Hello and welcome to Valerie’s Gallery! Some of you may already know me, but for those who don’t, let me introduce myself. My name is Valerie Suto and I was born and raised in Hamilton, New Jersey. I grew up in a cute white house with my parents and my sister, and eventually the cutest dog in the whole world, our pittie Lola! (Seriously, she’s the cutest. She can say “I love you”)
As a young kid I had two main interests: soccer and art. When I was asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I always said either a professional soccer player or an artist. So naturally I became an elite softball player (what?!) Soccer was always my favorite as a kid and then BAM! I tried softball and somehow was way better. That really threw a wrench into my 6 year-old career plans. But one thing remained the same- I LOVED art!
I always thought I got my creativity and artistic skills from my Pop Pop (who taught me how to draw my first cartoon man named Ishkabibble) until I learned more about my mom’s side of the family. On her side there are artists, musicians, and actors, oh my! Turns out creativity is in my blood.
As my softball skills sharpened and the competition heightened, my love for art never dwindled. Playing elite softball, and eventually earning a scholarship to play Division 1, was the avenue to my art education and degree. I earned a Bachelor’s in Graphic Design and a Minor in Fine Art from Seton Hall University in 2017.
When my attempts at grad school and professional softball fell threw, I earned money through commissioned art work, coaching softball, and trying out several graphic design jobs. But none of this felt like the right fit. And finally after some difficult changes in my life, I decided to leave the nest and move from New Jersey to Connecticut. And let me tell you, it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made (that and my heated vest).
So I packed up, brought all of my art supplies along, and began freelance art while living with a friend. It’s been almost one year exactly since I officially moved and in that year I’ve met an amazing new group of friends, found the most perfect partner to share life with, WENT INTO QUARANTINE, saw the beauty of America in a cross-country RV road trip (because we needed a vacation from COVID and flying is a no no), and finally, I’ve found the perfect little studio to begin my lifelong dream of becoming an artist!
Oh, and, uh, in the coming months we’ll probably be going back into quarantine…
ANYWAY! Today I write to tell you that Valerie’s Gallery is making it’s debut (virtually for now)! I’m so excited to be doing what I love, creating art. Thank you to everyone who has taught me, guided me, and supported me throughout my life and artistic journey. I can’t wait to share with you!
Stay safe and love to all,