We had the good fortune of connecting with Emman Mariategue and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Emman, how do you think about risk?
I think risk is a necessary step we all have to take. For years I have been working in the food industry while doing art on the side, just because it’s safe. I have a steady income and I can still do what I love. Even though there is achievement and satisfaction working in the food industry, my pursuit with art became stagnant. I don’t regret being in that industry, but leaving that cushion was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. The pursuit of art has many pitfalls and uncertainties. And I know I haven’t really achieved what I’m aiming for, but it’s good to be where I want to be.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I really don’t know what sets me apart from others because it was never about standing out for me so I never really gave it much thought. I think even just thinking about that sets a wrong path because I’m already pondering something that is inconsequential to my growth as a creative, at least for me. It all just comes down to being able to create and that’s just my focus. I wouldn’t say proud, but more about being content. I like the work I do now doing illustrations for an online company and the murals I did for Flip’n Patties. Shoutout to Flip’n Patties for giving me my first gig doing murals. Just like in any other profession, I faced a lot of rejection that made me doubt my skills and my worth. But I was lucky enough that someone took a chance on me and getting my foot in the door. I think overcoming challenges is staying on the path and try to be prepared when the opportunity comes. I think what I do can be done by other people. What was pivotal for me is when I stopped comparing myself to other creatives and just control what I can. Thinking that way helped me build my confidence and believe in myself. I really don’t know what I want the world to know about me. I guess my main goal outside of what I can’t control is for people to enjoy looking at my illustrations.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I think Houston has a really diverse cuisine and it’s one of the many things to enjoy here. So I would try to bring them to all my favorite restaurants. First, I’d take them to French Riviera Cafe to start the day off. Hit all the parks like Menil Park and Hermann Park, then visit the MFAh. Take them to Flip’n Patties in Eldridge. It’s just the best FIlipino-American burger joint out there. I’d take them to Montrose because that area has a lot of history, and then go to the locally owned coffee shops around the area. For me, Cali’s is the best Vietnamese mom and pop restaurant, so that’s a place to go too. Tiger Den is the place to go for awesome ramen and Argentina Cafe’s food is one of my guilty pleasures. For a place to drink and hang out, I’d take them to my spots: Poison Girl and Grand Prize. It’s just an awesome culture and has a lot of history too. What makes Houston really great is the people. So, I just want to take them where they can meet Houstonians so they can really experience Houston.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I want to give a shoutout to my sister Norren del Rosario, and my homies Don Jante and Stan Le. They’re really great supporters to what I’m pursuin and wouldn’t be in this path if it weren’t for their encouragement. So, if I fail, they’re to blame. hehe just kidding.