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

Hi Sandie, what was your first job?
My very first job was a face painter, I painted faces on little kids at a Children’s amusement park on the weekends. I started that job when I was 15 years old and have now been a face painter for the past 15 years. I started as an hourly face painter and then went on to becoming co-owner. And still work for my old business partner when needed. From training new employees to still face painting for events and birthday parties. It was and still is the funnest job I have ever had, I love children, I love being able to be silly with them and making them smile, and I love painting. It has been one of my most significant life experiences and has made a huge impact on my life and just about everything that I do. I couldn”t tell you what my life would be like if I never started that job. My then Boss, now business partner and best friend Scott Hoerl, has taught me so much in business, work ethic, and life. And continues to encourage me in everything I do today. I absolutely love this job and have met life long friends that have become family. I started as a tiny high school student with absolutely no experience and since have had the opportunity to employ and teach several of my nieces and nephews along the way.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am very proud and excited to announce that I just illustrated my first children’s book. “Scaredy Human” Full page illustrations. I have never done any work like that before and it has inspired me to continue with children’s books illustrations, I loved it so much! However it has not been an easy road to get to where I am professionally. I started out as a full time nail tech and my career in the salon was cut short after 8 years. I developed an allergy to the products I was using due to over exposure. When that happened I turned my nail studio into an art studio and pursued my art full time. I continued to do commission paintings and my own personal work for art shows but had no idea exactly where I was going with any of it. The only idea I had at that time was that I was going to self publish a book that included all my work from old sketch books. So in between commission and personal paintings I was doing a lot of research on how to self publish. Then I ended up meeting an aspiring Children’s book author at one of my shows and she hired me to do the illustration for her first book because she liked my work from the show. I never gave up on myself and never stopped praying, even when it seemed like there was no hope, or when I was forced to give up other dreams and I didn’t understand why, I still didn’t give up on myself and I didn’t lose faith. God has always and continues to place in me exactly where I am suppose to be; So I just continue to trust in Him and work hard at everything I do.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If I had a friend visiting for a week, we would definitely visit my Church Stonepoint Community Church for Sunday and Wednesday service. We would then probably spend majority of our time in downtown Phoenix. There is so much local art from murals to Galleries. Plenty of vegan options for dinning and almost every place offers a variety of vegan options on their menu and are offering to go orders right now. Even with current circumstances you can grab a bite to eat to go and walk and enjoy the art and culture of downtown. Its great.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to dedicate my shout out to my boss man, my business partner, and best friend Scott Hoerl. My success really wouldn’t be anywhere without his efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement.

Instagram: @Sandieloves

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