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Stephanie wears the Oversized Jean Jacket, Audio Knot-Front Tank Top, Perfect Vintage Jean: Embroidered Eyelet Edition, Fest Aviator Sunglasses, Bandana and The Jamie Knotted Sandal.

Ladies lounging. Ladies under-eye-masking. Ladies lounging some more. What’s not to love about LA-based illustrator Stephanie DeAngelis’s art? We caught up with the member of our Hometown Heroes collective and covered everything from the virtues of taking breaks to the benefits of keeping your creative day job.

Have you always been an artist?
I knew from early on that I loved art, drawing and everything related to creative expression. I started drawing as soon as I could hold a pencil and always pursued it through my academic career, ultimately majoring in design in college.

How would you describe the aesthetic you’ve developed?
My aesthetic is edgy but soft—even a little funny? I like to think some of my work is humorous. I’m inspired by what’s around me—little, often overlooked, vignettes of everyday life.

Is there anything you like to have on-hand while you work on a project?
Music is such an important part of my creative process. I’m constantly listening to something. I also always have my sketchbook with me to draw out rough ideas.

How do you recharge your creativity?
I think it’s good to take a break, but with intention. I’ll spend a weekend outside, off my computer, to let real experiences inspire me. It’s always during very mundane and average moments, like walking my dog or observing people in my local coffee shop, that I get new ideas.

I also try not to compare myself to others. As much as I love social media, it’s easy to fall into imposter-syndrome territory when you see other artists doing awesome work. I think in time you realize that everyone has their own path.

Any other advice for people looking to turn their artistic interests into a paid gig?
First, just start doing it. But—and there is always a but—be smart about how you proceed. Get a creative job you don’t hate that gives you time to work on personal projects when you’re home (that’s what I do). My day job is a graphic designer, which I love, and my night job is an illustrator, which I love more. Eventually you can build a body of work that you’re proud of and maybe find success in that. You kind of have to figure it out along the way—but stay curious and try to learn from those around you.

Thanks, Stephanie. Meet more of our Hometown Heroes and shop their goods right here.