We had the good fortune of connecting with Vallejo Lee and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Vallejo, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
Because this life chose me! …I just fell inline. I truly feel this way. My artistic abilities have always been able to speak for me, from drawing pen-tattoos on people’s skin in grade school to creative business concept logos and media for entrepreneurs. My life has been like a kaleidoscope of visual perspectives. Even going into college, I excelled in all of my art classes. It almost felt odd to be “praised” by my instructors on the capacity of creativity I withheld on the inside. But it’s who I naturally was/am. But once I got dropped from college I grew to understand that a system couldn’t determine my value, that’s up to me. With the path I’ve chosen, I believe passion is what has caused me to purse my creative career. If I’m passionate about something my goal is to obtain the understanding of how to become better, rather it be practice or knowledge. Also to influence the people after me. Set a standard of greatness for yourself. We all have peculiar stories to tell.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’m a visual artist; specializing in Graphic Design and Photography. Being a natural born creative, I can say that I am just as savvy with painting and drawing, sculpture, and videography. Honestly, I believe I’m a pro-claimed master creator! Something that sets me apart from other artists is my ability to think outside of the box…my sense of creativity. Everyone has a perspective, but the way we use it the most important aspect of expression. My ambitions to remaining creative and consistent is what I am most proud of. I went from being dropped from college in 2016, with an apartment I could no longer afford, no job, no degrees/certification to flexing my ‘home-grown’ entrepreneurial skillset, MAGNIFICENTLY a few months later. And I can honestly say, it’s all from the fire of fear being placed under my feet; my ultimatum was act on my dreams or let them go down the drain. Even with so much negative feedback I received from my decisions, I never created a plan B mindset for myself. All this came from pouring my heart and passion into what I do as an artist. I found a lane for me to do me, simple as that. I stay to what I believe in, no matter what obstacles appear before me. I hold the vision so I trust the process. Hell no, nothing about ownership is easy. It feels good, yeah, but this is a lifetime job now. To quit is the acceptance of death. I’ve over come many challenges just by simply facing them with honesty and courage. For examples, first time projects and projects that are bigger than me have always been like a “take a deep breath and remember why you’ve bee called upon” for me.
Lessons I’ve learned on the way to success is burn bridges to the dead weight. You only have two hands…if you hold to everything that has been there, you’ll never have room to receive or hold on to the greater things in arrival.
I want the world to know support living artists because we’re the historians of the future, there is no limit to being an artist and creativity costs.
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?
So, with my Best friend, I’d visit local vendor and farmers markets such as: Cryptid Creatives, Tucker Farmers Market, Ponce City Market, and Piedmont Park.
Local event such as, Art N’Spark, Art Crew: Art Shows, Our Bar ATL, JoyStick, and BONFIRE ATL. Love these places.
Other than that, the nature scene is pretty cool. Vickery Creek, Sope Creek, Ocmulgee Mounds, Piedmont Park, Graves Park, anything cool for hiking and trailing. Always a relaxing vibe.
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’d like show my gratitude and give a special thanks for those of have supported me up until this far. I appreciate the love and encourage my family, creative friends, clientele, and even the people who least expected that I would continue my path of consistency to success. These are the people that pushed me to do better for myself; to actually channel my source of creativity to thrive in an entrepreneurial field. For my creative friends; the learning fundamentals of business, work ethic, bettering the production, mental clarity and health solutions, and the new trends and art hacks, special thank you. I believe it’s important to spread the wealth of knowledge in order to grow your network and chance of opportunity.
I’d also like to so say thank you to the many influences and inspirations I have gained from experience, literature, colleagues and mentors, and idols and people in position to make a positive change for not only themselves but also for other communities and individuals. To name a few people: Dacori Jones, Jessica Miller, Donald Price, Drekkia Writes, Dezmund Herron, Kevin Burt, Mike Poe, Darian Jarrett, Christian The Comedian, the list goes on!
Books that have open my eyes to appreciation and kept me on track are: The Secret by Rhonda Burns, You are a Bad Ass at Making Money by Jen Sincero, a 1970’s Hardback Vogue Fashion Catalogue, and honestly books that challenge my brain. Just a few I name off the top.
Last but not least, The Universal, all-loving, all-seeing God.