Today we’d like to introduce you to Jesrill Velasco.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Jesrill. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I am a first generation Filipino-American, born and raised in Southern California. Since I was a child, I was always crafting or creating. I started my career as a graphic designer after college, but I really began pursuing my own personal artistic career this year; and it has been an amazing year so far. I’ve had art shows, participated in several art walks, and even been featured in online publications. I’m so excited for what the future has in store for me. I am so grateful to be able to work for myself and do what I truly love.
Has it been a smooth road?
I’ve had many moments where I fell fully out of love with art or simply lost interest, I think many artists experience that. There were times when art hurt me and didn’t make me happy or feel good anymore. Times where I felt like I didn’t know who I was as an artist and as an individual. In college, I rarely drew for leisure. I would draw or paint, usually, during times of sadness and ultimately my lowest points. It became a coping mechanism, and it helped. Gave me a little taste of purpose when I needed it most. After college, I focused on finding a place for myself in the workforce. Jumping from different graphic design jobs and always telling myself I would start creating my own art again soon, but always making up excuses to myself about why I can’t. Sometimes even trying to convince myself that I physically and mentally just cannot create art anymore.
It wasn’t until my late grandmother was diagnosed with leukemia that I began creating again. Once again, I found myself absorbed in art as a coping mechanism for my grief. Through that, art has transformed my life for the better. It is now what makes me the happiest, and I am so grateful for this journey.
We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
My subject matter is women. My art showcases women’s bodies in positive ways, rendering feelings of self-love. My art represents all the emotions and practices that join forces to construct a woman’s confidence. I use the powers of womanhood and sexuality to create art for anyone who chooses to identify with those in my illustrations. I want my illustrations to supply a feeling of empowerment and self-identification in anyone.
I am most proud of the reactions I get from people, especially women, who identify with my illustrations. I make the choice to not include full faces in my illustrations. I do this so that it is easier for people to more easily recognize themselves in the women I create. I am constantly inspired by women of all shapes, skin colors, backgrounds, and abilities – by their dreams, fears, sexualities, and passion.
What sets me apart from other artists is the fact that my art is a true celebration of women. It is a celebration of our bodies, our skin, our body hair, our curves, our stretch marks. It’s a celebration of what makes us different and what makes us similar.
Is our city a good place to do what you do?
I love the diversity of the city the most. The slow-paced beauty that is just seemingly uncommon in most major cities. I love that LA is always trying to reinvent itself through the different cultures that represent the city. Whether that be through food, museums, visual art, or music, the city thrives consistently. What I don’t like about that, however, is the cultural appropriation and gentrification that comes with it. There is so much cultural history in Los Angeles that is being stripped away and re-marketed for the social media zeitgeist.
- Large prints $20
- Small prints $10
- Website: Yingyall.myportfolio.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: Instagram.com/yingyall
- Other: Etsy.com/shop/yingyall