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Meet Genesis Lugo

Today we’d like to introduce you to Genesis Lugo.

Genesis, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
When I was little, I was looking at picture books scattered on the floor, and I realized people write and draw these stories. I wondered if I could make my own story one day. That small thought I had has led me on this journey. I started out just drawing and writing down the stories I wanted to tell. I got my inspiration from things that inspired me, such as cartoons, books, and my life.

All these things would lead me to go to California State University of Long Beach and major in BFA animation program to pursue a career to be a Storyboard Artist. I haven’t had the chance to work professionally, but I found other ways to make art my income. At school, I found a job opportunity of being an art teacher for elementary schools and I love it! After that, I got a job in the city of Costa Mesa where I organize local art events. Also, I was able to get myself out there with the power of social media. I have had a few people pay for me to draw them something for their small company or for fun. Also, I completed a short film, Carrots, in my 3rd year of school. That led me to get a portfolio review with a Pixar animator and I was surprised how much praise I got for it. That review made me confident in myself to try to get an internship in an animation studio.

Due to COVID-19, one internship that was interested in me had their program understandably canceled. Still, that made me believe that I have a chance to continue to advance in my career. I’m going down a path and I’m enjoying the journey. I’m currently working on my senior film called, We are Gods, which is coming out around winter 2020. It’s about my personal experiences of growing up and how important it is to have a community of people who understand you. I’m very excited to be working on this film and I hope people can relate to it.

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?
At some point in my teens, I think I lost that love for creating stories and art. I’m a Mexican American, first-generation born here. I think the world around me didn’t offer me opportunities in how to enter the animation industry. It didn’t seem like a viable income and my parents didn’t approve of that career. Against my parents’ wishes, I applied to go into CSULB and pursue the animation program. My parents didn’t support me and hoped that by the first semester, I would give up. That first semester of college was hard. I had a long bus commute and it was hard on me financially. Still, I continued because even though it was hard I loved it. I finally found something I loved and was surrounded with people who were like me. My parents at some point realized I was serious about this and eventually, they were very supportive of my career.

Please tell us more about your art.
I sometimes get commissioned to do freelance work. I have my social media page and people contact me there if they are interested in me drawing something for them. I have done logos for small upcoming companies and fun cute drawings for regular people who follow me. It makes me happy when people take time and interest in my art. I love creating a piece of art for a client and that they are really happy with it. I think all artists have a unique style that sets them apart from each other because we all have different interests. In my case, I have a cute art style that is a mixture of western cartoons, children’s book illustrations, and anime. I think people resonate with that and are interested in commissioning me. My career mostly is working in my art teaching job. It used to be organizing art events for the city of Costa Mesa, but due to COVID-19 that has been postponed.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
I feel I’m a work in progress in the whole success thing, but how I got where I am has been due to the good people I have been lucky to meet in my life. There’s a lot of good people around me and I want to be as good as them. The relationships I have formed with so many people have inspired me to try to be a better person. I think that’s what makes success is being a good person. When we are good, we attract the good in others. We surround ourselves with people who are positive influences that may help lead us to the right path. I also want to leave a positive effect on the world even if it’s small. When that happens, I will be a successful human being. Right now, I’m just a work in progress.

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