Artist discusses trials and tribulations of 'Makin' It'

Jun 12, 2018

Painter and muralist Esteban de Valle
Credit Anderson Ranch

Artist Esteban de Valle is giving a talk at Anderson Ranch Thursday called “Makin’ It.” It’s about fulfilling the dream of becoming a full-time artist, which hasn’t been without its challenges for him.  


Despite the title of his talk, De Valle said he doesn't feel that he’s “made it.”  His goal is to share the real story about what it’s like to navigate a career in the art world.

“We don’t tend to share our failures with the larger community, or necessarily reveal the hard work that goes behind certain successes,” he said.

To support himself, De Valle has seized every opportunity to work. He’s painted community murals, sold his art through social media and even painted at rock shows. He encourages young artists to let go of some of the elitism they may encounter in the art world, so they can continue to do the most important thing: create.  

“The work comes first, so if I have to draw someone’s dog’s portrait so that I can make more work...I’ve done that before,” laughed De Valley.

“Makin’ It” will be moderated by Anderson Ranch artistic director Elizabeth Ferrill.