We had the good fortune of connecting with Wesley Sanchez and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Wesley, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
In recent years I have come to understand how important it is to maintain a healthy work life balance. It’s very easy for me to get caught up with work and projects, and takes a conscious effort for me to make sure I take time for myself. It’s important to set boundaries, especially when working from home. It’s almost expected of me to be on call at all times of the day, but I generally try to step away from emails and any additional edits/notes that may come through in the evening. This is something that I’ve had to learn and adopt. At the beginning of my career, I was quick to push myself as far as I needed to go in order to get the job done. I would stay up late, wake up early, and work essentially from when I woke up until I went to sleep. The problem I faced after pushing so hard for too long was severe burnout. I had completely neglected myself, ran myself into the ground, and started to resent my line of work. I had to step back and find a new approach, find activities outside of work that were important to me and sink more time into personal relationships. I found that I work best when my life is in balance. I am able to achieve stronger focus when I’m rested, eating well and exercising regularly. I am more efficient with my time, I’m able to maintain a positive attitude and approach each project with fresh eyes. Taking time to maintain my physical and mental health improves the quality of my work and makes me a happier person all around. Life can’t only be about work.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My two main creative outlets are video editing and painting. They both bring me joy and satisfaction in different ways and I can’t imagine life without either. I’ve been editing for about 10 years or so now. I was lucky enough to discover filmmaking when I was a kid, messing around with my brother and friends making videos. In high school, I took an editing course at a local media house and they offered me a job. I started edit professionally early on, so by the time I got to college I was very comfortable with the software and could focus on creative projects. Each project is unique and each director or artist has their own process and vision. You have to listen, you have to experiment and think creatively. Something I find especially important is trying not to get too attached with your edit. It’s easy to feel like you’ve figured it out and made the perfect cut, but I find that’s rarely true. I always try to remain open to new suggestions, regardless of how I may feel reactively. You never know how it’ll change the project, how it might shift the tone or emotion. My philosophy is that it’s worth trying, because the goal is to come out with the strongest end result. That being said, I also make it a point to defend edits that I find necessary and strong. I feel that I stand out as an editor because of my personality, responsiveness and honesty. I also try to remain as positive and calm as possible, no matter the deadline. Some of the biggest challenges I’ve faced on my journey are related to personal skills and communication. I had to get better at expressing my thoughts and concerns, learn not to take things personally, and although it may be uncomfortable at times, being completely honest. I always put in my best effort, and people tend to remember that. When it comes to painting, that’s more of a solo/meditative journey for me. It’s an escape from my routine. Time to work with my hands, let my creativity flow and let loose. My main goal is to have fun with it. I try to reflect aspect of daily life in my work. I’m curious about the relationship we have developed with technology, our connection/lack of connection to nature, social constructs (especially relating to office life). I don’t have a traditional art background, I started doodling in college and slowly began taking it more seriously. I dabbled in animation a bit and then a friend of mine introduced me to watercolors and murals. I’m on a “learn as I go” approach. With every wall I paint, I learn something new for the next one, same goes for canvases. I’m just trying to focus on improving my technique and style, and making sure to enjoy the ride.
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.
Nothing better than starting your day with a breakfast burrito from Delia’s in Highland Park and then heading into the Angeles National Forest for some hiking or mountain biking. I’m always down for a burrito or some tacos, been enjoying El Huarache Azteca lately, Taqueria El Zerape is solid. Town Pizza in Highland Park is great too.
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 shoutout my friend Max Coleman. He’s a talented artist based in Denver, CO. His murals are breathtaking and informative, I’m a huge fan of his style and message. Check out his paintings and prints (@oak_bloak on instagram).