How My Art Came to Illustrate Several Books by Maritza Jáuregui-Neely

When opening a door we never know what opportunities might be waiting on the other side. For me, volunteering and involvement with different causes I support have unlocked possibilities and led to the illustration of many book covers.

"Border Tapestry" 2009. Illustrations by Maritza Jauregui-Neely

“Border Tapestry” 2009. Illustrations by Maritza Jauregui-Neely

I have been creating art my entire life. My Father was an artist, and I learned from him how to grab a paintbrush and make a straight line while holding my breath. I have been painting for 40 years now. Creating art has always been more than just something I love to do; it is something I was born to do. I grew up drawing things that I imagined: objects, people, or landscapes; things that I wanted and couldn’t afford, and things that interested me.  Art became a path to escape from my humble reality and it opened a door to unlimited possibilities. 

"Little Mountain" by Bob Sanchez

“Little Mountain” by Bob Sanchez. Illustrated by Maritza Jauregui-Neely

Since moving to El Paso, Texas in 1995, I joined art organizations and various community groups. My artwork has served a noble purpose by supporting different causes. As a volunteer I have learned a lot by participating in many events working with either the board of directors of organizations or behind the scenes.

It is probably this volunteering and helping others that not only give me a special feeling but that have led my career into interesting paths. When I donate my artwork or my time, I feel that I contribute in a small part to someone else’s happiness.  I will never forget where I came from, and how far I have come, so giving back is a constant endeavor.

"Ill Conceived" by L.C.Hayden. Illustrated by Maritza Jauregui-Neely

“Ill Conceived” by L.C.Hayden. Illustrated by Maritza Jauregui-Neely

Now, as an artist and as a business entrepreneur, I cannot ignore that donations not only serve as a great tax deduction but, in my case, they have had a ripple effect.  Without premeditation, came the exposure, the name recognition, and the identification that people experienced with my artwork.  Back in 2008, as part of my active networking and supporting various organizations, I attended an event planned by The El Paso Writer’s League, a group of professional writers. I am not a writer nevertheless I became a member, and shortly after, I was asked to illustrate the cover and some of the winning poems for their annual magazine, “Border Tapestry”.   This has given me the opportunity to illustrate several books and magazines written by members of the group and some others written by nationally recognized authors.  Undoubtedly, having my artwork published in books and magazines is a great accomplishment in my career that simply started by attending a meeting. The fact that blows my mind is the thought that, even after I am gone, my artwork will stay alive, encapsulated in a publication and available to future generations. 

"Angels Around Us" by L.C. Hayden. Illustrated by Maritza Jauregui-Neely

“Angels Around Us” by L.C. Hayden. Illustrated by Maritza Jauregui-Neely

In the end, what started out as a donation, helped to promote my artwork and became a business opportunity that worked well for everyone. 

The moral of the story is keep painting art with passion, follow your heart, be generous, and use your creativity to open the doors around you.

"Bull, The Race Horse" by Dawn Wolslager. Illustrated by Maritza Jauregui-Neely

“Bull, The Race Horse” by Dawn Wolslager. Illustrated by Maritza Jauregui-Neely

About Maritza, a NOAPS Member

Maritza was born and raised in Veracruz, Mexico. She started painting shortly before her third birthday. She learned how to paint after her Father. During her childhood, she earned several awards working with modeling clay, to include a scholarship to go to college. At age 17, Maritza was an art instructor for several institutions and public schools; among those were theMagisterioNacional, La Universidad Veracruzana and El InstitutoVeracruzano de Cultura y Las Artes. Her first works of art included sculptures, castings in metals, wood and linoleum carvings.  She participated in important exhibits at The Museum of Antropology in Xalapa, Universidad Veracruzana, IVEC and other National and International competitions.
Since relocating to El Paso, Texas in 1995, she became more interested in two-dimensional techniques, from which acrylic became one of her favorite mediums.Maritza’s work is collected internationally and can be found in Great Britain, Italy, Germany, Hungary, Japan, and throughout the U.S. and Latin America.Maritza is a Traditional Artist, Graphic Artist,Web and Business Developer. She produces artwork for selected exhibits, works on commissions, and collaborates with private companies to develop brands, logos, and illustrations. She has been a board member and VP for Publicity for several organizations, and proudly supports community events and non-profit organizations.

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4 Responses to How My Art Came to Illustrate Several Books by Maritza Jáuregui-Neely

  1. Wonderful work and we are very pleased and proud to have your NOAPS Membership! JoeRay Kelley, NOAPS

  2. Thank you, for writing this wonderful, inspirational blog! I feel that we all find our own unique artistic patch to follow. I feel very much like you, in many ways. I feel generosity is key in getting your artwork out for others to enjoy. I also feel that we do not ever know what is on the other side of a door that we have opened, The risk and excitement is in having the courage to open it. You can trace your success back to a meeting. If this next door that I just opened, leads to something on my own journey I will be able to trace my own success back to a studio clearance sale that I decided to have. I chose to be generous as well, and got original paintings into the hands of people that loved my work, but could not have afforded the gallery prices. Pay it forward is the way to go.

  3. Seth says:

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  4. Magnificent website. Plenty of useful info here. I am sending it to a few friends ans also sharing in delicious. And obviously, thanks in your effort!

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