Jocelyn Guardado

Vamos Talks with Jocelyn Guardado

Jocelyn Guardado is a Salvadoran-American graphic artist who uses her free time to make digital illustrations. She is mainly inspired by modern trends and familiar everyday objects. Her work includes the use of nostalgic textures and draws her ideas from music and other graphic artists that she admires. Jocelyn tries to be very creative with every project that comes her way and uses her skills to help out her own community like school clubs and close friends.

Vamos Foods sat down with Jocelyn to talk about her journey with graphic art. Continue reading below for the entire interview!

Where is your family from and where did you grow up?

I am originally from Glendale, CA but I’ve across different areas of SoCal. My family is from El Salvador. They came with their parents in the 80s, due to the civil war back in their country.

What Latino-American struggles/experiences did you have growing up?

My parents came here fairly young. Them coming at a young age led to me and my siblings being more 'Americanized'. For that reason, my Spanish is very broken. I always felt that I looked so “un-American” and since I was not able to speak my family’s language, it was a struggle. Currently, I am taking classes to reclaim that part of my identity but it’s a hard process. Other than that, the only other struggles that I went through were related to my looks because I was a lot tanner when I was little. Colorism is a huge problem in Latino culture and growing up, I felt a lot of microaggressions like the kids bullying me for being too dark or having family members say negative comments about my skin color. Then I've had those typical Latino experiences with my culture like the food, celebrations, and conversations. I’m very proud of my culture and I’m so appreciative that I can be a part of it.

How did you get into graphic art?

I learned graphic art in high school. This is going to sound so bad but I wanted to have the same class as my high school boyfriend. I ended up being somewhat good at it and my teacher actually pushed me to do certain projects and even awarded me for my skills when the class was over. Since then, I have continued doing it and I’m glad my school offered a class like that.

What made you want to take this skill more seriously?

When I left high school, I stopped doing any kind of graphic design for about two years. Then in college, the opportunity came up were a logo was needed for a club’s sweater. I said I could do it and the entire club loved the design. Since then I felt like I could be a lot better even if it was for a personal hobby.

What struggles did you experience learning graphic art?

Learning the software has to be the hardest part just because there is so much to do on them. Also just knowing which ones to use for specific projects. You have Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, etc and it can feel so overwhelming. Another one is trying not to compare yourself with other artists. Instead, I like to use other artists as inspiration. I would also say the creative process is very stressful just because you imagine things in your head and they never come out how you imagined. I think it’s more about practice and embracing different outcomes.

How do you see yourself with graphic design in the future and how does your identity fit into that?

I see it as a skill that I don’t want to monetize only because I enjoy working on it whenever I feel like it. I do it for me, my friends, or for those I feel like doing it for. I think keeping it as a personal hobby aligns with my identity because it’s very important to me and I want to keep doing it for me. In regards to my Latino identity, illustrations of non-white BIPOC are absolutely necessary. Oftentimes, you see a lot of white or white-passing people illustrations but I want that to change.

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