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Meet Illustrator Cali Sales

 

Illustration for the New York Times Sunday Business section – “Just Don’t Call Them Hearing Aids” 

 

Austere //

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Cali Sales //

I’m a 24-year-old artist and freelance illustrator currently living in Brooklyn, NY. Though I was born in California, I just say that I’m “from” Texas— I lived there (San Antonio for a few years, then Austin) for the majority of my childhood and my teen years, and it feels the most like home to me. When I was 18, I moved to Pasadena, CA to study Illustration at Art Center College of Design and graduated from there in 2012.

 

 

A

Why do you make art?

CS

I make art because it makes me happy. Without it, I don’t think I’d be able to remain sane. It’s also a very big outlet for me, emotionally and spiritually. I feel cheesy typing that, but it’s true!

 

A

What do you think of your work?

CS

I think that it is a work in progress. Some days, I am quite pleased with the things that I make. A lot of the time, though, I have other thoughts going through my head. There are lots of pieces that I can look back over and think to myself, “I could’ve done so much more with this”, or, “This is great! …How the heck did I do that?” I’m always pushing myself to make better work, stopping along the way to acknowledge my accomplishments and personal growth. It’s all about finding a good balance.

 

A

Who/what are you inspired by?

CS

Music and nature are for sure my top two… I’m also inspired by people who choose to follow their own path and aren’t afraid to dream big. My parents have been a huge inspiration to me as well, not only as artists, but also as people. They are both extremely dedicated to the work they create, have loads of integrity and are beyond talented. I feel fortunate to have grown up in such a creative household where I was encouraged to be artistic.

A

What’s your favorite piece or series you’ve ever done (if any)?

CS

It’s hard to pick, but one of the pieces I really like was inspired by one of my favorite musicians, Bill Callahan, and his song “America”. The painting ended up being very simple, and I made it fairly quick in comparison to a lot of my other paintings, but I was somehow able to inject this piece with just the right amount of pathos and emotion that I felt when I listened to his music.

 

A

What (if anything) do you want your art to accomplish?

CS

I hope that my work can inspire people and bring people together. I love the feeling of looking at the work of an artist and being moved to make something myself— I hope that I can do that for people when they look at my art.

 

A

What would you choose for your last meal?

CS

It may not be original, but it’s my true and honest answer… pizza!

 

A

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

CS

Actually, yes! Aside from being an illustrator and artist, I also work with my friend Tennessee at her shop in the East Village called The Deep End Club. It’s a pretty spectacular place… I’ve designed and made a few things for the shop, most of which you can find on the store website (www.thedeependclub.com)

To keep up with Sales’ work, visit: calisales.com

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