We had the good fortune of connecting with George Anzaldo and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi George, why did you pursue a creative career?
As a creative and an artist, I wanted to love what I did for a living, and make people happy with what I put out into the world. I didn’t just want a job working somewhere just to make a check, but wanted something that was a daily fulfilling purposeful existence. I knew I wanted to pursue an artistic career after I realized that people, brands, and companies seek out creatives to give them or their projects creative life. Why couldn’t I be someone that they come to? Initially I didn’t have a lot of confidence self promoting my work, but over time I realized you wont get noticed until you put yourself out there. And when you’re starting fresh you have nothing to lose but everything to gain. I’m happy everyday, even on the days that are stressful, knowing that having this artistic life is better than any job in the world.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’m an artist specializing in hand lettering, sign painting and mural work. I also am a graphic designer. My process is still very analog when I begin work. Every piece or idea starts with a paper and pencil. Loose and rough, then I refine the sketch as the piece develops. Even when if comes to hand painted works, I like that I can take pride in what I do because not everyone does it, and most of the time people appreciate it. I feel as though it helps me to stand out of the crowd by carrying on timeless trades such as sign painting, mural painting, or drawing letter forms and typefaces all by hand in a increasingly digital world we live in. Sometimes it’s almost as if seeing someone writing or drawing on paper, doing calligraphy or painting a sign nowadays seems like a novelty or rarity. I love hearing folks while I’m out painting a sign or mural and they stop to say things like, “You just don’t see this kind of stuff anymore.” or “Wow! I didn’t know people actually painted these signs by hand!” But, I’ve also adapted to creating digital work as well in an ever changing digital landscape to also cater to those clients seeking those needs. Whether it be branding or graphics, sign painting, murals or fine art, I’d like to think I’m able cover a wide range of services for everyone seeking that little extra bit of flavor to make their business or lives feel better with art. I’m proud to call myself an artist. If there’s something I’ve learned in my experience, it’s that it’s the most rewarding both emotionally and financially when you invest in yourself. By no means was it easy for me to start a career as an artist. I quit a job I was complacent in and took the leap into the unknown world of freelance and self employment. You know the one. The leap of blind faith where you hope to land on your feet somehow chasing your dream, whatever it may be. It was scary in the beginning. The uncertainty of where my income was gonna come from, building clientele, and basically just how to get my work noticed by the masses. I learned as I went, made mistakes but also made a lot of triumphs. I was inspired by the likes of Morning Breath Inc, Matthew Tapia, and other independent artists and designers by how they created their careers for themselves as artists and brands. They were all artists, self made, self employed, self built. They’re clients came to them, they worked from home or from their studio, all while simultaneously being parents and raising families. I said to myself, every one of the artists I like or have famous followings all started somewhere. The same place where I started, the beginning. And I said, if you want to be taken seriously as an artist, you can’t just wish it to happen or rely on others to do it for you, you have to make your dreams a reality from your own blood, sweat, and tears. As Nipsey Hussle once said, “be your own biggest fan, your own biggest believer, and put it on your back and carry the weight.” My mom always said to me when I was growing up was to collect older folks who you can trust to ask for help when you need it. That always stuck with me, and slowly realized through my life that was true. When I finally decided to do art full time, I didn’t do it all alone. I had help. From my now wife, my mom, my friends, anyone who shared or recommended me or my art to people all played a hand in me not having to get a regular job in the past 7 years and am eternally grateful for all that help to make myself as an artist and a brand have such a solid foundation to build upon. When we think of what it means to be living the dream, we probably think of financial security more so than working at what we’re passionate about. I think living the dream is living the life you design for yourself and loving what you do. If there’s one thing I can leave you with is this, life is short and the world is wide. So, you might as well do what you love and share it with the world.
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?
I honestly would just have them slide through to the house. My wife and I love entertaining our friends and family at our home. Cooking, music and just all around good times is always in store when we have people in town. Going out is always fun, but creating our own fond memories with the people you care about most in the comforts of our own home is pretty sweet, too.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I want to dedicate my shout out to my wife, Kelly. She single-handedly pushed me, believed in me when I didn’t believe in me, and worked to make my art career a reality. I wouldn’t be where I’m at today as an artist without her. I love you, Belle. And to my daughter Koko, you’re the light of my life and you inspire me everyday to be the best me I can be.
Jack McKain Kelly Masumiya