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

Hi Lesdy, how has your background shaped the person you are today?
I grew up in Norwalk, California, which now feels like a little city that supported my dreams to be an artist. Specifically, I was raised in a Mexican/American household, where my parents always demonstrated how love, hard work, passion, and faithful commitment will always help me succeed. I have been blessed with amazing parents who gave me the freedom to explore multiple passions. As fun as it was involving myself in multiple sports and clubs, I struggled for many years searching for the affirmation that I needed to validate my strongest passion. Fortunately, with the influence from my teachers and the support from my family, I came to realize that I felt my best while pursuing and strengthening my passion for the visual arts.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Over the past 6 years, I have poured my heart in training to draw whimsical cartoons, and specialize in caricature/portraiture art, but first I’ll start with a little backstory. I studied at CSU Long Beach, and I graduated with a BFA in Illustration. In school, I was told my multiple professors how anatomically incorrect my figure drawings were, but also complimented the “caricature quality” from my sketches. At that point, I decided to embrace my stylized portraits, and applied to be a caricature artist at Knott’s Berry Farm and Disneyland shortly after. Not going to lie, I struggled the most during the first 2 years of learning the foundation in traditional caricature art. I had gotten so used to having plenty of time to create a “masterpiece,” so for me, the most challenging aspect was creating quick and accurate sketches in a short amount of time. However, with more practice gained from working at private parties, the performance became more natural. I was able to let go of the “perfectionist” in me, and developed a great rhythm while drawing each guest. The best feeling was witnessing the happy reactions of guests, and developing the confidence of consistently creating quick caricatures! *woo tongue twister* Although traditional caricature art may have some odd stereotypes, or people might “fear” getting one done, I would like to remind everyone that each artist handles their craft differently. The intentions behind my caricatures are to be welcoming, a bit more flattering, lighthearted, and enjoyed by everyone of all ages! Of course, unless requested to be “zombified,” around Halloween time, or even as a playful gift for surviving this pandemic.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Under normal circumstances, I would love to say visiting Disneyland is definitely a must! However, even with the ongoing closure, we are still blessed with living in a great location. We are able to drive up to the mountains, or visit the beach and all the fun bits in between. I would encourage renting out a cabin in Big Bear, and checking out the kayak rentals at Big Bear Lake in the summer, or simply enjoy the snow during winter time. (I did this recently with my family and LOVED it!) If you’re more of a beach person, I’d recommend spending a beach day playing volleyball at Huntington Beach, and go early if you’d like a bonfire pit. If you’d love to go on a beautiful hike, I’d also recommend Escondido Falls Trail in Malibu. If it has rained recently, you can find a lovely waterfall at the end of the hike, and has a great view at the top if you’re willing to do a bit of climbing haha. As for some of my favorite restaurants… here they are! For traditional and delicious breakfast food: I recommend Off Street Café in Cerritos. Also, I have to mention eating at The Nest, in Bellflower, is an experience like no other – if you’re looking for a whimsical Southern-style breakfast & brunch. If you’re a sweet tooth like me, I recommend checking out my favorite donut shop: Station Donuts in Yorba Linda. I love that I can request custom-made donuts for a special occasion. If you like sushi, I am personally very loyal to Tokyo Garden in Downey (I’m very picky, but this is one of my top favorite restaurants). Lastly, my favorite place to spend the day painting on ceramics is Color Me Mine, (multiple locations in LA/OC), but I enjoy going to the one in Downtown Brea because it’s also a cute area to walk around, eat lunch, or grab a drink with friends.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
As previously mentioned, I have to dedicate any and all of my success to my parents. They both have dedicated their lives to serving others, and in doing so, they continue to be the greatest role models for me and my siblings. Following in the footsteps of my parents, I have been determined to find a balance of discipline, inspiration, hard work, and dedication to making people smile. I also want to thank my awesome boyfriend Edgar for always rooting for me, believing in me, and providing a soothing balance to my spontaneous lifestyle. Probably the closest person in my heart, and the woman that has also paved my life, is my older sister, Vimi, whom I have found to be the most important icon in my life. I also would like to say that my great friend Xochitl (@choxinabox) has been the biggest artistic influence in my life. Her whimsical style combined with high-quality work ethic has inspired me to work towards my artistic dreams and make them into a reality. Lastly, I would love to brag about my teachers and greatest mentors, Mark Roper, Dean Westerfield, Un-Soo Wong, Michael Hess, Jacqueline Fabritz, and Siobhan McClure. These amazing people have brought out the best in me, and I cannot thank them enough for being incredible mentors during my early years of education.

Instagram: @littlelezdee_art

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.