I have probably never met someone so genuinely enthusiastic as Diego Mendoza. Not regarding his art, but life in general. The vibrant pops and comic book style (art pop) of Diego's art work perfectly match him as a person. After spending sometime with him during the past few days I realized how positive he is a person and how excited he is for everyone to go see his artwork tonight at Dream Chasers Club.
Diego started drawing at the young age of five and it was his mom who got him into painting. He looked up at the art she did for Lowrider Magazine and he then asked her to teach him. Diego's mom is one (if no the main) driving force behind his art.
Diego opened up in saying "after she taught me how to draw and paint, a couple of months after that she ran away from us. I kept drawing and painting as a way to hold on to her. I just carried it with me."
Besides his mother teaching him how to draw and paint, he took two art classes which he jokingly admits that he failed. He feels that as an artist he does not like being told what to do. Art teachers teach in their own way which reflects in what they are telling you to do. Ironically he was voted most artistic in high school.
Diego has this thing where he goes about his day with his camera and a sketchbook with him and he tries to capture what he likes throughout the day that way he can go home to his studio and interpret it in his own way.
I asked him what we would expect to see today at his Alter Egos ll show tonight and why he chose the name. He responded by saying, "Alter Egos comes form the fact that I am a graffiti artist and I go under various aliases and I like comic books. It's that concept that you can become somebody you want and do anything you want. Coming back again to El Paso to do a show made me take a new perspective. I was able to channel all those different thoughts and perspectives into the artwork."
He mentioned that the main message for the show will start off with a biopic describing his life as a child and then explain the hellish past ten months of life so that people get a sense of where he is coming from. It describes how he lost everything he had like loosing his mother to one of the cartels to loosing the love of his life at the time as well. However, Diego, as mentioned, is a very optimistic person to the point that one would not have thought that he went through all of that. He just wants people to walk in and enjoy it and appreciate it all together.
"If you can't free yourself around people you are with then why are you dealing with that?"
Diego hopes that everyone that assists tonight feels inspired. He appreciates that people take part of their day to come and feel and admire the art.
I want to thank Diego for taking his time to do this interview.
You can go follow him on Instagram: amazingdiego1
In a sense , "ethereal jewelry for gypsy hearts".
When I walk into Lalo Èlan, everything catches my eye. From the vintage clothing hanging on the right side of the store to the the coffee cart on the left side of the store. It's really a treat to be there especially when you notice the humorous things like the pillows and certain frames. Not only that but the owner, Elena Ruiz , is always ready to greet you and make the experience feel personal.
Also, did I mention she handcrafts amazing one-of-a-kind pieces of jewelry in the store? So rad! This eclectic boutique has been open for about seven months and it is growing. Elena had always aspired to open a store ever since she was little. She used to shop at different vintage shops and she loved it when the owners of those boutiques saved her clothes and welcomed her! She brings that experience to Lalo Èlan as well.
I asked her why she decided to have coffee inside the boutique and she answered "I used to go to this place in Las Cruces called Sprit Winds and it's a cafe/boutique and I just love it there. I met with the people from Chicken Switch coffee and they wanted to have their coffee cart here and so I pretty much got my way. There is much here and I like having a little bit of everything. It's local and a great place to get gifts and have coffee at the same time."
When you walk into a boutique it is often discouraging to see pompous owners making you feel like you can't just look around, however this is not the case. It is a very welcoming place filled with a variety of items. The best part of it is that they are different items from local artists here in El Paso. Very intriguing especially for what we normally think of as a "boutique". I know for a fact that I will be shopping there more often!
P.S my favorite item was the "Don't fuck up today" pillow.
For further information follow them on Instagram: laloelan
Going on a trip? Maybe a shopping spree? Or just in dire need for additions to your wardrobe? Sugar Skull Boutique is the place to go located at 125 Thunderbird.
The owner of Sugar Skull, Pamela Gandara, first started out selling clothes directly from her house to her different friends and acquaintances. The demand grew so much, that she decided to open up a physical store. You may be asking yourself, why the name? For Pamela, a sugar skull, a candy normally found around the time of Dia de los Muertos, represents her Mexican identity.
One year and a half later, Sugar Skull is a successful boutique accessible for everyone at any age, yes you don't have to be in your 20s to give them a visit. Sugar Skull tries to cater to the El Paso community by staying on the newest trends. If you take a visit, you will be able to able to find anything from casual and fun to a little more formal and cocktail party ready. They have providers from all over the world to be able to give you only but the best in very accessible prices.
Sugar Skull tries its hardest to cater to its customers by giving them the most personalized service possible. Their goal is to constantly provide customers with new clothes, and they achieve this by restocking new items every two weeks. This means you can make frequent visits and always find something new. If there is anything specific that you are looking for or want them to keep a lookout for you, you can always talk to Pamela and she will be glad to help you out.
There are many plans for the future for Pamela. As the time has passed, Sugar Skull has grown so much that what at first seemed like a big location is now looking a little small. The demand from customers and their goal to keep providing El Paso with new items is making Pamela think of plans of expansion. Not only may there be a new location in the near future, but Pamela also wants to venture into other boutiques that will provide the community with even more variety for every situation.
Don't hesitate any longer to go take a visit and follow them on social media (PS you can always reserve something you like on social media and then go to the store to pick it up!).
Let's teach locals to find a love for El Paso
If you haven't heard about Chuco Relic yet, then believe me when I say you've been missing out. You can go find them at Time at Montecillo and even better, you can make online orders!
Chelsie, the owner of Chuco Relic, found her love for El Paso when she moved back a couple of years ago. She realized that she wanted to do something to promote El Paso, but most of all she wanted for other locals to find the same love she has for her hometown.
In 2012, Chelsie became the owner of Machot a store dedicated to cool novelties, but she decided she wanted the store to focus on El Paso novelties. There are many cool local vendors who make El Paso themed novelties and Chelsie wanted to have a space where you can find all of these things at once. A year and a half ago, Chelsie decided to change the name to Chuco Relic which not only represents the border area but also represents the initials of her and her family members.
The bicultural experience that the people living in the border experience is unique and it forms connections between the locals. Chelsie wants to celebrate the culture and the people by having a space dedicated to El Paso. The name, though thought to have a negative connotation, is another way to show appreciation for the community. For Chelsie, Chuco is something that the people in El Paso get almost like an inside thing, our very own secret.
If you want to be part of the Chuco Relic family you will be happy to know that everyone is welcome to participate. The only criteria for people is that their work is El Paso themed or that it relates to the culture. They even have a 10 year old artist who does work for them, so if you are an artist don't hesitate to contact Chuco Relic to see how you can collaborate.
If by the end of this you're still wondering what Chuco means, then I have some good news for you. We're going to give you all the chisme on Chuco soon, so check back next week!