We had the good fortune of connecting with Sarah Demonteverde and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sarah, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
2019 was a great, fast-paced time of growth for me as a creative, from developing more of a style/brand for my personal art, as well as connecting to an awesome community of people (especially my fellow Filipinx and BIPOC this year) that have supported me and my work as I’ve organically grown a following within the past couple years. As soon as COVID-19 hit this year, as many of us have experienced, life definitely took a “pause,” and eventually evolved into this adaptive way of life, in order for us to survive. I definitely have reprioritized my life in such a way that allowed me and my family to better thrive through these hard times, especially when it came to finding ways for us to better have boundaries as well as outlets that separated us from the daily bustle. In our case as a family, we (myself especially) revisited our knack and passion for plants and gardening. We currently have over 100 varieties of houseplants, succulents, outdoor tropicals including plumeria, and our little veggie patch we tend in the back. Gardening drew a line of mental peace and management that drew us away from the stresses of this year, even if it was momentary. It also gave us a renewed source of inspiration for living, and in my case, my love for using nature as one of my fave muses in my work.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
For the past year and a half, I’ve been working both in-house and now freelance as a designer for stationery (paper, pattern, consumer products), and now more recently have increased my experience in the world of Children’s Books/Young Adult Literature. Currently represented by Advocate Art, it has been awesome jumping in to something I’ve always looked forward to doing, challenging me in the best ways. I’m still currently doing my best to fit into this high standard of creating essentially products that are intended to teach and inspire young minds as well, and I think that in and of itself is what drives me to do better and push myself more with each new project. As far as lessons I’ve learned this year, communication is still so important as it has always been, especially when you’re collaborating with clientele and agents spanning different time zones. Figuring out a balanced creative process from rough to final edits has also proved itself difficult, but not impossible – I mean, an adaptive attitude is how creatives survive. I hope that as I continue on that more of my personal voice and the things I am passionate about, especially cultural representation and preservation, are able to shine through in my projects and narratives I tell in the near future.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I am a nature girl at heart, and The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens in San Marino hold a sustained place of reverence (it’s our fave) in my family as one of our go-to escapes. It’s a place worth investing in a membership, especially in times like this where most amusement parks are closed in 2020, and I’ve preferred going to see the gardens over trips to Disneyland (I know, blasphemous to say the least, being that I’m a socal local, but that’s me). Just shy of a couple miles south of the main hub of Pasadena and Old Towne, I love taking family and friends alike to the gardens to stroll, explore, maybe get a little nerdy, and take a ton of aesthetic shots around the grounds – we all need a breath of fresh air these days. Afterward, I like hitting up foodie spots around the 626 in the surrounding area – depending on what’s open for takeout or outdoor seating with public health these days – some of my fave spots include Wanderlust Creamery of Pasadena for ice cream, President Thai Pasadena, Dim Sum in the SGV Area (def do your research on yelp for this one), Ixtaco Tacqueria in El Monte, the list goes on depending on what you’re in the mood for.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’d love to shoutout to my family, loved ones, as well as the fellow artists who have endured by my side through the entirety of this year- lulls, highs, and everything in between. I found that this year was definitely hard to say the least – paralyzing at some moments. Yet, it was the constant love and the perseverance I saw in these people around me, that even at our lowest, we were drawn to the core things that make or break us when it comes to our purpose in life. Thankful for the example of people around me showing how it is to push hard, and yet approach the opportunities in life in such a way that stays authentic and true to who we are, what we believe in, and how we’re just human; we are capable of so much when it comes to creatively pushing ourselves, but it matters to take care of the body and soul – the source of where our works are cultivated, over and over again.
by Sarah Demonteverde