Carrie Rengers

Studio artist and MBA student creates Ilusqui to sell art

Diana Carbajal chose Ilusqui as the name of her new business because it combines “illustration” and “squirrel.”
Diana Carbajal chose Ilusqui as the name of her new business because it combines “illustration” and “squirrel.” Courtesy art

After “a lot of work” with a couple of jobs and going to school, Diana Carbajal is now going to focus on what she loves: art.

Carbajal is starting a new business called Ilusqui, which is a combination of “illustration” and “squirrel.”

“That’s just been kind of my nickname since I was real young,” she says of “squirrel.” “I could never hold still just running from one place to the next.”

If you look at her last couple of years, the name seems to fit.

Carbajal graduated with a bachelor of studio arts degree from Wichita State University in 2013 and began a dual career as a college access adviser for the school along with a job at Northwestern Mutual.

She left the company to begin pursuing an MBA at Friends University, where she’ll graduate in December.

All this time, she’s been creating art on the side, too.

“Now, I’m jump-starting the business,” Carbajal says. “I had enough capital … I was able to invest and go full time.”

Being a business owner is “a huge risk,” she says.

“There’s no stability when it comes to finances.”

Carbajal says it’s “also very exciting.”

“I’m pretty confident.”

That’s because she says she’s already had a lot of business before even starting the company or letting people know she was available to create art.

“I’ve kind of kept it on the down low,” Carbajal says.

Carbajal creates a variety of art in a variety of mediums.

“My main medium has been charcoal.”

She also uses paint and does mixed media.

There’s no storefront for Ilusqui yet, but there will be.

“I plan on having a storefront … slash gallery by the end of this year,” Carbajal says.

“I’m wanting to do somewhere close (to) downtown.”

She says the Commerce Street arts district would be ideal.

Carbajal is working on a website and also has started a social media campaign. She says she’s buoyed by the response.

“I’m excited on how much of a hype has been going.”

Reach Carrie Rengers at 316-268-6340 or Follow her on Twitter: @CarrieRengers.