Today we’d like to introduce you to Carly Veronica White.
Hi Carly Veronica, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
I grew up in Sonora, CA a small town in the Sierra Nevada Foothills of Northern California. I moved to Los Angeles when I was 18 to pursue Animation. I graduated from CalArts in 2009 with a degree in Character Animation, one year of my degree was spent attending École nationale supérieure des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, France. I worked directing and producing animation for eight years between LA and Austin and ultimately felt creatively unfilled. Animation is a beautiful medium but it requires a lot of computer work and I felt I lost my artistic self. In 2018, I traveled to India for five months on a spiritual quest to reconnect with what I felt I had lost. I have always had a deep love for street art and have always created large drawings in pastel, for some reason it didn’t occur to me until I traveled to India that it could be me creating the street art I loved so much.
I wanted to use my creativity to give back to the communities I visited and mural art checked all the boxes I was looking to fill. While creating works on the street, I can connect with communities, create large scale works, be outside and be physically active with my work. I have always had extreme wanderlust, street art it is the perfect art form to express while backpacking. While in India, I painted five murals. The following year I traveled to Japan and painted two there. I currently live at The Brewery Artist Lofts in Downtown Los Angeles. For the last year, I have been turning my loft into an immersive mural experience and creating murals in the Southern California area.
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
My journey has been far from smooth. Growing up, I always thought I wanted to work in animation because I love to draw so much. There is so much push back in society with the concept of the “starving artist”. With animation, it seemed I could express myself artistically and get paid for my work. I attended CalArts because it is the best school in the country for animation and is famous for turning out creative geniuses. While in school, I dove deep into my work, created my own films and was able to express myself artistically on an incredible level. Unfortunately, I didn’t think much about what my career would be after school. When I graduated, I emerged from the art school bubble and faced the reality of the animation industry. I never saw myself as a showrunner or directing feature-length animation. My work is experimental and I wasn’t interested in creating animation for children. That left opportunities in documentaries, advertisements and explainer videos. I began to feel I really didn’t resonate with directing character animation started getting heavily into graphic design and ultimately married the two creating motion graphics.
My work had become heavily computer-based and I felt totally exhausted, burnt out and so far away from my true love for creating art. Near the end of my career in animation, I began experimenting with ways that I could create art that could be shown in galleries. I was living in Austin, Texas and I got really into laser cutting and created a series of large artworks with laser cut wood that I painted and layered with epoxy resin in frames that I built. I made a big life decision to move back to Los Angeles with my partner at the time. In the process, I lost my studio and access to a laser cutter. Feeling lost in my direction and emotionally devastated, I decided to take a leap of faith and travel to India for five months to realign myself spiritually and find my sacred calling. While on the plane traveling to India, I had the idea to seek out walls to paint. Since I would be backpacking, I wouldn’t have a studio and I wanted to explore the gallery without walls. When I painted my first wall in Coorg, India I knew I had found my direction.
Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
My work is an expression of how I see existence – a continual process of fracturing, reformation, and rebirth. Similar to how the serpent sheds its worn-out skin, the remnants of my past works become the soil that nourishes and supports new creations. By letting my art naturally evolve, I hope to portray the beauty that is all around us and deepen people’s appreciation of the divine self and its connection with the universe.
Recently I’ve been developing a new process to ensure that every step of artistic creation brings me joy. Since my background is in commercial art, I often get too caught up in the end result of each project rather than ensuring a joyful process. But the journey is just as important as the destination. I realized that elements of my process were taxing on my body and mind, and I was held back by that. I feel certain that smoothing out my process will lead to new artistic breakthroughs, and I’m so excited to share new work in the coming weeks!
In the last year, I have discovered my deep love for spray paint. Spray paint allows me to paint rough surfaces with ease. I just finished my first fully spray-painted mural. I am ecstatic to explore how I can create immersive mural experiences on the street.