We had the good fortune of connecting with Ale Ruiz Tostado and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Ale, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
Art has always been a major part of my life, I don’t know what it’s like to not have it. Because of that, it’s hard for me to seperate it from myself and my career. It also feels unfair to myself to set artmaking in the backseat and have it just be a hobby, I’m way too connected to it for that. So when I had different people ask if I sold my work, I figured I have a chance at making this career. And with the help of so many, including close family and friends, that’s exactly what I’m doing!

Please tell us more about your art. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
My art has become more explorative lately of my own relationships and feelings, but it has always been connected to the Chicanx and Mexican culture I grew up in, something that’s equally nostalgic and beautiful to me. As to how I got to where I am, I just never stopped painting. It has definitely not been easy. Some days I hated what I painted, others I absolutely loved it, and others I was indifferent about it. Through that, I’ve had to learn to differentiate between being a bad artist and just painting something ‘bad’, and after that, it’s been easier to learn from my mistakes. As an artist, you have to trust the process and yourself. I think the biggest lesson I’ve learned (still learning, honestly) is knowing I’m going to mess up, being okay with it and seeing those mess-ups as opportunities to grow.

Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
San Diego has so so much to offer, a little bit of everything and one week is not enough haha. I love hiking and nature walks, and SD has great trails. Three Sisters Falls has been the hardest and most beautiful hike by far, but Iron Mountain is my go-to. Barrio Logan is definitely a must, I love visiting the shops and galleries, bonus points if we go during an Art Crawl. Third Avenue in Chula Vista has some of the best breweries, they’re so welcoming. Also, as touristy as it is, Balboa Park is my favorite place to walk around and sight see. And as for food, San Diego has the best tacos in the U.S. (keep driving south and we’ll have the best tacos in the world!).

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 wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for the encouragement and support of my close family and friends, and I believe that whole-heartedly. My parents took me to art classes when I was little and bought me my first materials, and have been at every art show and exhibition. My boyfriend always gives me honest opinions when I ask (even when it’s hard to hear) and helps me at every art show, mainly to tell me everything looks good haha. My older brother is a musician and is also pursuing a creative career so he gives the best advice. And those are just a few examples. Overall, this journey as an artist comes with A LOT of self-doubt and second guessing, so I feel very fortunate to have a great support system that I can count on for anything, This shout out is for them 🙂

Website: https://www.aleruiztoast.com/
Instagram: instagram.com/toastedart
Facebook: facebook.com/toastedart
Other: Etsy Shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/aleruiztoast

Nominate someone: ShoutoutSocal 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.