We had the good fortune of connecting with Velia De Iuliis and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Velia, where are your from? We’d love to hear about how your background has played a role in who you are today?
I was raised by two European parents in the city of San Francisco. Both my folks and the city were fundamental to my development as a creative. San Francisco, a cultural melting pot, instilled in me a curiosity for the world while my Italian and Swiss parents encouraged my instinctual desire to create and make art.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’m always been curious about the natural world and as a consequence, what I can do to protect it, howerever, it was a somewhat unconscious decision to start painting flora and fauna that are both thriving and endangered. I was just painting what I admired and loved, but it also gave me purpose and allowed me to learn about different species, their habitats and ability to survive. Immersing myself heavily into research sparked the notion that through my paintings I could not only help foster curiosity in my viewers, but simultaneously continue to educate myself on matters of the planet. I am proud of this work because I believe it speaks to a broader audience than just the art world.
I will say that starting my own business and learning along the way was pretty challenging, but I’m also grateful for that even though in the early years, I had clients that took advantage of my inexperience. This is a story you often hear, but it jump started the need to protect my creative voice. I learned quickly that you are your own best advocate and that contracts are crucial! I believe once you establish your own self and creative worth, people will take you seriously and respect you managing your business.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Love this question! I live on the westside of Los Angeles and thrive by the beach. I’d take her surfing up the PCH to Malibu (or San Onofre down south) followed by a Brekkie Burrito at my fav local joint Great White in Venice. Their sister bar Grand Blanco is also an excellent choice for a fun evening hang with a spicy Margarita. Another must see is the Broad Museum (my favorite museum in LA) and the Magical Huntington Gardens! I can’t stress this enough, it is one of Los Angeles’ most beautiful places. If timing was right, I’d end the week with a Sunday stroll through the Rose Bowl Flea; another amazing adventure for vintage treasures.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There have been many influential people and moments in my life. Without a doubt my parents have been continuous mentors in my life, encouraging my instinctual need to create. They are the steadfast mast to my ship. Another individual that paved the way for me and my love of both science and art is Ernst Haeckel and his astonishing life’s work. He was a 19c zoologist, naturalist, philosopher and artist who discovered, named and documented countless species.
Photograph by Matt Barlow