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Where are you from? Where did you grow up? How did you grow up? 

As a first generation American, I was born in the peak of a New York summer to two wonderful immigrant parents hailing from Italy and Switzerland. 

They raised me in the eclectic city of San Francisco which I called home until my early 20’s. I was really fortunate to have parents that not only encouraged my creative tendencies from an early age but supported my curiosity for the world.

Are there any special childhood memories that you can recall that have set you forth on the creative path that you are on now?

 Not that I can recall. I was quite the active kid, always playing outdoors or creating art projects in my room. My imagination was constantly keeping my hands busy.


Did you always know that you wanted to be an artist?

No, I was really torn between a direction in natural science and that of design but didn’t consider a career in art.  I eventually chose to pursue a degree in illustration with much of the course work focusing on technical skill development which I loved. The year following graduation I worked as a freelance illustrator and designer, fulfilling different clients desires but not my own. I hated not having creative freedom or being my own boss. With this realization, I dove headfirst into a fine art path that merged my love for the environment and art and haven’t looked back since. 


Most of your art is inspired in nature, how do you relate to nature? What inspires you? Are there any special aspects that open up your heart and imagination?I’m constantly curious about the natural world and what I can do to protect it. Painting flora and fauna gives me purpose and allows me to learn about different species, their habitats and ability to survive.  It is my hope that my art sparks thoughts and conversation about conservation.


Do you have any special rituals you do to get inspired or before you start painting? 

I love my mornings and the rituals that comes with the new day. 

Whether, taking a walk along the beach, listening to podcasts (The Daily or BBC global news) or going for a quick surf/swim, movement is so important to harness focus.

And somewhere in between, either before or after the morning activities, making coffee is a must. If you know me,… really you know me and my moka espresso pot - ha.


What's a normal day in the life of Velia? How does your Greenpacha reflect your lifestyle?

I try to paint and get outdoors everyday. My work life is quite isolated so getting exercise, sunshine, a general change of scenery, is incredibly necessary for my happiness.My Greenpacha come’s along for the ride. We’ve hiked, shucked oysters, swam, adventured in all ways together. It’s the very best addition to my daily meanderings.
How do you view your artwork in relation to what you believe in?
I think they go hand-in-hand. My visual language is just an extension of myself.
Your source of inspiration seems to come from nature, how do you view the (fashion) world in regards to nature? 
I think there are many layers to this question however I personally love fashion. I find it amazing how just a single item can change my mood or embolden myself and as such, I feel as if clothing is an extension of myself and personality.My main issue and the challenge this industry faces is how it operates with consideration towards the environment, whether water usage, chemical pollutants or distribution as well as the concern for human welfare in its mass production.The industry needs to be reconsidered for the benefit of all and I think that shift has started, which is hopeful.
Do you think that slow fashion is the new norm that we should begin to follow? Do you think that creatives now are playing a bigger role in the care of the planet, generating more conscious and sustainable ideas for living both in the art and fashion world? 
The slow fashion movement is happening; more and more companies are taking on this responsibility which is wonderful. I also think consumer habits are changing putting pressure on the industry.I do believe creatives play a big roll in this shift, promoting the importance of conscious consumerism and using their platforms to illustrate how easy it actually is to live more sustainably.We are all capable of shifting our habits, it's just making the conscious decision to do so and with each change there’s a positive ripple effect towards a healthier planet.
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