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Meet Carl Angel

Today we’d like to introduce you to Carl Angel.

Carl, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I had started out coming to art school in the Bay Area to pursue a career in illustration and children’s books, I was working in restaurants to avoid the “starving artist” route as much as I could while going to school full time. Upon graduation, most of my classmates had gotten illustration jobs through their school connections, but I continued to work in cooking. With no commercial opportunities (and having been bitten by the Joseph Campbell bug), I started painting pieces based on my interest in Filipino folklore (Filipino being my heritage) and started exhibiting the work in cafes around Oakland and Berkeley. Eventually I was approached by a publisher to illustrate a book on Filipino folk tales of my choosing.

The book did well enough to catch the eye of Children’s Book Press, a multicultural publisher who hired me to illustrate a contemporary Filipino American children’s story. I have been working with them on a contractual basis in both illustration and layout/design capacity ever since. I’ve illustrated and designed other books for other publishers as well, but I think it’s interesting how life leads you sometimes in a roundabout way to what you were originally looking to accomplish.

Great, 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?
No it wasn’t. I was never a good interviewee. With the exception of the restaurant job, all the work I had gotten was through referrals, and based on trust and mutual respect, those people who had the opportunity to work with me were always happy to do so again as well as refer me to other prospects, but it was usually in the nonprofit communities. I had continued doing personal work, but even then, I had to write for grants and apply for fellowships just to support my art, while continuing to do freelance work and still cooking.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
I am an illustrator and graphic designer. I suppose what separates me from others is my individual grasp of narrative storytelling of the visual form based on my experiences and my work ethic — I cherish the opportunity of helping my clients bring their stories to life. I truly consider it a privilege and I think they feel that from me as well.

I care, I do good work and it shows in my projects and work ethic.

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Image Credit:
Carl Angel

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