We had the good fortune of connecting with Ari Burboa and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Ari, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
I was always led to believe my entire life that if I wasn’t constantly working, trying to make a name for myself, essentially working myself to my grave, that I was using my time here poorly. It took me a long time to realize to enjoy life for the moments of peace, the feeling of serenity, laughing with friends and family, making art that makes me happy, companionship, these are the things that make my life feel fulfilled. I still struggle with letting myself enjoy the simplicity of loving life for all the things it can be, but I’m still learning. In contrast to before where I was revering labor and struggle, I can now take a look inside and realize what truly makes me feel realized is enjoying early morning air, a big old dog, and a sense of lightheartedness.

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.
I’m not someone who likes to recognize my accomplishments but I am rather proud of how much I’ve improved with the small window of time that I’ve been drawing. Though it often feels like a hindrance, I’ve only been actively drawing with the intention to get good since I was 18. I had just graduated from high school when I came across an online community of artists who drew fan art and talked about cartoons and animation. I had never even considered how much self-expression you can achieve with art and illustration. If you can imagine it, you can make it real. That’s an incredible power.

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’d honestly probably just take them to Sea Life Aquarium and then Mochi Fresh to get some mochi ice cream. Keep it nice and simple!

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There are a handful of people I could show my gratitude for but even when I feel very defeated and like my efforts are being wasted, my Tia Laura is always there when I least expect it to tell me that she knows I can get places with my art. She has always been there to show her support in ways that even I have not fully been there for myself. She’s just such a powerful woman that empowers me to take everything in stride and roll with the punches.

Instagram: ari_sketches

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutArizona is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.