We had the good fortune of connecting with Paul Montelongo and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Paul, what’s the most important thing you’ve done for your children?
I believe the most important thing I’ve done to impact my children is to show them my process in my work. I’m not just an artist but a graphic designer. I tell my kids that if they really love something no matter what it is and they become great at it, then that will have value in it. I love to design and create and it’s fun and rewarding knowing I get paid to create stuff. I tell my kids that even though it’s fun, you need to be disciplined and know the boring stuff too that goes along with it. I make sure to not just tell them, but also show my kids to take time off and to search for elements that will help them learn more. You can never think you know everything, always growing is important.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’m a digital artist taking photography and merging it with photoshop. On a few occasions I’ll add an extra layer of texture to the finish printed art piece using paint. My style is distress and beauty with a balance of intrigue. Because of this, my style sets me apart from others. There are many digital artist and they may have the same feel, but you’ll know my work when you set them side by side. I always have a story or inspiration behind each piece I create, not just making something that looks cool. This way when I’m asked about my work it will come alive the next time a person looks at it. I create small details that get over looked the first time so when you take a second glance you find it.
I’m excited that I’m getting recognized and sought out when I attend events more now, before I would get weird looks because of my style. I’ve even had a few people ask me “why” I would create images like I do. You can’t please everyone, but I still keep doing me and my style. It would’ve been easy to just create what people wanted to see or stick with fan art, but I knew what I wanted to create.
I learned that not everyone will be a fan, but there are many out there that will be, and a few of those who didn’t understand will come back and take a second look and see that they missed. It’s a rollercoaster, sometimes an event I attend will be great and other times it will be slow and seemed like I should’ve just stayed home. But it’s in those moments you have to be reminded you’re planting seeds. How can people know who you are if you’re not going out there doing the hard work.
I guess what I would like people to know about my artwork is that it’s mine, and I did it my way regardless if it didn’t get everyones attention. That my artwork does have a story and the inspiration in each piece can carry with them and reveal something they didn’t realize. It’s never too late to start on what your passion is either.
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.
Well, I’m not from Arizona so it would have to be in my neck of the woods here in California. I’d defiantly take them to my hiking trails that I do. I’ve found some cool spots near where I live in Santa Clarita, there’s a nice hike I take near the nature center by my house. It a good climb and when you get high enough the view is amazing. I’ve been leaning to cook and have become pretty good at it too. I’ve perfected my Ribs recipe so I’d for sure treat him to a taste.
There’s a place about an hour from us down in Ventura right by the beach. That would defiantly be a spot to go and hang, the area is nice and chill. The whole street is blocked off so you can walk up and down from the local shops and restaurants. The seafood place, Lure Fish House is a must for sure. I know for a fact we’d spend a good amount of time eating and drinking a few beers on tap while we talk and laugh about old times. We’d have to check out the beach before we head out even though I know I’d get thrown into the water.
The Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Park would be a fun place to visit with him, it’s been in a few movies over the years and has some cool short trails as well. Knowing my buddy is visiting my brother would’ve come down too and we’d check out the Golf Course by my house, nothing like drinking and driving a huge motorized cart while you hit balls near homes. The cool thing within my city they have cool spots, bowling, go-carts, nice restaurants and Six Flags. Before he’d take off that would be the last spot to head to, just to see that we still have the stomach of steel to handle those high falls from the rides. One week would go by fast, but it would be something great.
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?
Someone that deserves credit actual is my wife. She’s the one that pushed my to take that leap for my artwork. She knew I enjoyed creating design work for clients but it wasn’t my passion. The whole “Artist” path got diverted years ago and she knew that. Because of her encouragement she gave my that drive to create something for myself in which I did and now it’s snowballed into something great.