We had the good fortune of connecting with Charlo Garcia Walterbach and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Charlo, do you have a favorite quote or affirmation?
“Life attracts life” from Paulo Cohelo in The Alchemist.
This quote by Paulo Cohelo speaks to me about one of the most important things worth remembering when going through life. The importance of connection and the joy feeling connected brings us. I am a very social person so establishing relationships with other people, getting to know them better, growing roots as I move through life is something very important and close to my heart.
In my opinion (and experience) when you enjoy life the possibility of meeting other people who also enjoy life is greater.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’m from Monterrey, México and Immigrated to the US about 8 years ago. I got to Denver thanks to the company that I work for. They basically relocated me here so I’ve been in Denver since september 2019, almost 2 years now, I think?
I have been a professional visual designer for about 13 years now. Most of those years I’ve been working for an art organization or institution with a strong connection to art. I always had a huge interest in artistic and cultural expressions which took me to start my professional career working for the Council for Arts and Culture back in my home country. After being there for a few years I got a job as the principal designer at a private art collection in Orange County, Ca. Even before I went to college I’ve been creating art just for fun. I mean I had always liked all types of crafts but for a long time I just saw it as a hobby. Now, I see it a little differently. Back then I think I was just hiding one of my biggest passions behind this “hobby” wall mainly because of insecurities probably and fear of being vulnerable, and just don’t really know myself that well. With time, I came to realize that for me art wasn’t a hobby it was something much bigger than that. My work as a designer has allowed me to grow and mature as a creative and thanks to that and to some other drastic changes in my life I realized that something very important was missing.There is when I realized that creating art was not just a hobby, It was actually one of my biggest passions. So, after having that small but really empowering realization I took action. I started working on larger pieces (i had always been creating art but never felt like exploring what else was there for me). Not too long after that I did my first mural which came about thanks to a post I made on the app Nextdoor.
I was just so curious and eager to do a mural that I made a post in the app looking for a good neighbor who would like to donate one of their walls for me to experiment with. Luckily, one neighbor came forward, he volunteered his garage door and I took it. That was my first mural which I called “Los Sueños” and one thing took to the other, ended up doing a series of garage doors and called the series of murals #MakeAlleysGreatAgain.
My first mural in a garage door was in August 2020 and I have done about 16 murals at neighbors garage doors since then. Currently I have 5 more garage door murals scheduled for the next few weekends.
I am really excited about having found my voice as an artist. It has empowered me to do something that makes me very happy beyond my work as a designer. Working on the #MakeAlleysGreatAgain has been especially meaningful to me because it is a great way to connect with the people, with the neighbors living around me. As an immigrant, it gives me a lot of joy and comfort getting to know my neighbors and feeling like I am growing roots by establishing friendships in this new world where I live now.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Oh what a great question! Coming from a year of COVID we haven’t been able to explore as much but we definitely have a few spots. I would take my friend first to get a coffee at Thump in Downing and 13th with it we would walk to cheesman park to just walk around, spend some time with the trees and how peaceful it is. I just love that park so much but in the morning it is very calm and peaceful, perfect to start the day.
After that we would go and visit the Denver Art Museum, which happens to be super close to my house. I think it is a very fun place to visit and a very iconic building worth checking out and spending some time exploring and discovering new art. After that I would probably take my friend to Avanti for some cocktails and amazing food, and also to check out one of my most recent murals I did there and for a night cap I’d suggest going to a wild flower just a few blocks from there. That to me would make the perfect experience in the city for someone Id like to show what I love about this city. Great culture, great food, great commutes and amazing people.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There have been so many people who have supported me and encouraged me to be in the place I am today. I want to dedicate this Shoutout to my family in my home country, my parents Don Carlos and Doña Robe and my two sisters Irene and Daniela. I moved to the US for work about 8 years ago and I had to depart ways with all of them. I am really grateful to them for always being there for me even when we are far away.
Tons of gratitude to Nicholas Pardon as well. A super friend and creative partner with who I love collaborating.
I want to also dedicate this Shoutout to my husband who has always encouraged me to believe in myself and share my voice with the world.