Bruin entrepreneurs merge passion with creativity

Photo by Leilany Perez

Photo by Leilany Perez

Leilany Perez, Opinion Editor

Gabi Backus, Senior
Senior Gabriella Backus, whose main specialties are portraits and still life, sells both traditional and digital art. Her love for art is one of her motives in selling her artwork.
“I’ve always been naturally inclined to enjoy art and all creative things since I was young, and I’ve been drawing as long as I can remember,” Backus said.
The process of selling her art is simple; clients tell Backus what they want her to create and she does it. Backus’s art prices vary ─ pieces have sold for as low as $5 to as high as $120.
Although Backus is not planning to pursue a career in art, she plans to continue to make art for others upon request.
“I don’t plan to pursue any professional artistic endeavors, but I will never let [my] creativity slip away from me because it brings me joy and calmness,” Backus said. “However, I’m sure people will continue to ask me to create pieces for them because word of mouth is the best advertisement, and I love talking about my art!”
Gabi’s art can be found on her Instagram pages: @goobisgunk and @jinical.

Adia Nelson, Senior
Senior Adia Nelson began selling her surrealistic art for $10 dollars. She always wanted to be an artist and successfully maintain some type of income at the same time.
“Selling my art has always been kind of like a go-to thing,” Nelson said.
Nelson’s best-selling pieces are surrealistic oil paintings featuring Disney characters or princesses. The reason she created this art genre was to show a different take on Disney characters.
“After spending a year practicing realism, I went way into realism and explored using the mediums I already know with more different experimental ideas,” Nelson said. “I feel like I just loved the morbid but colorful take on Disney characters we all love.”
Her interest in producing and selling art led her to realize what kind of art she wants to do: tattoos.
“I liked the idea of being an actual artist, but now I’m kind of looking into tattoo art,” Nelson said.
Adia’s pieces of art can be found on her Instagram profile @its_just_adias_art.

Scotty Lariosa, Senior
Senior Scotty Lariosa runs a business that sells stickers and clothes emblazoned with a personalized logo featuring his signature beanie and locks.
Lariosa started the business when he was 11. Besides sketching and drawing for fun, Lariosa found a passion for stickers; seeing people smile when they received a sticker brought a smile to his face.
“You know when you give somebody a sticker they kind of have that smile,” Lariosa said. “It just kind of stuck with me, and I always liked it.”
When Lariosa was 11, his uncle gave him an enormous Ziploc bag of stickers to trade with artists from around the world, and he was amazed by the different stickers. One day, Lariosa’s uncle told him that he could help Lariosa create his own sticker if he wanted to, to which he replied “OK, cool.”
Once his handmade stickers were finished, Lariosa realized what he wanted to do.
“He gave it back to me and I was like, ‘This is tight. I want to get into this,’” Lariosa said. “So I would hand draw stickers and then look at all of the stuff where he was posting them.”
About two or three years later, Lariosa’s dad purchased something similar to a vinyl platter and told Lariosa that he could make stickers of his drawings. The stickers production was a success; Lariosa no longer needed to draw them since they came out exactly the same every time. One day, Lariosa handed out a few of his stickers to people and received positive feedback.
“I gave a few out, and people said ‘I’d actually buy these if you were selling them,’” Lariosa said.
Lariosa’s sticker designs revolve around one drawing: a beanie with two springs falling down each end of the beanie to represent his long, curly hair. His stickers sell for a dollar each.
During his sophomore year at Bear Creek, Lariosa began selling 10 stickers every couple of days. Because of the stickers’ popularity, he started screen-printing them to keep up with high demand.
In the future, Lariosa hopes to open up an online store with a theme where he can consistently put out more items and designs. Currently, his products can be found on his Instagram @im_scottman.
“I want to be an individual and just express stuff like that,” Lariosa said. “Be yourself. That’s just like the main message I’m trying to put out there: just be yourself.”

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