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Meet Marco Alcala

Today we’d like to introduce you to Marco Alcala.

Marco, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I am a Mexican American illustrator who grew up in a predominantly traditional Mexican household. My parents were both born in Mexico so I have a close connection to my culture. Growing up was very tough mentally mostly because I identify as a gay man, and to many traditional Latin parents, being gay isn’t their ideal version of a proper life for their children. This is often rooted in dated religious ideologies. Because of this, I used drawing and painting as an outlet to express myself for as long as I could remember, I would draw and paint anything that peaked my interest. Later in life, I attended California State University Long Beach in the BFA program for illustration. There, I learned to hone my craft get a deeper understanding of how the industry functions. The program allowed me to use my voice and express what I have to say to the world. Right now, I’m focusing on freelance work. My goal is to work for a major company in illustration and or character design.

Has it been a smooth road?
I can honestly say that the road has been far from smooth. Many of the struggles that I faced tend to generate from my emotions and self-doubts. Imposter syndrome runs rampant in the art community. People, including myself, have a natural inclination to compare oneself to others. This often prevents me from reaching my full potential due to the fear of failure. I have gotten much better in overcoming these thoughts the more I draw and the more experience I acquire.

Please tell us more about your art.
I specialize in editorial illustration. I love to create imagery that corresponds to a message. Most of my work consists of dark and macabre imagery. I thank my Mexican culture’s catholic background for that. Although I don’t identify myself as Catholic or any other organized religion, I very much still appreciate what religion has to offer visually. Many of my pieces symbolize human emotion that many would rather keep to themselves out of fear of seeming weak or crazy. I want to bring out what someone thinks is ugly and make it beautiful yet haunting. I specialize in a wide range of mediums including traditional charcoal as well as digital.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
I feel like Los Angeles is the perfect location to build upon oneself. There are so many opportunities for all kinds of artists. Many companies are always looking for new talent which means everyone has an opportunity to become successful with the right effort.

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