We had the good fortune of connecting with Vince Alvendia and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Vince, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
I have been drawing since I was old enough to pick up a crayon and drawing has always come naturally to me. It’s the one thing that could keep my focus for long periods of time and, as I got older, there wasn’t anything else that sparked my interest or intellect like art did. As I grew up, I would go from wanting to be a fine artist such as sculpting or painting, and then being a commercial artist or graphic designer, to being an animator before finally landing on illustrator and comic artist.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My road to becoming a comic artist and illustrator is a long and windy one- definitely not the straight out of art school conventional path. If there is one thing I’ve learned throughout my journey, is that there is no set formula to success. Some of us find a gig right out of school, and some of us have to grind before we get our break. The biggest lesson I’ve learned is not to measure your own success by someone elses standards, and not to compare your personal aesthetic to any other artists, because we are all unique, even if some of us have similar styles. As artists, we are already our own harshest critics so we have to learn to filter the frivlous negative stuff out so that we can view our own work with honest eyes. I still struggle with it and there are days when impostor syndrome can be overwhelming. One of the most rewarding things for me personally, when I table at conventions, is having a person come by my booth or table and look at my work, and they smile or laugh- esepcially when it leads to a conversation about the piece. Making a sale is always a plus, but you can’t put a price on the kind of validation that human interaction can bring. When I’m hanging out at gallery shows featuring one of my works, I get a thrill seeing people from a distance point and smile or even laugh with enjoyment of my piece. A lot of my artwork is based on pop and geek culture and I try too keep it fun and positive, so when I see that anyone gets that, I feel accomplished.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I absolutely love my hometown of San Diego, California. My most favorite spot in San Diego is Balboa Park. The history and the vibe with the surrounding museums and the San Diego Zoo next door is indescribable. At the risk of sounding corny, it makes my soul smile everytime I hang out there. I would definitely hit up the museums and then cruise on over to the Zoo, which is another one of my favorite places. If a location could be comfort food or soul food, Balboa Park would be it for me. Of course, this hypothetical trip would be planned around Comic-Con weekend. There is no accurate way for me to describe Comic-Con; it’s just something you have to experience. We’d have to load up on books and comics at SoCal Comics and Mysterious Galaxy bookstore. At trip to Barrio Logan to visit La Bodega Gallery and all of the surrounding artists and shops is a must. It’s the kind of art culture that is at the heart of San Diego’s identity. We’d pretty much hit up any open art shows showing at Thumbprint Gallery and take in the sights of La Jolla’s beaches and cliffs while we’re in the area. We would definitely hit up a bunch of eateries and restaurants. San Diego’s food culture is one of its best kept secrets.
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?
There are so many people I would like to thank for supporting me and continuing to support me on my creative journey. First, and foremost, my lovely wife, family, and close circle of friends, who’s faith in me never waivered, even at my lowest points. I’d also like to give a shout out to Dr. Janina Scarlet, an amazing and wonderful writer and my creative Wonder Twin, for giving me a shot and changing my life by allowing me to bring her characters to life. Thank you to Chris Zeruche and Soni Lopez-Chavez of La Bodega Gallery, and Paul Ecdao and Johnny Tran of Thumbprint Gallery for welcoming me into the San Diego art scene, another amazing life-changing event. Thank you to my creative family of artists and podcasters for everything they do to support and promote independent artists like me. Little Fish Studios, SD Comicfest, Horrorgasm SD, Accidental Aliens, Hall H Podcast, Creeping Wave Radio, the Artist Unmasked Podcast, Comic-Con Book Club, are all such positive influences and inspirations to me and I am honored to know all of them! This is a bit Oscar-esque so I apologize if I left anyone out!