By Sundown & The United
Elisha Rio Apilado a.k.a. Appleavocado
This time we adventure out to the windy city, Chicago. We love our Kingdom of D (Dallas) but this is a special article that we had to represent the great city of Chicago. Chicago these days is ranking up as one of the most diverse cities in the world when it comes to innovation, community, and art. Chicago is perfect since one of our mottos here at Sundown United is “knowledge and diversity is the key to all success”. And Success is coming fast and steady to the Chicago design studio of Appleavocado and its owner Ms. Elisha-Rio Apilado. The past few months we have collaborated with Elisha on several contests to exhibit our tees during her March Art Madness, which we ultimately made a special tee in honor of the up and coming studio. We were truly excited when she asked us to participate. As we got to know her more and more we just loved her hustle and dedication to her craft. It’s inspiring.
An artist. A designer. An illustrator. A musician. A dancer. A writer. A daughter. A sister. A friend. Elisha could subscribe to all these titles and much more, but to sum it up, she is simply a young lady on this endless path down a creative road with a couple stops here and there meeting new faces & hearing inspiring stories. Striving to continue discovering philanthropic ways to create meaningful art, Elisha strongly believes artists were gifted with imaginative minds to create for the good of humanity. She believes everybody has a connection with the arts – and as a creative community we’re meant to share our passion with one another and collaborate in order to make an impact. As artists – as human beings really – we seem to always be trying to find ourselves and figure out who we are.
Elisha has learned that the best way to find oneself, is by losing yourself in doing what you love – and for herself, it is through art. Not only is she the one woman art + design team behind appleavocado (www.appleavocado.com), Elisha is currently on a quest to carry out an art campaign – project philarthropy (www.projectphilarthropy.org) – a passion project dedicated to unite visual and performing artists to give back with their creativity. She recently joined forces with the creative activists of the selfless (www.iamselfless.org) team to build her philanthropic endeavor.
SDU: WE LOVE YOUR PROJECT – PHILARTHROPY, WHAT MADE YOU THINK OF SUCH A GREAT IDEA?
Elisha: It all started with an art show called, “Art from the Heart and other Parts.” The name of the show really said it all – an art piece where various, talented, ambitious, creative & dedicated folks joined together to make the show the best it could be to help raise money for the Children’s Heart Foundation.
May I add, not only was it successful, but the overall atmosphere of that event was thrilling and stayed in high spirits throughout the whole night. I had never been more inspired in my entire life. And that’s what uplifted me from the hole I had dug myself in for the past 2 years where the word “create” didn’t exist. Working with 25 artists plus many other small businesses such as the CRAN Project, Rockstar Ink , equilibrium, 13aked, Appleavocado & Unscene Media Group prior to the night of the exhibition fed into this concept of how we all united for one reason: to help spread the word for a good cause. We all took bits and pieces of our individual talents to create something beautiful in which this case was an actual event. In those moments, we were joined at the hip as a creative community collaborating and spitting out ideas from left to right-all to raise money for CHF. After this art show followed more art exhibitions and meetings with more ambitious, creative folks who each had a story behind their passion for the arts. It made me realize how artists use those weapons of choice (graphite, spray paint cans, pen, cameras etc.) To create and extend a piece of themselves out into the world for others to see.
I give props to artists all around for being as courageous as they are when sharing their visual message so freely knowing that it may not be everybody’s cup of tea. I believe that everybody has a connection with art. Just because you didn’t study it in school, doesn’t mean you can’t have a feeling towards it. Art is meant to be shared. And through art, one can achieve selflessness.
Philarthropy is an art campaign dedicated to unite visual & performing artists to give back to their community by contributing their creativity in further expanding the arts. It doesn’t necessarily mean you have to have the title of being a painter, a dancer, a musician, etc. We’re all artists. We all create in different mediums whether it be through words, graphite, music, dance, what have you. We are all passionate and creative in some way and as a community of creatives we can unite to paint some color in this world.
SDU: WHY THE NAME APPLEAVOCADO?
Elisha: The appleavocado logo started off as a personal logo project – a mark that would define myself as an artist, a graphic designer, an illustrator, etc. How personal can you get than starting off with your initials – mine being “E.”Because of my long, full name being “Elisha-Rio Apilado,” I started the thumbnails experimenting with the different ways i could represent the letter(s) E, EA, and ERIO (e.rio being my signature when signing off art pieces). Appleavocado is a play off the words ‘apple’ & ‘avocado’ – two very different objects, each with significant qualities that makes them unique. With the fusion of these two objects, we produced a rare word with multiple meanings and adjectives tied to it which is similar to the concept of merging the different mediums of the fine arts and digital arts. As technology moves forward, the digital world continues to expand and at times, the root of art (the basics of observation drawings, paintings, etc.) Is left in the dust. I believe that an artist must always remember their roots of drawing and the history of the fine arts. It is with that history, digital art was able to be born and grow. It is my mission to join the best of both worlds and produce a one-of-a-kind art piece.
Other than Appleavocado have close similarities to my last name “Apilado,” I’m proud to also have it ‘brand’ my family as there are many artists within such as my two older brothers. The name itself was coined by my cousin and became his nickname throughout college – he gave me his blessing to utilize it for my company.
Fun fact: My cousin and I both have the Appleavocado tattooed on ourselves.
SDU: GIVE US YOUR MORNING RITUAL BEFORE THE MAGIC HAPPENS AT THE APPLEAVOCADO STUDIO.
Haha, funny thing you ask. The magic at the studio starts at approximately 9pm and goes throughout the early, early morning. I do have a 9am-5pm day design job so my routine thereafter to prepare myself for what I like to call “Night Owling” consists of an hour nap, dinner, a Starbucks coffee run and flipping through a inspirational found artwork folder on my desktop serving as a kick to start those creative juices to flow.
I have to admit – sometimes I do run into those artistic blocks, but I keep my studio full of art books to look through. My sleep hours vary each night – if I’m on that creative streak and my mind is buzzing with ideas and the need to create, I could literally be up all night until the break of dawn when I need to start getting ready for the day job. I blame my eclecticism. It seems to be my way of venturing out into the unknown and grabbing ahold of any and all things creative that I find a connection to and has grown into an obsession since I allow myself to become lost in the overloading mess of things to the point where I have to swim to a sketchbook-shaped raft and paddle onward with that pencil.
SDU: WHAT’S AT THE CORE AND IMPACT YOU WANT APPLEAVOCADO CONTINUED SUCCESS TO GRAVITATE TOWARDS IN THE FUTURE?
Elisha: You’ve got me stumped here, haha. I guess I’m still learning and striving to grow from my experience with Appleavocado. It really simply started out as a personal brand logo but grew into something more with the help and support of friends and family. And with the numerous creative collaborations I’ve been granted with thus far, it’s helping Appleavocado grow as a business and helping myself grown as an artist, a business lady and just simply an individual. So you ask where I see Appleavocado at in the near future? Not quite sure and honestly, I am intrigued by not knowing. Pinpointing and creating deadlines to where Appleavocado should be in 5 years is a restriction for me –
I’ve always been a jet setter and let things happen the way they’re supposed to. I live to create and I’ve discovered more about myself by doing what I love. If Appleavocado grows into a huge, super mega design/art firm – that’s awesome! If not, then that’s awesome as well. It’s been a grand experience thus far just networking and collaborating with other small businesses. As long as I get to create artwork – I’ll be a happy camper.