We had the good fortune of connecting with Johnathon Espinoza and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Johnathon, any advice for those thinking about whether to keep going or to give up?
How to know whether to keep going or to give up? If I’m not learning something directly applicable to bettering myself as a person or as an artist then I must make the conscious decision to move on. I try not to confuse my discipline for my stubborn resistance. Also, if I’m not making a monumental impact to a project, for example, in proportion to my efforts I will inevitably lose interest. Simultaneously, I act mindful to troubleshooting in light of reviving a project and what it will require to scale it to completion because you never want to underestimate yourself. Work life balance: how has your balance changed over time? How do you think about the balance? Firstly, context balance as a verb. Thus, I’m at constant flux in order to achieve the noun context defined as balance. It’s through this threshold in which my business character is forged. I can neither rush nor repress my creativity in order to grasp balance. In solution, I’m sensitive to what types of projects create an opportunity of balance in a business sense. What makes you happy? Why? Sharing my passion is the reverberation in how I choose to communicate. I feel I’m on a mission in exploration of meaningful connection that won’t provoke a misrepresentation of not necessarily myself but my individual art or projects. In this advanced age of modern technology there is a heightened spirit in me that yearns for practices that preserve or rekindle my humanity. In retrospect, I’m susceptive to my human perceptions that I’m alone. Which is why I have to creatively open portals to my soul that invite resonance. Why did you pursue an artistic or creative career? I chose to follow the white rabbit and surrender to the vastness of the unknown. I was determined to disrupt the artist stereotypes. It was organic the way things developed as far as what directions to take because I was constantly creating. It was instilled from youth; almost ethereal. How do you define success? Being alive makes me feel successful. Also, the experiences I retain and relationships that the magic of art has bestowed upon me. Success is many things to me. It is a perspective before it’s a mindset. How an individual deems it applicable to a situation, in turn, makes it a reality altering tool. The only curriculum required to master is thyself. All you need is the desire to be studious and have new eyes. What was your thought process behind starting your own business? Time in the art market is better than trying to time the art market. When I began this journey on what I believed to be a professional level I didn’t ,per se, know that anything had begun at all actually. In my mind’s eye a visualization of myself was coming into fruition. I absorbed everything I could from the atmosphere and peers and insured I was consistent in not only the type of work I do but persistent as well. I became obsessive about mastering something ,achieving the 10,000 hours theory, if you will. I consciously became an artist when I was confident enough to express that I in fact am one. Social impact: how does your business help the community or the world? My job as an artist is first and foremost to create, to be myself and live honestly so that my work will embody that energy and transmute it to the world. Art is a very powerful vessel because of the many forms it takes. Art is solely dependent on the individual conveying. It represents just how profound the human psyche is and it’s ability to operate in dominance to mental feats and average bodily mechanics. Risk taking: how do you think about risk, what role has taking risks played in your life/career? I rarely consider things to be a risk because I foster the idea that I am a pioneer in my industry. This isn’t the typical type of career as you can imagine. You have to know that you’ve already conquered that hurdle once you outgrew the fears of being an entrepreneur. We are systematically programmed to search for jobs instead of opportunity in this modern society. It’s up to us as individuals to challenge the status quo and shatter glass ceilings by ruthlessly creating and establishing a voice for yourself and others. It’s a bigger risk not to be true to yourself. In fact, it puts the whole industry in jeopardy. If you are a parent, what do you think is the most important thing you’ve done as a parent in terms of the impact on your children? I identify myself as my brand, in a literal sense. You have to vigorously document and build for longevity or in my case legacy. When a man walks into a room he brings his entire life with him. This I hold in testament. I’m restlessly creative in a state of bewilderment when I choose to separate myself from reality as I know it. Be the person you needed when you were younger. Youth in terms of business is similar. The trials and tribulations you face allow you to discover your niche. Blaze your own trail by any means but also, always look to the Masters. If I love to teach, I love to learn. Somewhere along my path I will empower a leader or lead a generation into a great awakening.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
The art that I produce is a kinetic embodiment of who I am, simply stated. A culmination of everything my senses could conjure in a mindbending orchestration of visual display. I’m abundantly proud of the mindset assembled through developed projects or creative concepts entertained. I’m most excited for the newly attained relationships I’ve acquired and it’s diverse opportunities carved ahead in prowess. The distinct challenges you undergo in the early stages of your career are prominently decisive to what you create and why. How you deal with that aspect is how you gauge your professionalism and generally your characteristics as an entrepreneur. Ultimately, it’s a fast track to discovering your niche. You’re awarded in proportion to what you solve in your industry. In my brands infancy I had the notion that I was already different entering into an industry that was easy to surrender and conform to. With this in mind I took a pivot that programmed me to seek an establishment in foundations that would, in turn, allow me grow differently. I’m very much aware of the internal ticking time bomb we call life and the necessity we have to communicate. Though, I can do without the urgency sometimes. If there were a story my brand and/or I represent. It will be constructed from my ashes in efforts of trailblazing new avenues for various artists, building grassroot platforms in light of true talent, kicking open new windows of opportunity, whilst, making up for the lack thereof in our immediate communities.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
First off, book an Airbnb, set up my Go Pro’s for the week and light a cigar to match my whiskey high overlooking a pool. A perfect week for me would consist of limitless inspiration, soul searching, trauma healing and overall serenity. To begin, groom the historic, vibrant city with a serendipitous tour. Seek a quaint cafe for the darkest roast and an egg white and wheat toast. After the perk up, I’d set out for a brisk nature walk at the nearest state park because there’s just something about inhaling the Texas air that makes a man feel free. To beat the heat I would retreat to a thrift store or vintage clothing store to get cultured and unearth hidden gems. For lunch, simply pull over and take advantage of the food truck luxury. Maybe grab some halal to go. After the intermission, hunt for antique shopping strips and abandoned storefronts that are the veins of the city for photo ops. My social media networks would appreciate that. To follow, support small business and purchase reference material in the form of art and photography books. End the night scouring the town for a glass of red wine, rare steak and grilled shrimp. An eventful day indeed. I could continue with variations but I’ll leave you instead with other interchangable realms of interest. I aim for the theraputic anecdotes of life such as painting in privacy or sketching in public. Researching my ancestry/DNA and doing my genealogy. Playing basketball or lifting weights. Listening to diverse genres of music or audiobook/TEDtalks. Visiting open art studios or attending seasonal fashion shows. Supporting my fellow creatives. Deep conversations about faith or business. To end the weeks itenerary I would offer either an advanced personal art class or a portrait of my guest as my sitter. Adorn my guest in one the many brands I work with of their choosing. Lastly, oblige my guest as an honorary VIP at an art or fashion show I plan and host. My parting gift would be an edited version of the week that I personally curated and documented.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Bailey Terry (Bailey Gage) @bailey_gage_art @engage_clothing_co I certainly have a plethora of contributors by whom I’m very humbled that I could shed light on. However, I’ve recently been privelaged to meet Bailey and since have been utterly inspired. I challenge each of you reading this to research this person and kindly contribute to any of her causes and just support her as an artist and human being.
Other: @2020universalartists @theominouskloud @johnathon23michael
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