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

Hi Carla, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
Because I am passionate about creating weird and fun images. It’s like a never ending quest to make sense of chaos, a challenge you can’t retire from. It’s fun!

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My current fantasy or artist name is “Mei”, which is inspired by the Japanese language and pop culture. It means vision or insight, the ideogram or ‘kanji’ that represents the word can be deconstructed in two radicals, sun and moon. This character symbolizes to me the tension between two opposite forces of nature. I try to talk about this dichotomy with my work, the soft and cute juxtaposed with the hardcore. I used to draw just what I liked but the process of turning professional has pushed me to think more about why I do the things I do, I think its part of growing as an artist.

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 love all the hikes and natural spots around the city, a favorite is the Cedar Creek Falls, it’s got a 60 meter waterfall with two emerald pools to swim, climb to your max jumping height and dive away but just watch for leaches! If you wanna go for a run while you view some of the best spots around Balboa and downtown you can try the Balboa Park Loop trail, then Children’s pool to watch some fat sea dogs chill on the sand before enjoying a craft beer at any of the local breweries.

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?
My shoutout would be to the way of martial arts, not to a specific person or organization but to the path itself and all the teachers that have been kind enough to share their hard earned wisdom with me, all of them have been fundamental guides in my life. The way of the warrior for me is trying to walk on the middle line that divides chaos and order, the line between the Yin and Yang. I’m currently in love with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai, training gives me the balance I need to create and face the emptiness of the white canvas.

Website: meiartist.com

Instagram: meiworlds

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.