THE CREATIVE BACKSTORY

While I got hooked on creativity early on in life, it’s the compilation of diverse experiences which have nurtured my artistry throughout.

Illustrator for hire Mayra Ruiz-McPherson's story

1

Hello creativity.

I was first drawn to colors, painting, and art was when I was just a child. My stepmom introduced creativity into my life early on with her endless doodling she’d often dedicate to me. It was how she and I bonded and spent many of our times together.

2

Doodling stepmom

I could never get enough of my stepmom’s whimsical little doodles. She’d scribble cute flowers on vines, singing birds, turtles, and many other adorable creatures alongside the margins of letters she’d write me as I grew up. Every time I saw her bonanza of doodles, I remember feeling just mesmerized.

3

Summertime discovery!

During my teenage years, summers were spent visit my father, stepmom and younger sister. While my parents worked during the day, I’d spend endless hours on dad’s old Macintosh computer, which included desktop publishing software, while I waited for the adults to return home.

4

Imaginary editor

It wasn’t long before I found myself spending a large portion of my summer vacation glued to my dad’s desk, pretending to be the editor of a newspaper or magazine. I’d layout and design imaginary publications, print each out on his old dot matrix printer, then distribute “editions” to family members right before dinnertime.

BY THE TIME I HIT MY TEENS, I GOT TO SEE THE WORLD!

Even to this day I am greatly humbled by the many eclectic, international experiences and beautifully diverse people I met throughout my teens. These worldly encounters opened my eyes, expanded my heart, and catapulted my creative dreams.

Traveling world map for illustrator Mayra Ruiz-McPherson

5

Adventures abroad

When I wasn’t glued to my dad’s computer during my summers, I was globetrotting with my mom and stepdad, whose jobs required extensive travel as well living abroad. Our family lived in various countries, each for several years. I remember feeling fortunate for the opportunity to be part of many different experiences throughout my adolescence.

5

Adventures abroad

When I wasn’t glued to my dad’s computer during my summers, I was globetrotting with my mom and stepdad, whose jobs required extensive travel as well living abroad. Our family lived in various countries, each for several years. I remember feeling fortunate for the opportunity to be part of many different experiences throughout my adolescence.

6

Culture immersion

From multiple languages and colorful cultures to distant lands and diverse peoples, my eyes, heart, and mind imbibed it all. I’ll always remember growing up across four different countries over the span of 10 years — a critical decade that exposed me to life altering moments and fascinating adventures.

WRAPPING THIS UP TO PRESENT DAY

My childhood, adolescent, and later life experiences each have uniquely contributed to where I am creatively today.

Life designed.

7

The marketing route

Life’s curve balls are strangely beautiful, and my successful marketing career was just that: an unexpected turn in my creativity-themed backstory. I never set out to be a professional marketer but in the end, that’s what I became. And it worked out well because the field allowed me to be creative and artistically contribute to numerous commercial and advertising settings.

8

Creative concerns

Yet despite my achievements and steady climb up the marketing ladder, I never truly let go of my creative dreams and artistic aspirations. While I enjoyed writing and designing for clients and their brands, I secretly longed to be creative for myself one day. I wanted to design and write for my own projects, fully unleashed and without limitations.

9

Making it happen

After nearly 25 years in the marketing field, and many more years spent wishing I had gone to art school, I finally decided to take the plunge in 2017 and enrolled myself into a full time Illustration MFA. Today, I’m working on my portfolio, preparing to teach local art classes, and spearheading several illustration-centric, self publishing projects. Let’s see how far I can take this 🙂