The art of Marisol Ortega

Ortega’s imagination and leadership led her to study abroad as a sophomore in high school in Perugia, Italy. In 2004, Ortega took a leap of faith, and moved to Seattle to pursue his education at the Art Institute of Seattle. An internship at Tully’s Coffee Company led to collaborations with nonprofit organizations such as the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, and later a position with Theo Chocolate. There, Ortega was venturing more deeply into illustration before becoming one of the chief designers for Starbucks.

“Yes, I was working full time at Theo Chocolate when a Starbucks employee called me to see if I was available for an interview for a 3-month contracting job,” Ortega said. “I thought about it for several days until I pulled the trigger and had an interview and was later offered a contract position in the studio. At the time it was too risky for me because I had a one-year-old who was the only one working at the time. I knew I was I can’t pass up the opportunity to work at Starbucks, but I definitely made a list of pros/cons, and thought worst case scenario, I’ll look for another full-time job while hiring.So grateful to work with so many talented people at Starbucks, I’m glad I took this risk early on My career. Starbucks has opened a lot of doors for me, and I still maintain a great working relationship with the art program there.”

Art is a medium that cannot be confined to a single style or preference, and Ortega does not confine her life to a single place or type of work.

“I get a lot of inspiration from the nature around me,” Ortega said. “I’ve created a flower garden since the pandemic, and it has been a super treat for me. I take a lot of pictures of flowers and paint and paint them all the time.”

While living in Seattle with her husband for nearly two decades, Ortega allowed her talents to take her everywhere—namely the Midwest. When she’s not creating with her daughter Ellie, she may find Ortega in Kansas City. But it has been known to go where social media outreach efforts are taking it.

“I have learned over time that collaboration is important and has more impact than anything you can make on your own,” Ortega said. “Even in jobs where I was the sole designer, I still collaborated with other departments. The collaborations I currently do as part of my freelance job are on another level. I have met and befriended amazing designers/designers from Lost Type collaborating on a variety of projects. They are some One of my most rewarding projects that I have had the honor to be involved in because we are all on the same page and doing really well together, and it all happens online!”

Always working with her own hands, Ortega has been beginning to embroider over the past few years.

“It really makes me feel connected to my culture,” Ortega said. “My grandmother used to do this and it became a way to connect with her in both my professional and personal work.”

This Spanish Heritage Month, Ortega continues to honor her work. Nationwide tech-driven Slalom Build highlighted the illustrative genius of Ortega last week

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