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

Hi Sendy, what do you attribute your success to?
I believe the most important factor behind success is having the support of loved ones, community members, and mentors. I had the privilege of being surrounded by wonderful educators throughout my life and they encouraged me to reach for things beyond what I thought was possible under my circumstances. It was scary jumping into unfamiliar territory and going to college away from my family and all I had ever known. Feeling love and support was important to me and it kept me motivated.

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.
Ever since childhood, drawing was my main form expression. I am a highly sensitive person and drawing has always been my outlet to release or process any emotion. I started painting when I was in high school and that was my preferred medium for a long time. My siblings and I started taking public transit in middle school so I became familiar with routes in San Diego early on and I enjoyed sketching while I navigated around the city. There was one trolley line in particular called the Blue Line that I would frequent most since it would go all the way from downtown San Diego to Tijuana. I would draw a lot of pigeons, birds, insects, plants and people in between their long commutes to and from their homes. I have always been inspired by working class people and families like my own. I like to highlight these communities in my work because their lives are as valid and valuable as anybody elses even though people sometimes treat them like they are invisible. I did a few art internships in high school and would frequently look for art opportunities online. I was selected with a group of local San Diego artists to paint my first mural in downtown San Diego in high school. After that, I painted a couple murals and made t-shirt designs for Machete Beer House (a local San Diego bar.) After that, I pursued illustration at California College of the arts and have been working as an illustrator & designer since. It has not been an easy path but I have been dedicating myself to this dream since I graduated high school. What has kept me motivated during these years has been the unconditional love from my friends and family and the support from my community and mentors.

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.
I would take a friend visiting the area to the outdoors to enjoy some of the beautiful scenery the bay area has to offer. I would take them to Joaquin Miller Park, Lake Merritt, and Point Isabel. If we were spending the day in Oakland, I would take them to Old Oakland. I used to work at Caffe 817 and fell in love with that area. There are farmers markets there on Fridays, E14 Gallery has events year round and a great store front showcases work from local artists, and there are a great restaurants all within that area.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I am very grateful first and foremost to my family. My whole family but specifically my mom, grandmother, grandpa Gene, and my siblings. I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for their genuine love and support. I also want to thank my teachers & mentors from my high school Diana Cornejo-Sanchez, Alejandra Bonilla, and Robert Kuhl. There are more to thank, but specifically those three because they believed in me and pushed me to go to college and pursue art as a career. Lastly, I want to thank all of the people that have collaborated with me on different projects throughout the years, my professors from CCA and mentor Deanna Donegan.

Website: https://www.sendysantamaria.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/quepasomijoo/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sendy-santamaria-736778161/

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