We had the good fortune of connecting with Carly Veronica and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Carly Veronica, how do you think about risk?
I think risk is essential to growth. As an artist I often get complimented for my bravery for living an unconventional lifestyle. I have been self employed my entire career with blocks of time spent as a creative director and animation director working in house for companies. Taking risks has allowed me to have a life that is always shifting and changing. There is never a dull moment!
I have taken risks shifting my career focus from animation director to graphic designer to motion graphics to fine artist to most recently a mural artist. In 2018 I backpacked through India and Nepal for 5 months. It was on that trip that I discovered my deep spiritual calling to become a mural artist. I recently moved out of my loft in downtown LA to build out my Sprinter van so I can travel the US and paint murals freely. In my life, risk keeps a vibrancy in my life and opens me up to new opportunities I my not have ever imagined.
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.
My work is mixed media. I love exploring and blending acrylic, spray paint and paint markers. Throughout my experimental process, I push the boundaries of my own concepts and the mediums themselves. Through my background as a graphic designer, I developed a deep love for vector graphics and creative printing possibilities especially laser cutting. For my large scale paintings I use recycled large scale set walls from film productions that would otherwise go to the landfill and Amazon cardboard boxes to create custom stencils on the laser cutter with my own vector graphics.
My path has not been easy. I spent many years creating commercial work and feeling largely unfulfilled. It took me many years to have the courage to step away from the commercial path. My journey began with exploring tactile medias, drawing on paper and painting with watercolors and acrylics. I began seriously using computer programs such as Photoshop, Illustrator, After Effects, Final Cut Pro & Procreate in college and in my animation and graphic design career.
My mural painting is a hybrid of the knowledge of both my traditional painting processes mixed with computer arts. It was natural for me to develop a process in my paintings that begins with hand drawn sketches, transforms into vectors and then cut out on the laser cutter. Those laser cut pieces are hand painted and then layered in resin. In other large paintings and murals, I create large abstract shape stencils that I layer to cover large areas.
I recently moved out of my loft at The Brewery Arts Complex which is pictured below. I spent two years turning my loft into my largest art piece to date, it is a completely immersive experience.
I recently bought a high top extended Sprinter van, I am in the beginning stages of building out my van. My plan is to live in my van and tour around the US painting murals. I am a big lover of participatory art. I have developed techniques where people can paint along with me and awaken the creative spark within.
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.
It is the faces not the places! All of the incredible people who make a up a city are what makes it interesting. Those people create interesting spaces for all of the people to enjoy. I would first take my friend to introduce them to my best artist friends at The Brewery Arts Complex so they can view art, see the interesting loft spaces they have created and the interesting lives they live. I would then take them to the warehouse my Burning Man community rents out to meet the artists there. I would then start looking for interesting art events happening that my friends are involved in and at the event venues I am currently showing work at. My largest painting Flourishing was currently installed at The Shed in the Arts District, I would see what is on their calendar so my friend can see what they have going on. I would then explore what amazing musical performers are in town so we can find somewhere to dance.
I love biking around the Arts District, it is a great way to really see the street art, interesting architecture and not have to worry about parking. There is plenty of food there to enjoy ranging from healthy salads and juices, Japanese food in Little Tokyo, fancy coffee shops with delicious bites. From the Arts District we can jump on the Gold Line and go to South Pasadena where my favorite farmers market is in the city.
I love hiking, especially in Pasadena and The Los Angeles National Forest. There are so many incredible trails and great views of the city. There are incredible hikes with beach views on the westside and of course Griffith Park where you can see The Hollywood Sign and The Griffith Observatory. I love showing people how beautiful LA can be, just a short ride away.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I am eternally grateful fo the incredible arts education I received at CalArts. I was lucky enough to have both the late Leo Hobaica and Mike Mitchell as my mentors. Mike passed away just months after I graduated in and Leo followed in 2014.
Leo helped me become a citizen of the world. He supported me in becoming the first student in my department to spend an entire year studying animation in Paris, France. I spent time with him in various towns and cities in France. My animated films at CalArts all took place in other countries. Leo sparked a light in me to explore and tap into my brave artistic spirit within and go with the flow no matter to what country that flow might take me to.
Mike was my visual development teacher. I spent 6 hours a day with him every Friday throughout my CalArts career creating large scale drawings on the floor of our classroom. In my most recent immersive art piece titled Love in Joshua Tree, I painted the floors throughout my 1,000 square foot loft. I thought of Mike often and his influence to create large scale drawings that morph and flow as I crawled throughout my space spray painting and drawing on the floors. Mike’s joy and encouragement helped spark my creative fire within.