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The art diva’s debut

Updated: Dec 25, 2022

Q&A with Shelly Calvo: 'Art was my first love'

Sea Carnival (acrylic) by Shelly Calvo

Art Therapy By Donna Hope Blas

This incredible woman can’t do enough. She is Superwoman if you ask me. She’s busy being a mommy to her children and grandchildren, being a loving wife to her husband and attending charitable events together, producing and recording videos for her YouTube channel, and … the list goes on and on.

Although she has creativity in her blood, she didn’t do as many paintings as she has since the pandemic. Life slowed down for many during the dark times and the shutdown, but not for this busy queen bee. She got busy with the brush and made amazing artwork.

Meet the beautiful diva, Shelly Calvo. Shelly talked to us about her journey to the artscape.

Shelly Calvo

When did you start painting? Or doing art?

Shelly Calvo: Art was my first love. I have had an artistic inclination since my youth. I remember making paper dolls complete with multiple clothes in grade school. I would put them in an envelope and sell them to my classmates. My very early training in entrepreneurship.

What other art do you do?

SC: I’m big with culinary. During the pandemic, I created 130 cooking videos, but I only posted 30 on my YouTube channel. I still have them, but I put the show aside once I started taking programs at HarvardX.

I dedicated a year toward completing my studies. I do all sorts of crafting, as well, but not so much these days. I also have a background in interior design so I get to use that here and there, too. I’m all about painting now.

Lots of Latte/acrylic

Was painting helpful during the pandemic? Did it help you cope with being cooped up?

SC: Painting definitely kept me happy and at peace during those years of pandemic seclusion. The creative process placed me in a bubble of happiness, peace and solitude. It allowed me to escape and wander. It was very therapeutic for the mind, body and soul. If I weren’t so busy with other things, I would just paint every single day. I like where I am at right now. Life’s been colorful.

Who introduced you to art?

SC: Nobody introduced me to art. I was born with it screaming in my veins. I would’ve probably pursued my passion in art if not for the other “life callings” that have occupied my time. The pandemic was a blessing in disguise. I found myself taking solace in things that I enjoy the most -- culinary and painting.

A Peak Into Paradise/acrylic

Now that things are back to normal, do you still see yourself doing more art?

SC: I have continued to create and it’s never too late to get serious again with my old passion.

My love for art was awakened and it’s intensely burning right now. I have a whole room dedicated to creating arts. I intend to add more to my portfolio, engage with our art community, and delve further into the art fire. As a matter of fact, I have decided to participate in the “Alternate Realities” art exhibit running this month at the Lees-Reyes Gallery in Tumon Sands, where I will share a couple of my pencil-on-paper artworks from my “Persona Series.”

Donna Hope Blas is a restoration and 3-D artist. She is a certified therapeutic art life coach and entrepreneur. She was born and raised on Guam. Send feedback to

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