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Meet Ivonne Carley

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ivonne Carley.

Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
It was Cinco de Mayo one year and I was pretty stoked that in the entire elementary school, a little doodle I made placed in the top 3. I was pretty dang proud of that certificate and McDonalds coupon I won, let me tell you. Plain, no onions, since that fated moment it was pretty obvious I had the aptitude for being creative and it was something that continued throughout my formative years whether it was drawing or seeing faces in the popcorn ceiling.

Daughter to Mexican immigrants, I was born in Mexico, raised in San Diego, lived in Mazatlan, back to San Diego, a stint on the East Coast that I refer to as the Voldemort years – we don’t talk about that, shhh… – and back to San Diego again. I guess you could say there is a love for the Pacific Ocean and the proximity to the Motherland that keeps me here. “Ni de aqui, ni de alla”. Foundational beams of my character and ever-present staples of who I am as a woman and artist, I’m always back and forth, sometimes high and sometimes low, kind of like the tide.

I have no formal training in fine art, everything is self-taught minus a graphic design degree I got from a now defunct technical school that I promptly abandoned when I realized that agency life was not a place for me. Fine art was always my first love and sometimes you need to test the waters in other places to realize you need to go back home. I actually didn’t really start dedicating myself seriously to my art until my late 30’s so one could say that I am definitely blooming later than sooner.

Please tell us about your art.
As of this time, my current artistic medium is paper. I stumbled on it by accident, really, and kind of fell in love with it. In the past year I have been focusing on more sculptural, hand detailed, and three-dimensional work. Subject matter can vary depending on assigned themes, personal taste, or when I require an outlet for feelings and emotions I may be working through at the time.

I tend to not be very verbose about my intentions or meanings of my pieces because I hope that the work speaks to the individual. Because of the lack of facial details, silhouette work leaves room for a lot of interpretations. The simplicity in shadows, textures, and light can tell a story just as vividly as a highly detailed painting. I want the viewer to find their own emotional resonance in the piece – to embrace their own personal struggle and journey -through the idea that there is beauty to be found in the darkest of places. What is overtly complex can also be simple.

We often hear from artists that being an artist can be lonely. Any advice for those looking to connect with other artists?
As someone who goes through bouts of reclusiveness, it does get lonely from time to time! I have found that a great deal of us creative types suffer from varying degrees of anxiety, depression, or other mental illnesses that make getting out there a lot more difficult.

Thankfully, in this day and age – and thanks to social media – it is far easier to network, connect, and socialize with your peers. Granted, social media can also be really overwhelming for some, but I find if you tailor your circles down and follow people whose work you admire, it can be a really rewarding experience. Most of my current, closest friendships and connections were established over the internet albeit through Facebook or Instagram. And you don’t even have to leave your house to use them. I would start there.

Other things you can do: Join artist groups, network on Facebook, or patronize local galleries and events. Show up! Attend the local Sketch party! Be a part of the community. There are so many creative events in San Diego on a monthly basis. The more you do it, the easier it gets – and the more community you build.

How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
Currently, most of my exhibitions are with phenomenal Southern California galleries, like La Bodega Gallery in Barrio Logan and Thumbprint Gallery in La Jolla, where I just had my first solo show earlier this year.

The best way to know about all my goings on, and to support and adopt my work is by following me on social media or checking my schedule on my website at: When my Gallery schedule allows and the stars align with epic subject matter, I do accept private commissions.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
All imagery provided is taken by me

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