Maria Delton is a Chicago based watercolor artist, who started her professional career as an account executive for Leo Burnett before pursuing her passion for watercoloring. She joins Stephanie Welter to share how she recently got started on her journey as an artist.
First introduced to Maria’s work through social media, Stephanie recalls all of a sudden seeing all of these really cool watercolor prints of the neighborhood she grew up in. She was an instant fan of Maria’s work.
Though always interested in art, it wasn’t until this past winter that things changed for Maria when she took an online watercolor class.
“The Jefferson park part started this winter. I take an online watercolor class with a Siberian woman named Katerina who teaches in both Russian and Italian; and I speak Italian.
I do not speak Russian. I can do the accent, but I don't speak it. So once a week, she gives you an assignment, very detailed assignment, and the winter one was all about colors and what's in your neighborhood. So I was being a hermit at home and the assignments were to go outside, when it's not subzero, take some pictures, depending on whatever the assignment was, and paint it.
Being from Jefferson Park herself, Stephanie immediately connected with Maria’s art. She goes on to share how first viewing Maria’s art evoked feelings of summer at her parent’s home.
“It just captures the feeling of the neighborhood and I think that's what's resonating. The one of ‘the night’ It's like you can almost smell the summer air. I can feel like sitting on my parents deck. Every backyard, you're facing the alley with the street lights and it's a feeling of a summer night and she just captured it so perfectly.”
Tune in to hear more of how this Account Executive went from the corporate world to becoming a local celebrity artist in Edison Park.
Stephanie Welter is a Chicago girl through and through. Growing up in Jefferson Park with her siblings and neighborhood friends, everything about her upbringing, according to Stephanie, was pleasant. Her mom had a saying that always seemed to bring everything into perspective: “I know a bad day and this ain’t one.”
“She completely formed my mindset, which I call the deathbed theory. It's everyday I picture if I was on my deathbed, I would look back on today and, I’d just want one more normal day. One more day of my toddler crying and getting syrup on my good couch, you know?”
Stephanie has taken this positive approach she’s learned from her mom and applies it to all aspects of her life. Everyone has challenges, but for Stephanie it’s about maintaining empathy but not letting emotion control her and always coming up with a plan.
She also shares the beautiful story of how her and her husband came together. From growing up together as kids in the Northwestern side of Chicago never thinking they’d ever end up dating, to getting married, having kids and creating a beautiful life together.
As a person who has dealt with anxiety and panic attacks, Stephanie shares her own personal journey of how she’s been able to constantly remind herself in those moments to take a step back and shift her mindset in that moment. She calls her process identifying her three gorillas: black, blue, and pink or as she translates it: worry, guilt, and dopamine.
“If you give it a name, it takes away its power, but I gave it more than a name. I made them into gorillas.” Tune in on this episode of The Face of Chicago Business podcast to hear more about Stephanie’s story from family, to her career journey, to her advice on how to manage the tough things in life.