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Life and Work with Ginna Tomalonis

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ginna Tomalonis.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Ginna. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
My love for creating and making cute little things started as a kid. When I was about 13, I decided I wanted to take more serious art classes outside of school which from there my love for painting and drawing grew. Nearly halfway through high school, I realized pursuing a career in art wasn’t that weird of a concept as I had thought it was so about Junior year I decided, that’s what I wanted to do with my future. I was continuing out of school art classes as well as being apart of the art program at my high school.

I attended art school at The Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Georgia. I graduated with my bachelor’s degree in Illustration in 2014.

Once I was out of art school, I felt kind of lost, I had developed a style there but I didn’t really know what I wanted to do with it yet and if I even was actually capable of a career in it.

Eventually, I decided to screw it, I’m going into the makeup industry (which I loved also) to become a makeup artist to get a job and I’ll continue my art on the side.

As soon as I focused less on trying and trying to make my art a career (a.k.a. what I did in college for 4 years!), I started creating for myself again.

Fast forward to 2016, I moved to LA thinking I would continue a makeup career out here. Still on the side continuing to work on personal illustrations.

I finally decided hey, I have some work now I’m FINALLY (had been wanting to do it for a couple years) going to make stickers and prints and just put them on Etsy and on my Instagram and see how they do, which was pretty scary for me at first.

From there, I just continued making my “spooky girl” portraits and all things cute, creepy, and Halloween inspired. And I found out that people loved them!

I create things that I love now. Importantly things that I would have loved to see as a teenager. Spooky and cute with a bit of a dark twist here and there.

So, here I am today continuing to grow my online business and my art as a brand.

I’ve been participating in various art/vendor shows big and small (recently had a pop of booth selling my art at 3 days of Warped Tour – my all time favorite music festival).

And I’m now beginning to make more apparel items and accessories, which was a goal of mine a few years ago.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Of course, not – as I stated previously there have been many times I felt lost or detached from my art along the way. Or just flat out terrified to put it out there (that takes practice). Forever thinking “people won’t like it”, “it’s not ‘good’ enough” or compare my work to other artists in a negative way the typical stuff.

The only way I was able to get past this was to shut those thoughts out as much as possible and to continue put my work out there, and as cliché as it is, you have to not care what people think. You are your own worst critic and it’s the truth.

I would give the same advice to other women, never let people dictate whether you are ‘good’ enough or you’re doing something that can’t be taken seriously. It’s BS – people doubting you suck but you gotta ignore them and in the long run, you’ll thank yourself. I did!

So, as you know, we’re impressed with ginnakae illustration – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
All my work is hand illustrated and water colored – by me! I also use digital media (e.g Adobe Photoshop) to complete all my illustrations – as well as do all my other designs.

I would say I’m probably most known for my spooky girl portraits. I think because they have a unique quality to them, but also people can identify with them more in a sense. They all have the same look of sadness/despair, yet they all look different, and I think people like that.

Plus the fact that most of my portraits are based on Tim Burton characters (forever my inspiration) or just Halloween themed ideas. Definitely basing portraits off characters like “Wednesday Addams” (my first spooky girl portrait) and “BeetleJuice” which both have cult followings made my art stand out and what my brand is based around.

I definitely would say, I specialize in “cute and spooky”. (haha!)

I started with the Halloween portraits and expanded into ‘what can go along with these that is also spooky but cute’.

I’m proud that it’s consistent, and it shows I’m a meticulous, perfectionist but also has its imperfections (purposely!) I’m proud of my brand is what it is which is what I love – which is all things Halloween and creepy and cute. My brand is me.

What advice would you give to someone at the start of her career?
Never ever give up on what you want to do no matter what it is. People might try to interject, even friends or family, and try to influence and change your path, but if it’s your passion never give up on it. And if it is your passion, you won’t give up on it.

Pricing:

  • Spooky Girl Gang Sticker Pack $15
  • Ghoul Girl Gang Sticker Pack $15
  • Eff You Lapel Pin $10
  • Girl Power Sticker $4

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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