Mariella Angela is 360 With the Wrist.

Mariella  in her home studio (2016).

Mariella in her home studio (2016).

Don’t believe the hype; having 20k followers on social media doesn’t equate to success, love or balance in life. Los Angeles oil painter Mariella Angela has over 24k followers on Instagram, successfully organized her third show and her new book is in the works...but sh*t hasn’t always been sweet.

I sat down with her to discuss where she's been, where she's going, and what this life is really like.

Mariella on how intertwined your life and art can be:

“I went through this thing where I was like, if I wasn’t an artist, would my friends still f*ck with me,” Mariella said. “It got to a point where everyone I was surrounded by was a creative … It was a lot of questioning about that. I stopped painting.”

For her second show in 2016, she decided to plan another art show. With past shows planned on the fly, Mariella wanted this one to be different.

“It’s not going to be half-assed. I’m going to put everything in it,” she said.

Mariella had dreams of opening a gallery and a savings account to prove it. Putting all her money in the show seemed like the best thing to do, but it didn’t go as planned.

Mariella Angela  with her first painting of Tupac (2014).

Mariella Angela with her first painting of Tupac (2014).

“I dropped all my priorities to focus on this show. I was like, this is my passion. I know what I want to do and this is going to pay off … and the show made me bankrupt, basically,” she said.

People came by the numbers, but the cash flow wasn’t there. Mariella said they didn’t make any money, but the people enjoyed themselves. As you could imagine, this crushed her - and the anxiety triggered by the result of her 2015 art show, silently haunted her while she was planning this year’s pop up.

Mariela on how real anxiety is. 

“I started having flashbacks from my last show. I didn’t want to get my hopes up high. Even though I knew it was a small show and it wasn’t really that big of a deal, knowing myself, if I do another show and I don’t feel good about it, I was like - this is going to be it … I was worried that I might actually quit painting.,” Mariella said.

With a $200 budget and housed at her brother’s place, Mariella’s show on April 13 (which was also her 23rd birthday; turn up, girl!) helped her realize despite that the doubts, painting is one of the things she was put on Earth to do.

“No matter how many times I’ve said it, I don’t think I was ever going to quit. It just came down to me realizing this is my career and this is what I want to do. Painting is the only thing that can get me to that emotional state,” she said.

Life threw her a few paintballs, but the chick’s tough. Mariella said that it was her belief in things getting better that helped her pick up the brush and continue painting.

“When you feel that strongly about something, I don’t think you should ever let it go. No matter how hurt I was, or how bad I knew things were getting, I kept thinking - THIS HAS TO HAVE a happy ending,” she said.

A lot of people have been following her on this journey and Mariella said she’s excited to share more of her personal story with her new book.

“At first I thought it was going to be like a picture book. We made the first draft. It was like an 8x12 book,” she said. “I laid out all my paintings in chronological order and I started getting emotional.”

Mariella said she’s wanted to make a book since 2014, and she wanted to tell the story behind the paintings.

“I wanted to put more personal things and talk about my journey over the years. Starting off painting, I really enjoyed it. I was like f*ck it, I’m going to be a professional painter. Then I thought I was the sh*t, then I realized I wasn’t sh*t. Now it’s 2017 and I don’t know what I’m doing anymore, and that’s ok.” 

F*ck yea it is girl.

Follow Mariella on her journey on and Instagram.