Today we’d like to introduce you to Antonette Velasquez.
Antonette Velasquez, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I’ve been on a coast to coast journey discovering who I am and my purpose in this world. I was born in Queens, New York but raised in Baltimore, Maryland. I attended college in West Virginia where I studied and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in graphic design. I graduated and move to Atlanta, Georgia in 2013 to begin my graphic design career. I went to Georgia with the intent on starting my new job in graphic design working for a marketing company in Atlanta. But when I got there, I was pleasantly surprised that I was not longer needed. In the meantime, I worked in retail and freelanced, while I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do.
Part of some the prerequisite classes in college were drawing and painting classes. We had to purchase a ton of supplies for these classes. Well after I graduated I still has ALL of these supplies that I’d never used after these classes. I remember finding them and experimenting with paint and charcoal in my dining room. In the process of attempting to paint a portrait of one of my baby pictures, the outcome was not what I had envisioned to say the least. I put down the paint brush for a few months, then tried again later. This time it was much better after having practiced more. I discovered that painting was very therapeutic for me, so I started to paint what was going on in my head at the time. The work I was producing reflected a period of reflection; who I was versus. who I am becoming. Though I shocked myself with how much I’d evolved, I still needed more education and advice on what to improve in my craft.
I remember taking a solo trip to New York to explore museums, art studios, and meet artists. It completely changed the game for me! After having spent hours in an art studio talking to an artist who was creating beautiful work, I had a greater outlook on what it was going to take to produce the work I knew I as capable of. When I came back, I felt more motivated to paint and explore what my hands and mind were really capable of. Which brings me to the next leg in my journey.
I moved to Los Angeles in Winter of 2016, to pursue a full-time career in art, and for love as well! It wasn’t until I got here that I realized that achieving both simultaneously were extremely difficult. For years I’d invested time and energy in my relationship and not the same amount into my own craft. I started to feel a shift where my dreams, goals, and desires were bursting out of me, or trying to at least. I began to shift my focus and express it through painting. That burst of my experiences is what I’ve been conveying through my work. Channeling most of my emotions, feelings and ideas, onto canvas has been a life-changing outlet. I’ve been more amazed at what comes out and have a fallen in love with who I’m becoming! I’d say that falling in love triggered some of the work I am most proud of!
Painting has been a release for me to escape and express myself. I’ve always wanted to teach but did not really have the platform. I decided to host Escape & Paint classes as way for people to “escape” from their everyday routine/experiences and release any and all emotion onto canvas. In addition, AvelaDesign has been helping start-ups with logo design, web-design along with other digital and print-based materials.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Of course not! Anyone that tells you it’s been a smooth road, is indeed a liar!
I’ve had to break out of a shell of myself and remove myself from the shadow of other people’s lives in order to pursue my own dreams. On top of that, wondering whether what I was doing would even matter was half of my internal battle. “Is this good enough?” is still a question I ask myself when I complete a painting or logo. Sometimes the answer is yes, but sometimes it’s no; which requires me to dig a little deeper and make the changes that will get me to the yes.
Moving to a new city and trying to start a business are both difficult. Meeting new people and creating a buzz in what I love has been quite challenging so far.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about AvelaDesign – what should we know?
AvelaDesign is specializes in logo design, digital illustration and visual art. I am most proud that I am about to help people/companies in the beginning stages. Most people get excited about the end result but being involved in the beginning stages of brand building and the cultivation of ideas, really makes all the difference for me seeing the outcome.
What sets AvelaDesign apart is the unique combination of digital and fine art services offered. Companies can combine several elements digital and fine art elements to build a really unique brand!
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
First and foremost, the spirit of God living within me and surrounding me. Without Him I would not have these talents nor a platform to share them.
My father, mother and grandmother have been my support system on this journey. My father is my spiritual and life advisor/mentor, my mother and grandmother are my biggest cheerleaders. My talented sister, Desiree has been creating beautiful websites for our clients. My mentor, Mr. Cochrane who has helped me explore creative ways to continue to grow my business, explore untapped markets, and challenge my thinking in becoming a better business woman. My dear friends, Devonne, T’Arra, Ray, Tameka, and Tay have supported and encouraged me on this journey through victories and obstacles. My family and friends who have been rooting for me and watching me grow. The Kung Pao Bistro has been very supportive in welcoming my artwork and Escape & Paint into their restaurant.
Everyone who has supported my business, who I’ve created work for, purchased paintings or prints, or attended Escape & Paint classes.
- Escape & Paint Classes are $30 at the Kung Pao Bistro
- Logo & Web Design Packaging – Pricing is available upon Request
- Original Artwork and Prints available and can be ordered at https://aveladesign.com/purchase/
- Custom Paintings – Pricing is available upon request
- Website: www.aveladesign.com
- Phone: (213) 267-2026
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Photos for Escape & Paint Credit: Kenyon Diaz