Maria Deely

Tell us about yourself

My name is Maria Deely and I am a 24 year old full time colored pencil artist. I travel around the world and then draw my travels/memories to give people the ability to see the world in a joyous and peaceful format. Being someone who is plagued with chronic illness I find it to be an absolute privilege to give people an outlet to be able to see the world. A few things that are important to me are: my relationship with Jesus, The Pittsburgh Steelers, Disney, guacamole, and crossing things off of my bucket list. I also love to read, travel to new places, and my family means everything to me.

Maria Deely-Sitka Alaska
Maria Deely-Sitka Alaska

What led you to choose colored pencils as your preferred artistic medium?

Growing up I always loved to use colored pencils. There was always so much control, while still having no control all at the same time. As the years went on I learned that colored pencils could have paint like qualities, like the ability to blend. As I was developing my craft as an artist I practiced with so many different mediums but felt like colored pencil resonated with me and my work the most. Once I had received my set of 150 prismacolor pencils there was no turning back. I have developed my abilities with colored pencils ever since and truly love the medium. The beautiful thing is that colored pencils have the inability to erase so everything is quite permanent. I see so many correlations with the medium compared to life, so this medium allows me to always bring my best when I am working.

Maria Deely-Main Street at night
Main Street at Night

Starting your business, Deely Drawings LLC, at the age of 19 is impressive. What motivated you to take that entrepreneurial leap, and how has it impacted your artistic career?

At the time I was still in college and saw a lot of peers/other artists who were graduating but were unable to make a career as an artist. They had their portfolios filled with classroom work, but not a lot of passion projects that could fuel an art career. Seeing this I knew that if I were to be a full time artist I would have to start my business while in school so that I could do something full time when I graduated. This meant I had to do twice the work to get my name out there as well as completing everything for my classes and commission work. This made a tremendous impact on my career. It did make me work harder, but I had something to turn to after graduating instead of wondering what was next for me. I have been out of school for almost two years now and feel like my career as an artist has grown leaps and bounds, all because I pushed myself early on to accomplish my dreams.

Maria Deely-Portobello Panama
Maria Deely-Portobello Panama

Your artworks often involve recreating your travels around the world. Can you share a memorable experience that directly inspired one of your pieces?

At the end of August/beginning of September I had the opportunity to go on an Alaskan cruise. On this trip my sister, cousin, and aunt were able to tag along. For one of our port days (day off of the ship) we were in Skagway Alaska, which is known for their White Pass and Yukon Route Railway. All of us wanted to ride the train because there are certain things in

Alaska that can only be seen by train, so I knew that this opportunity would be tremendous for my artwork. When we had gotten off of our ship we were informed that the train had already left and that we would not be able to go on our railway adventure. All four of us were devastated, but made light of the moment because hey we were still in Alaska. We had decided to walk to their small town when all of a sudden my cousin Abby and I saw a train that had not left yet. In that moment the two of us ran to go find the conductor, and I mean we ran. Low and behold the people at our ship had mixed up the times and the train was going to leave in five minutes. We then ran to the ticket booth, bought ourselves four tickets, and hopped on the train. In this experience I was able to take beautiful reference photos which inspired my drawing “White Pass and Yukon Route Railway”. This experience is so fun to look back on because anytime I look at that drawing I’m reminded of running, laughter, and all around accomplishment. Thank you to my sister Ruthie, cousin Abby, and Aunt Karen for making that experience so memorable.

Maria Deely-Whitepass&yukonrouterailway
Maria Deely-White Pass & Yukon Route Railway

As a successful artist and entrepreneur, what advice would you offer to aspiring artists who are just starting their journey?

If you are wondering if you should do something, just do it. There are going to be moments of self doubt, but in reality the worst thing that can happen is someone could tell you no. The best thing that could happen is you could get into a gallery, have a commission, win a competition, or share your artwork that could make someone happy. Reach out to people. Introduce yourself. Send the email. Make the phone call. Post the picture or video. Be your authentic self and people will be able to connect with you and your art. Continue to create and push yourself to grow. You are on your timeline so practice, practice, practice!

Maria Deely-Just relax
Maria Deely-Just relax

Looking ahead, what are your future aspirations and goals as an artist? Are there any upcoming projects or exhibitions that you're particularly excited about?

I would love to have the problem of not having enough originals because so many people want them. I would also love to do drawings representing every continent, so I have a lot of traveling to do. I hope to have my work represented by one of the major art museums in the world and would love to have a piece hanging in the White House. I also hope to continue to inspire other people/artists that anything is possible and that they too can create. As of right now I am looking forward to two Artists in Residencies that I have lined up for this year. One of them is in France and the other is in Italy. I look forward to continuing pushing my artwork and further connecting with fellow creatives.

Maria Deely-Afternoon outing


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Maria Deely-Calle del Colombia

Calle del Colombia

Maria Deely-Brera Milano

Brera Milano

Maria Deely- Disneyland Railroad

Disneyland Railroad

Maria Deely-beverlywilshire

Beverly Wilshire

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