We had the good fortune of connecting with Antonette Velasquez and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Antonette, do you have a favorite quote or affirmation?
“She believed she could, so she did”
I came across this quote at the beginning of my creative career as a freelance graphic designer. It stuck with me as a reminder that I have the ability to create the life I desire using the gifts I’ve been given. Everything I need is within me to manifest my deepest desires. I am reminded that with anything I do, I must first put myself there mentally and then align my actions with that belief. It is a simple concept, however, the application can be challenging. Reflecting on this quote now, I can see how far I’ve come as an artist and woman. I’m reminded to walk in my unique light and claim this space without fear.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My art is still finding its voice, which is a direct reflection of me as an artist. It is fluid and consists of many different aspects. I am constantly evolving while navigating a unique artistic path that found me when I was in search of an outlet to express myself. I am proud that my career as an artist has unfolded organically. I’ve been able to harness my greatest gifts in teaching, painting, and designing.
With a background in graphic design as a foundation, I’ve been challenged with projects that have stretched me creatively, physically and mentally, especially mural art. What started out as just a hobby, something I wasn’t sure I could pull off, slowly expanded into one of my best assets. Commissioning murals in nurseries, co-working and living spaces, daycare facilities, and recently, basketball courts is the icing on the cake to my unique journey through this life. Creating murals feels like legacy, as if I am leaving my physical impression on this Earth. When I see people engaging with it, playing on a court or taking pictures in front of it, I feel fulfilled. It’s as if the art itself made a difference in someone’s day without me physically being there.
My creative career has been filled with many challenges. I’ve learned how important it is to stay consistent and keep my vision in mind; it is not for everyone and not everyone will understand. I’ve learned that I owe it to myself to take it one day at a time, one task at a time, slow down and plan for the thing I want. Sometimes my ideas evolve fast in my head causing me to be anxious about bringing it to life. Some things I am able to achieve quickly, but most things I’ve learned require time, patience, and consistent action.
“Time” can create a sense of urgency in me to complete tasks that may require more attention. While setting deadlines is necessary to keep me on track, loosening my grip on my desire to have it completed by a certain “time” or age, has released the pressure I’ve felt and has allowed my creative process to flow with ease. I’m learning not to force things, instead working in unison with the natural course of the development process.
I want people to feel inspired to go against the grain and do things that make them feel God-like. That might look different than what we consider the “norm” and that’s okay. I want for more people to be empowered to unmask themselves and walk in this world authentically. I plan to continue to use art to beautify neighborhoods and spaces across the world, in a way that gives hope to the youth to go after their dreams, relentlessly. And if my art can light a fire in adults to be the change they wish to see, then mission accomplished. The way I see it, we are all artists, no matter the medium! Our gifts are the tools we need to contribute to a global masterpiece.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I love the Lee and White Street Shops in Atlanta’s Historic West End! It parallels part of the Atlanta Beltline where there is a TON of art to see, of course! And you cannot come to Atlanta and not try the Slutty Vegan, the energy there is UNMATCHED! Please spend a few hours getting pampered at IWI Fresh Garden Day Spa. I recently fell in love with The Blu Rose Art Bistro in Douglasville! You’ll want to try the seafood gumbo, thank me later! The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I want to dedicate this shoutout to Ecom Spaces located in Southwest Atlanta. Ecom Spaces opened their doors to me when I was in search of a home for Escape & Paint, a sip and paint experience. Maïré and the team at Ecom Spaces have supported my journey artist in more ways than I can count. The knowledge I’ve gained has helped me understand and prioritize my business needs.
Art In The Paint has also played a major role in my recent growth as an artist. The team has stretched me creatively, elevating my skill set in murals. I’ve become more confident in my strengths as an artist. Art In The Paint has taught me how to incorporate global themes into my art while still telling my story and giving back to the community.