We had the good fortune of connecting with Sabrina Almodovar and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Sabrina, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
I decided to pursue an artistic career (finally!) because, up until around 2018, I had spent my entire adult career in finance. In retrospect, it feels as if I’d lost my path. I started out studying painting and printmaking but switched to Art History. I love Art History, but I did not want to pursue academia after college. I felt so lost during this time, and if I could go back and give 22-year-old Sabrina advice, it would be that not making a decision is itself a decision and that you shouldn’t be paralyzed by indecision because you will be moved along by life regardless. You’ll most likely be unsatisfied with where you end up. Going into finance would be something “temporary,” I thought. During this time, I was not making much art. The moment things changed was during a family dinner. The dinner was to celebrate my partner’s birthday; I had put his gift in a gift back decorated with a robot illustration made by me. During dinner, my partner’s brother-in-law said to me, “Sabrina, I had no idea you did art.” This comment was such a wake-up moment. I felt terrible that something I had most of my life loved and thought was the only thing I was slightly good at was so forgotten people didn’t even know I liked doing. It is at this moment that I decided to make a change. At first, it just started with making time to draw a few times a week. Then I decided to start posting to Instagram. I found online a community of other artists creating cool things and sharing them with the world, and I wanted to be a part of that. I started Little Orange as my online alias and the name of my shop. The most exciting and satisfying thing about this career path is being able to take something that at one point lived only as a thought and bring that idea into the world for others to see and interact with. A few years ago, I came upon the idea that everything around us originated in the mind of other humans. All the material things around us at one point existed only as electrical signals and chemicals in another human’s brain. Learning that was so exhilarating. It made me want to also put things out into the world, no matter how small.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My art is disarmingly cute and welcoming. My hope is through this friendly imagery, I can share and support causes I believe in. What I’m most excited about right now are two NFT projects I’m working on. The first project is a limited collection of dog NFTs to benefit an American Akita rescue group and a charity rescuing strays from Puerto Rico. The second project is a small collection of NFTs to help a manatee conservation and rescue group. Each NFT is an illustration of past and present animals the conservation group has rescued. I’m excited about leveraging NFTs as a tool to bring people together around a cause while also creating a sense of community. I feel like I’m still in the early stages of my career, but a lesson that has proven true is that you should lean into the things you find interesting or are passionate about regardless of how “popular” you think it might be. Being authentic to yourself will attract the audience and clients you want. The projects I’ve been most excited about have started from me putting something out that I wasn’t sure other people would necessarily like as much but that I felt strongly about. Another great piece of advice I received was to start calling yourself whatever you aim to be. You don’t need to ask for permission. You don’t need to complete X amount of work before being an artist or being a photographer. Calling yourself the thing is so difficult because when we’re starting, we see others who are much more developed in their craft and feel like we’re not good enough. “Who am I to call myself an illustrator when my work doesn’t compare?!

Little Orange represents taking something negative and transforming it into something empowering. Growing up in Puerto Rico as the only Asian kid was tough, kid’s can be mean, and when you’re that age, you want to fit in as much as possible. Unfortunately, you’ll find in many Latin American countries Asians are called “chinito or chinita” regardless of if they’re actually from China. Being called chinita instead of my name made me acutely aware of being different and not belonging. Puertoricans call oranges ‘chinas’ instead of naranjas, and that’s how little Chinese girl also means little orange.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Chase Jarvis has been a key mentor even though we’ve never met. Listening to his podcast, The Chase Jarvis Live Show, really helped me take action on the creative pursuits I had buried for years. His mission is to educate millions and to show how Creativity is not something that only some people do or pursue. His interviews and personal advice is applicable no matter where along the path of your creative journey/career you find yourself in.

Website: littleorange.co

Instagram: littleorange.co

Twitter: lttleorangeco

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/littleorangecompany

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutDFW is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.