Tell us a bit about yourself My name is Leatrize Shaira Y. Gonzales , 22 years old and I am a vet student but also an artist from the Philippines.

Where do you study? 

I am currently studying at De La Salle Araneta University. The best thing I would say about my school is the passionate professors who dedicate their life to share their knowledge and experience (sacrificing a lot) to nurture the younger generation of future vets. I am thankful for all their help and patience. 

Why did you decide to become a vet?

Ever since I was a kid I knew that I’d become a veterinarian one day. I’d frequently get asked why I chose to become a vet and my answer would always be that I feel a special bond and connection with animals.

Check out more images on her Instagram

What is the hardest part of being a vet student?

One of the hardest parts of being a vet student is missing out on a lot of occasions because the time that’s put into studying. Finance is also a problem because being in vet school can get expensive. Another hard part of vet school are the subjects. They get pretty hard and challenging to the point that I would sometimes experience mental breakdowns, a lot of ups and downs, doubting myself from time to time, and suffer from low self esteem. However, through the help of my family, friends, and my beloved pets, I am able to overcome these obstacles.

You have some amazing drawings, tell us more about that?

Art is a great way of relieving and coping up with my daily stress! I get to do what I love plus get something out of it!  My forte are portrait paintings of pets especially loved by owners and cute animal murals. I discovered my passion for painting when I was twelve.  Ever since my mom enrolled me to that summer workshop, I never stopped creating artworks. Being creative and resourceful also helped me boost my self-esteem. Studying Veterinary Medicine isn’t easy! It’s very time consuming especially with the internships and exams, but when I do have the time, I paint and draw-awaaay! Creating art is my passion, my hobby, and a way for me to earn as well!

We love your study notes! Do you do drawings every time you study?

I truly appreciate everyone that has supported and encouraged me to do my notes and test my creativity. I do my notes if I have time to work on specific subjects, especially anatomy because drawing it is really fun, challenging, and exciting. I also love to make journals and scrapbooks because I’m sentimental and love keeping memories. When making notes, I love using watercolor to save time and a no lines sketch notebook so I can do notes freely. It usually takes me 2-3 hours to make notes/journals on a daily basis if I have spare time,. There were times that I was so focused on my studies, I didn’t notice the artist inside of me coming out when I would make my notes. So basically my notes helped me to grow as an artist

Do you have a pet?

I have a lot of pets at home and that’s why I need to work hard to provide them a happy life. I have dogs, a cockatiel, goldfish, betta, turtle, Pacman frog, kois, sugar glider, guinea pig, and hedgehog (my house is basically like Noah’s arc). Through my pets, I am able to get a peace of mind because being with them is therapeutic. Plus they expand my knowledge of pet care because they motivate me to always learn and research about their needs like diet, medications, lifestyle etc.

What are your plans/ goals for the future?

For the past few months, I have been planning to make my own stickers, posters, postcards, mugs, shirts, journals, and a book with my own design and illustrations especially with the tons of requests from so many people around the world!

I also sell different stuff at school as a hobby, while currently I sell and design shirts, mugs, tumblers, stickers. I remember having a lot of fun selling stuff because of the chance to talk to people and make new friends

 If there’s an opportunity for me, I would like to be a small animal practitioner and then pursue multimedia arts or graphic design. Fingers-crossed!

What do you like more? Veterinary or being an artist?

I’ve been asked by lot of people which one I like more, being a vet or an artist. My answer is simple, if you like what you’re doing, you don’t need to choose one if you can do both! There’s no need to limit yourself if you’re passionate to more than one thing.

Do you have any advice for our readers?

My advice for everyone in the vet field is “You don’t have to forget the things you used to love and enjoy because you’re too busy with your current job/school because if you love something, you will always find a way/time to make it possible.”

Creativity is contagious, pass it on – Albert Einstein