I have been creating art in one way or another since childhood. Spending so much time with my (late) Artist father, Richard Ferrera, is where I picked up my love of wood and experimenting with all kinds of art, surrounded by music. Drawing became an outlet after his passing that developed while earning my Fine Art Degree at Montclair State University (NJ). During and after college I strived to work in various creative fields, all providing the education, experience, and tools needed to take my art to the next step. In 2010 I drove across the country to start creating art full time.
San Diego collectives and galleries like RAW:Natural Born Artists, Thumbprint Gallery, and Sparks Gallery were some of the first few to exhibit my earlier figurative series on wood. In recent years my drawing has been juried, exhibited, and published on local, national, and international platforms including; The Studio Door's (San Diego) Juniper Rag Gallery (MA), and All She Makes Magazine (virtual). Most notably receiving the Business of Art Scholarship (2020) proved to be a career changer due to its exposure, mentorship, and support during the height of the pandemic.
While the pandemic brought on challenge after challenge, but also pushed us artists out of our comfort zones. In 2020 I was asked by a NJ based author to illustrate a full length children's book. Completed all virtually while homeschooling my daughter, "Thank you for being You: A Letter to my Daughter" is now available on Amazon. As an artist whose work stems from journaling and having created and self-published six non-fiction books, illustrating didn't feel far off. I'm currently working on my seventh self-publication.
Pushing outside the box, beyond my wood canvases, I also began painting murals with the Imperial Beach Arts Bureau (IBAB) shortly after my family's move here in 2018. Inspired and motivated by the lack of opportunities in the South Bay and utilizing my experience, I joined as an Executive member to IBAB to not only paint more murals, but to recruit more artists during farmers markets and forming a separate art committee within IBAB to provide more resources and exhibiting platforms for this region of artists. As a member, I have also helped to implement Mural programs in two of our local elementary schools and had the opportunity to speak with a few classes about a career in the arts. Creating charitable artwork and murals for local organizations like ArtreachSD, RecUniversal, and North Park Main Street, in these last few years has only furthered my drive and passion to make art equitable for all.
When I'm not in my garage studio or working on community projects, you can find my lil family and I picking another giant stack of books at the library, hiking on the Bayshore Bike Path, picking shells on the beach, volunteering with Meals on Wheels or planning another roadtrip! Whether through my fine art, custom murals, or community engagement, I will continue to advocate for arts education, resources and creative outlets. Follow me on instagram for up to date art, works in progress, exhibits, and events @mdferrera