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Check Out Maggie Hall’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Maggie Hall.

Hi Maggie, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
I am an entrepreneur and artist and have a small graphic design, illustration, and photography business and a small online clothing boutique. I have always had an interest in art and entrepreneurship and I got started because I uncovered my passions through the path I have taken and they began a life of their own. I also work as an ELD Instructional Assistant within my local school district and support parents, students, and staff. I translate English to Spanish, teach small groups of students, and lately have been doing so remotely. During the pandemic I pivoted to working on graphic design and illustration projects as well as collaborative projects I’m very excited about. I have loved drawing and creating art as long as I can remember. As soon as I could hold a crayon, I was drawing on everything and anything. My happiest memories are of me creating illustrations and stories to go along with them. As an only child, I learned to entertain myself with arts and crafts. Somewhere along the way, I started to believe I needed a “real job” and did to some extent. I reunited with my passions and interests during my time as a college student at CSUN.

In my spare time, I was singing in a folk-pop duo when I began making illustrations and posters for our band, other local bands, and events. I realized art was something that must always be part of my life. I wanted to change my major to art but since I had to work and support myself and was nearing my last year in college, I decided to graduate with a liberal studies degree and find a job. I began becoming consumed with work and once again finding little time for any other pursuits. Working multiple jobs became the norm, and my artistic pursuits were merely hobbies. While working at one of my jobs during one summer, I met the right friend group at the right time and I also decided to return to college and began taking some photography and graphic design classes. This was extremely inspirational and pivotal to me. The community of friends I found were a group of fun, unique, creative, and wonderful people and they and the pivotal point in my life inspired me to take a chance on myself. I was working as a photo host at Warner Brothers Studio Tour and I couldn’t help but be inspired by the lot and production atmosphere and the magic being created. I was also delving into portrait photography, headshot photography, and beauty photography and began receiving a great response to my work. Up until then, I always feared I’d never make enough without a “real job”. I was burning the candle at both ends until the candle was nearly melted down to the wick, working mornings and afternoons at the school I work for, nights at Macy’s, and weekends at Warner Brothers. I realized that I was hardworking and talented enough to be an entrepreneur and that the best job I could do was working for myself and I took the first step.

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?
Though it has not been a completely smooth road, that isn’t so unfortunate because even though it has been a rollercoaster thus far, and at times it has seemed impossible, every challenge has shaped who I am and strengthened me. The lowest dips on the rollercoaster have taught me invaluable lessons and prepared me for everything I am doing today and will accomplish in the future. Some struggles I’ve had along the way were perhaps not making the wisest decisions when I was really young, in college, as well as thereafter, and didn’t really know exactly what I wanted or how to get there. I wanted to make my mom proud and I thought being an artist wasn’t good enough. I thought that I wasn’t good enough and was looking for fulfillment in the wrong places. It was part of growing up, I suppose, and I highly urge anyone going through difficult times now to realize it is not the end of the road, and maybe you just have to redirect your journey a little. I strongly believe however, that every person I’ve met and every experience I’ve had has shaped me and led me to where I am now, and I am still growing and learning from my mistakes every day. Somehow, someway, I’ve carved my own path, and what has sustained me along this path is my Christian faith, fighting for my dreams, and my love for my friends and family.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I specialize in whimsical and imagination-based illustrations, graphic designs, and photography, and I am inspired by people I meet, nature, film, fashion, children’s book illustrations, traditional Disney animation, vintage illustrations, and dreams. When I started creating illustrations in college, I had little to no resources to purchase quality art supplies so I used crayons, colored pencils, and anything I could find. The lack of resources somewhat shaped my style. Later, I saved enough to buy better supplies, began trying other methods and styles, and I also bought an iPad and I am now addicted to using Procreate to make digital illustrations. As for photography I’m focusing on portrait and fashion photography and looking forward to photographing people once again after a long period of time away while in quarantine. Some of the things I’m proud of are creating illustrations for Burbank Arts for All Foundation events, to raise money for keeping arts education in Burbank schools, creating illustrations for clothing and items I’ve designed and successfully sold in my online business on multiple platforms, writing and illustrating my own children’s books that I plan on publishing, currently working in collaboration with a great friend on creating illustrations for her children’s book, taking photographs that capture moments people would like to cherish and remember forever, and photos that make people feel beautiful.

Can you talk to us about how you think about risk?
I think risk taking is absolutely in the DNA of entrepreneurs and artists and it is a necessary and vital part of being both an artist and entrepreneur. I was inspired to take risks by strong people who took major chances because they believed in their own dreams. I was born and raised in the San Fernando Valley by a single mother who immigrated to the U.S. from a small town in Mexico. My mom had been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in her early 20s but that didn’t stop her from traveling to a new country, learning a new language, pursuing her dreams of being a fashion designer, earning a fashion design degree, starting her own small business, raising me, and earning her citizenship. Although I grew up with humble surroundings, I had an abundance of love, care and support. My mom strove to support me in all of my pursuits, moved mountains to enable me to follow my dreams, and inspired me to take chances. I have taken risks like investing money in my creative pursuits and taken chances on myself and others in the beginning phases of starting a small business. This can be risky when one knows little to nothing about entrepreneurship. I have decided to pursue a second degree in business entrepreneurship to assist me in my ventures and mitigate the risks. At times I have stretched myself too thin, and I have learned to not do so and organize my time and efforts more wisely. Some investments paid off and some haven’t but all have been invaluable learning experiences.

Contact Info:

Image Credits:

Margaret Hall (all photos and images were taken/made by me)

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