I graduated in 2014 from Point Loma Nazarene University in Graphic Design and I was really interested in branding at the time. When I was a student, there was this one agency I wanted to work for. It was a smaller branding agency and I just felt like I wanted more intimacy in a place I would like to work. Growing up, I went to a private school and a small high school, and college was really small, so I was used to a more interpersonal workplace. I got the job there and I was so oblivious to everything because it was my first big girl job as a junior designer. But I was also the first to get laid off a few years later, and though it was hard, I learned a lot and still continue to do some work with them to this day.

In 2016, I did a lot of thinking and interviewing around town, and nothing really fit the bill for me for job opportunities. So I decided to freelance, and that’s what I’ve been doing ever since! I’m learning a lot because I never considered working for myself. For me to do what I want to do, it just made sense to start freelancing.

In High School, I always loved art. It was my strong suit and something I would always look forward to aside from playing competitive soccer. I feel like I got most of my creativity from my dad because he’s worked at a sign shop for over 30 years and works with his hands. When he talks about projects he wants to do, I always want to teach him new ways but also learn his old ways. Growing up, my mom would always do crafts with us and she has always been resourceful. I do a lot of makeshift stuff and a lot of that has to do with both of my parent’s influences.

I was thinking how could I pursue art in a tangible way, and I decided to major in graphic design. The experience I had during college was so great, and during my senior year, I had this teacher who I’ve kept in touch with since who has given me mentorship in all forms to this day.

We’re all just faking it until we’re making it. What does ‘making it’ even mean? I don’t even know. We’re figuring it out along the way, what we want out of life, and we always try to answer these big questions. What I’ve been learning is to stay busy and keep trying new things because as long as you are, you’re able to eliminate what you don’t like. And for me lately, it’s been a process of finding what I don’t love, and by doing that you create a little niche for yourself.

I’ve been getting into more lettering, illustrative lettering, and typography. This looks like murals, hand lettering custom pieces, and creating posters, greeting cards, and lots of fun stuff for clients!

In regards to online presence, it’s amazing how social media can give this facade and you can really hide behind it. But it also helps encourage you, because the more real you are with people no matter what facet or mode of communication, the more drawn people will be drawn to you and what you love. People will be willing to support you. But to get to that point is hard.

More recently, I ask myself how much do I put myself into my online presence? How much do I give off sharing my work to market myself versus how much do I share with my friends who do follow me? I just felt like I need to share whatever I like because it’s me and if somebody doesn’t like it, then whatever! This is me!

With social media particularly, people can smell bullshit a mile away. And you have to be so tactile with storytelling. You want to have people engage with your work genuinely and naturally. What you need is something to engage people, and not force these interactions. It’s all about staying true to yourself and what you stand for.

Never stop learning. I’ve learned so much through the process working with different clients, especially Artelexia in opening up doors for me. The murals I’ve done there were my very first. I designed it with a calligraphy pen and got the creative bite to just empathize with women and specifically her clientele, thinking about her brand and what I want to create as an artist. Seeing people get influenced by it in a positive way gives me so much joy and if I could do more of that, those are the hints in your life when you find yourself being fulfilled for something you put out there, you’re one step closer to doing what you love. So that’s what I’m trying to do.

It’s all about making the world a beautiful place, I really do believe good design will lift people’s spirits! With it, we can grow our community and spread positivity. We need these places to gather much like the value of coffee shops. I don’t always get coffee because I love it, I also go just to show up and be around people. It’s one small step in bringing the community closer.

When asked what important factor needs to be shared about Channin’s story, she replied:

How can I make the world a better place with my art? The cool thing about social media is getting to see a response and create that archive that reminds you that you are spreading positivity through those messages. I feel so strongly in supporting the Latino community because there’s something to be said about the beauty of diversity through our experiences and learning about where people come from, their struggles in their past, and that whole dynamic. That inspires me as an artist, to bring connectedness with my art, and I may not know what that looks like but I look at art in a holistic way where I am not segregating. I always think about how I can pay homage to these cultures and still bring my own understanding.

We first stumbled upon Channin’s murals while we drove through North Park and spotted the vibrant colors and positive message of “You are Radiant.” We wasted no time in searching her username on Instagram and connecting with her over coffee to learn her story. And trust me, her story is a good one. She inspires us with her motivation in strengthening the community here in San Diego and her vibrant spirit that is reflected in her creations!

Follow Channin

Instagram: @channinfulton
Website: channinfulton.com