We had the good fortune of connecting with Diane Marie Pascual and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Diane Marie, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
Growing up in San Diego, I was raised by entrepreneur grandparents who worked really hard to build a life for all of their 7 kids and grandchildren. They showed me the value of working hard and never giving up on my dreams, they showed me what was possible. I am so grateful to have grown up and have such an amazing and supportive family and friends in San Diego. I have been freelancing and contracting as a Graphic Designer & Illustrator since 2006, I also worked long days and was lucky enough to build a network of freelance clients over the years. I started my own business because I wanted freedom and flexibility to spend time with my son, family, and friends. For so many years I sacrificed my time to work. I wanted more quality of living and to do the things I’ve always wanted to do. But most importantly, I wanted to have more time to be creative, to work on passion projects. To work on things that bring me joy and inspiration.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My art is all digital! I create digital design tools (Photoshop Brushes) for other creative people to use, to help speed up their design process. My art is a combination of dreamy digital patterns, bold and colorful works, with a hint of 70s retro. I’ve been making digital tie-dye popular since 2016! My journey started off freelancing and contracting with many companies over the years. At the end of 2015, I had built a solid clientele and worked on some pretty amazing projects with some big brands such as Skechers, Hasbro Studios, WME Agency. As well as some smaller projects along the way. But I was burnt out. I stretched myself out pretty thin and I was missing that joy that I had from creating my own work. At the beginning of 2016, I discovered creating digital tie-dye patterns in Photoshop. I started digitally painting patterns and eventually started creating tie-dye stamp brushes in Photoshop. And stumbling upon a digital eCommerce marketplace called Creative Market. I started a shop on Creative Market and started selling my tie-dye Photoshop brushes as tools for others to use to help them create. Fast forward, 5 years later, 10 Photoshop Brush sets, and many pattern sets, I couldn’t have imagined in my wildest dreams that there was a market for my “idea”. I tapped into a market that was looking for creative ways to create designs. Since I started selling on Creative Market, I’ve been lucky enough to be featured on their site and their email newsletters, thus growing my audience and customer base. And the constant feedback from my customers has helped me evolve and expand my digital product offerings I’ve created over the years. Selling on Creative Market the last five years has given me passive income and more time and flexibility to be creative and to spend time with my loved ones. I’m truly grateful to do what I love. I am now able to have more freedom with my time and to me that was always my goal. I’m also able to spend more time with my son and teaching him graphic design skills and how to run a small business. Creative Market has also led me to be discovered by other brands and most recently, I was commissioned by Adobe to create an exclusive set of Shibori Tie-Dye Photoshop Brushes offered on the Adobe Discover website. I’ve also been able to start a YouTube Channel in the last couple of years and am now creating tutorial videos for people to learn from weekly and this has become an integral part of my business. https://www.youtube.com/dianepascual_thegypsygoddess I’ve learned that starting your own business isn’t always easy, there were moments I wanted to give up. Moments where I turned my back on my work for months and didn’t think I could do anything with it. And then coming to the realization that life is short, that I wanted to spend more time working on the things I loved and was passionate about. I didn’t want to waste any more time thinking I was going to fail. It was now or never, and I didn’t want to put my dreams on hold anymore! I’m proud of the fact that I started from nothing and built something from the ground up. And now I have a small following online that support my work. Over the years I’ve learned to cultivate patience, being present, and to just go for it. I’m excited about the future and the different avenues that I am open to exploring.
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.
Some of my favorite spots in San Diego include Balboa Park, taking a walk with my sketchbook and camera. I used to take my son there when he was younger and we would spend the day enjoying the weather, visiting the museums, and eating delicious food. I also love the beach, La Jolla Shores was one of my other favorite places to go to in San Diego. I also love Old Town San Diego, having lunch at one of the delicious Mexican restaurants, or working inside some of the coolest cafes in North Park, or getting a beer down in Pacific Beach. All pre-covid of course.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I want to dedicate this shoutout to my grandma, to my fearless, supportive, strong, and loving grandma who empowered me to become the strong woman I am today. And to my big extended family in San Diego, for their continued encouragement, love, and support–without it I wouldn’t be where I am today. I am so thankful for all of you and love you all! And last but not least, my 18 year old son who’s grown up to be such a smart and caring person. In the last year, he has learned the ropes of my business and has helped me with growing my small design business by learning graphic design skills at home. Izzy, you are truly one of a kind kid and I’m so blessed to be your mom.