is first and foremost an extension of my experiences and my Being synthesized through the medium of my choosing. Should I choose to share this part of me, be grateful, meditate, and be moved by it as it has moved me…It is a blessing that I was even inspired to make this and that you are in the position to receive it with an open mind… Artists are not in direct service to you or me when we are on the consumer end. But their works just might be of service to us if we treat them first and foremost as human beings who are navigating and making sense of the world through their Art.” -Stephen Obisanya @stephenobisanya

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.
Bike along Will Rogers beach, followed by brunch at the Rose Venice. I would definitely make an appointment to experience the Getty Villa with my guest. This villa is separate from the Getty Museum and is dedicated to the art of ancient Greece & Rome, which I absolutely love. The villa itself is gorgeous, and feels like a more intimate experience of the Getty. Dinner at KazuNori, and end the evening with drinks at the rooftop bar Perch.

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 like to dedicate my shoutout to my very dear friend, Kandice Hautman. Kandice has taught me many things during our years of friendship, but one of the things I admire most about Kandice is her unwavering commitment to simply being her own authentic self. Kandice has always created her own lane. Many of her interests and qualities may seem confusing or contradictory to people, but Kandice would most likely laugh lightheartedly at any confusion she inspires. Kandice gives everyone she is with the permission to be themselves. This quality of individuality extends to all aspects of her life, including staying true to her sense of integrity and accountability. When the need arose, Kandice took it upon herself to adopt her younger brother. Individuality lends itself to immense resilience and strength of character. Not allowing your limits be defined by external influences makes it possible for you to do the right thing, however difficult it might be.

Something that inspires my portraiture is the idea of being a cultural outsider, someone who is alien to norms. The beauty of this is that you are inherently connected to a community of other outsiders. I feel that especially as women, society has certain heavy expectations of women. I think about celebrities like Rihanna and Cher, who are models of what it might look like to be a self-actualized woman who is not seeking to be completed by a man. The fortitude to resist this societal pressure and exist as a true individual is so inspiring to me, and is a quality I admire in Kandice and many other wonderful women in my life.

Website: https://www.roseydangeloarts.com/

Instagram: @roseydangelo

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/roseydangelo/

Image Credits
Photo credit to Kristina McDonald @kristina_time for the wonderful vineyard photos.

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.