I recently went to Golden Goose Tattoo Shop to talk to Joshua Perez a.k.a Cuidado con el Tren! He is a talented artist here in the Sun City who happened to do an art show along side "dotdotjulio" at Dream Chasers Club a few months ago. Not only does he do art shows, but he also does graffiti, murals, tattoos, and much more. You might recognize his art work featured in the Pizza Joint restaurants and Tinman bars around town.
He has been doing art for as long as he can remember. He was that "one kid in class always drawing stuff." In high school, Joshua got really into street art and graffiti. Never in his mind did he believe that he would be doing art for a living. Graffiti was something that he worked on and slowly improved, but once he got the hang of it, he did it professionally and even did some murals. Joshua did not stop there, he kept improving his skill and eventually he started getting paid for commission.
When I talked to Joshua, he told me a story about him and his mentor (who is a tattoo artist) who one day while they were painting trains told him that he could be his apprentice. Joshua was very happy about it since it was something he had been wanting to do. He mentioned that although graffiti was fun while it lasted, he enjoys tattooing since it is still fairly new to him and he has fun doing it as well. He said "I was tired of painting my name over and over and tattooing has allowed me to do something different." With that being said, Josh continues to improve his tattooing as well as creating new designs.
In the past, Joshua has worked with Dream Chasers Club and I asked him whether he was planning on doing another art show in the near feature. He recently had one at ODE Brewery and he mentioned that he might be doing another one with Jam (owner of DCC) this upcoming year. Joshua mentioned that the art shows can get a little hectic due to the fact that there are deadlines and many things to get done, but he still enjoys doing them.
I asked him whether these next exhibitions will have a certain theme to them and he mentioned "my style is always changing and I'm trying to find my own. I do more of the illustrative stuff, but I am all over the place so it's hard for me to settle down and do one theme. My art work at my shows are all different styles." What he said is true, his artwork speaks for itself and after seeing it, I can absolutely agree.
To conclude our conversation I asked him about his fascination with trains, considering that he posts about them and his Instagram name is "cuidadoconeltren". He said that the reason why he loves trains so much was that his grandparents lived next to one of the train crossings. "As a kid I would hear the train coming and I would beg them to let me go see them. When I got older I actually started painting on trains and it was exciting because there was that adrenaline rush of 'oh shit I shouldn't be here' in the train yard and it can be dangerous at times." He mentioned that it was fun for him to graffiti trains with his artwork because he started seeing the trains with his artwork all over the country and people took pictures of them and posted them online. "I was obsessed with painting more trains and seeing them out there."
He also added that his son, now, is also fascinated by trains and he loves seeing them go by as well. It now makes sense to see why Joshua has an affinity with trains and why it sometimes translates into his artwork. Below are a few examples of some of the work he has done (except for the self-portrait):
"Chasing my dreams" does not only consist of just studying to get that one dream job. I mean, it is definitely part of it, but I think that chasing one's dreams it to achieve the ultimate happiness and it's not always a job. For me, it is something that is not tangible. It's almost a spiritual experience which comes from a connection from that one song or that one place. Part of chasing my dreams is traveling. Traveling might seem obvious, but I don't need the luxury that many people strive to have with traveling. I want to immerse myself in many cultures and see many places and not long for them via a cellphone screen or a picture.
Another thing or "dream" that I want to chase is to see as many concerts as possible. I have this bucket list of musicians I want to see and for the past 2 years that is exactly what I have been doing. It is worth every penny. Every time I go to a concert it is ,as I mentioned, a spiritual experience. Almost "orgasmic" and out of this world. Every one feels connected for those 2-3 hours under the same cause, which is music. That's why it's so special for me. Many people don't feel what I feel and say they rather spend that money on food and alcohol. Everyone does what they want with their money, just make sure it's worthwhile.
I also hope to one day I can own a huge vinyl record collection, but you know... students debt. Hey, college was a part of achieving my dream. Everyone is different and if your dream doesn't involve going to college, then that is ok too. Don't let people define your happiness or limit you.
That brings me to why I decided to start the website along side Estefania. I want to chase those dreams one way or another. I want to make a difference in my community and help others chase their dreams.I think that people here have special talents and stories that need to be heard. I want people to immerse themselves in what really makes them happy. Whether it is music, art, food, family, traveling, concerts, playing, sports and so much more. Life is to short for "what ifs". Go do it!!!
Skip, Skippy, Chippy, Crippy, Dippy...
Skip, who describes himself as effervescent and highly energetic “spastic trash.” is an El Paso artist who has been filling the border land with his weird vibes for the past 10 years. One conversation with him, or a look at his art, and you will realize how special him and his work are.
Skip started doing art for a local “noise spastic electronic musician” called The Shock Deformity and Amputee, a noise artist that Skip recalls would play in his underwear and have very destructive and heavy shows. He was a very big fan at the age of 17, when he was still in high school and he created a flyer, which featured M.I.A. (with her arms and torso as a penis) and The Shock Deformity and Amputee really enjoyed it.
Having worked with someone he was a fan off, began to open doors for him and his work. Next, The Dozal Brothers, another local group, enjoyed his flyer so much that they contacted him to do some artwork for them. Ever since then, Skip has been doing artwork in El Paso and making magic happen.
When you talk to Skip, you’ll immediate realize that he really is one of a kind. He describes his work as “weird vibes” because of where he gets his inspiration for all his work. He explains that his artwork is based on modern psychedelia, heavy music that is noisy and chaotic, and posters from the 70s that are full of color, splashy, drippy and wet. All of these elements put together are enjoyable to him.
Some concepts and ideas come from the people that he works with, for example when he was working with Miijas the idea of aliens partying came up. Skip did that he does best, being true to himself and making these concepts his own. As for long term aspiration, he draws ideas from psychedelic punk rock bands, noise bands, and screen printing. Some ideas that really excite him are colors, splatters, “rainbow waste,” the desert, our mountains, and ditches. Yes, ditches a place that Skip describes as a man-made ecosystem where we find the most unexpected things.
For Skip, working with a lot of different bands and being able to share his artwork with so many people from different places around the country, and even the world, is very rewarding. By working alongside his friends and all these cool people his artworks is so much more than just artwork and it can be shared with the world.
Not only does Skip work with many different cool artists and other individuals, but he also has published two books with his work. The recently partnered up with Rio Sangre, a print collective, to publish a book with his drawings from Ruidoso, titled Moss. He also has a book where he collaborated with Mike Carrasco called Lenguaje Humano. You can also find his work on his Instagram and his Tumblr page (coelacanthart.tumblr.com) and we highly recommend you follow him, and Rio Sangre!
Thank you Skip and you can go follow him on Instagram as:
It’s safe to say that every one has a dream. Whatever it is, there has to be something you are chasing or striving for. Hopefully you are doing it for yourself and not for the money. As mentioned, I believe that every one’s dreams and aspirations differ from one another and the process of completing it, which is one of the many things that make us all unique. I went around town asking people one question: “What are your dreams and how do you plan on chasing them?” These are some of the things they said. There were so many that I only chose some. PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT SAYING WHAT YOUR DREAMS ARE!!!
Bonnie R, “I dream on never giving up!”
Don Kasho, “Dreams are a reality. Every day you need to work harder to achieve them no matter what.”
Yoly Jon, “One dream was to travel the world… and it’s exactly what I’m doing. I did it by leaving all material, spiritual, and physical attachments behind. JUST DO IT.”
Sebas V, “I hope to get in and go to medical school,”
“Soybaubelle”, “My dream is to be independent and to be able to express myself through art and fashion without a limit. I hope to change someone’s life now and later.”
Sebas S. “One of my dreams is to be a successful attorney at law. I believe that the best way to accomplish my dream is by having simple, concise, not so detailed plan about how to accomplish my dream and not loose eye on the prize. (Being a successful attorney). If one of my steps to my plan fails then that has consequences.”
Lillian S. “My goals are to get a 160+ on my LSAT and go to a good motherfucking Law School Top 25. I hope to have lots of dogs, travel a lot, eat lots of great foods, be hot until I die, and have a shipload of makeup. I hope to be able to have great makeup skills, buy myself Loubotins and badass clothes, learn to cook awesome dishes and find a guy that loves me.”
Humberto L, “I dream to find a good wife that loves me.”
Pao (myself): “I hope to travel A LOT, eat food without gaining weight, have a successful website, keep doing art, go to a lot of concerts, go to law school and be a badass lawyer, and many other things. I hope to inspire people and help them as much as I can.”
Hope some of these things inspired you all. Please leave your dreams below in the comment sections!!!!!!!
"CHRISTIN, not CHRISTIAN."
Her artwork is very unique in the city of El Paso. It has a certain quality that when you see it, you know it was done by Christin. I think that something special about her is that she doesn't just work with one style, like the one pictured below, but she also does other types of art which include the use of oil-based paints and more "classic" style pieces. However, people have gotten familiarized with the type of style seen in her latest exhibition at Dream Chasers Club names "Wish You Weren't Here". (Available all month of August).
Surprisingly, Christin has being doing art "seriously" since January 2016. However, she has been doing art all through high school. She says she was "that person that spent lunchtime in the art room". Christin went to school for oil-painting, but she realized she wanted to do art that she could do in a "three-hour sitting". She realized she did not want to deal with the hassle that oil painting comes with. Her weapon of choice later on became a black pen.
I asked her how long it took her to develop her style to where it is now, and she said it took her a while. She wanted to do as much as she could with as little as possible, which is why most of her art now is black and white. She admitted that she has always been "obsessed" with the tattoo community. She feels that it is amazing what they can do with only one color. However, Christin told me that due to her studying art, it makes her constantly think about what colors to mix to get a precise color; for example, she was thinking what colors to use to make the sky the color it was the day of the interview, and that is also a reason why she mostly sticks to black ink. It gets to hectic and "El Paso does not need more colorful art" she said "it is already colorful as is".
I asked her how long she has been working with Jam (owner of DCC) and she mentioned that they met at a Proper Printshop live printing event not. Christin talked about how it started off with "forcing" herself to go to art shows for the sake of meeting other artists in El Paso, getting her name out there, as well as making sure people knew she was not a boy.
Now, on to more current subject matters: the exhibition. "Wish You Weren't Here" is her first solo art show ever and it opened up this Thursday. "In 27 years this will be the first one", she said excitedly. I asked her why now and she said "fuck it". She made it clear that she did not want to use paper or canvas. She wanted to do something different. "I want to get a little weird", she said as she pulled out her phone and showed me a sneak-peak of her puzzle art work. Very original. This exhibition is different to her other work because it is more than just a face. The main "characters" are a man and a feminine hand. However that does not mean it should be interpreted literally. She said she wants people to say, "What the fuck is going on?" Christin wants people to put their own emotions into it. She wanted to name the exhibition so that it represents the dialogue between the "female" and "the little man" as she calls it.
Christin hopes people can go to the exhibition and enjoy it and like it. I have seen it myself. It is wonderful. I hope everyone can go to DCC and check it out.
Her Instagram is: christin.m.a Check out her work!
Just last month, Julio Pizana (DotDotJulio) was featured as one of the artists of the month at Dream Chasers Club for the Niños de la Tierra exhibition. I remember seeing the paintings and they immediately caught my eye. I have always had a fascination with water color and the presence of some abstract representation of demons. His illustrations and fine lines were extraordinary.
Julio is a shy guy, an anime junkie with lots of talent, funny, and unconventional. He was born in Juarez and he initially started drawing Dragonball Z characters during second grade. Later on in high school he started drawing other creatures. He didn't consider himself the artsy kid and because he was in punk-hardcore bands during college, he stopped drawing for a while. He eventually started drawing again, but it took him a while to start showing people his work again. It helped that the art scene in El Paso started growing as well.
Julio has so much imagination that he struggles sleeping and for him art is the perfect outlet. His process usually begins by drawing an eye and it just takes off from there. Julio explained that he constantly has images in his head. He never had a precise influence growing up, but lowbrow art, anime, and abstract art happen to be his favorites. He also has an appreciation for Frida Khalo, which did not happen until he was in high school.
He also mentioned that his friend Skip influences him a lot since he always draws creatures as well. However, Julio had to change his style to stop being compared to Skip's and Portugal the Man's art because he did not like that all.
If you ask Julio, he will tell you that he never did "art-art" when he was growing up, he considers his art a sort of "print-art". He considers his art affordable compared to other prices because he firmly believes it is important to have fair pricing. He would like for people to be able to afford his art. Because of that, Julio has even done stuff for free, like artwork for the band Miijas, trying to do what he can just to help out people with his art. His main goal being to spread the art, believing it is useless to keep it to himself.
His last piece of advice for anyone chasing their dream is "Just do it. Don't think about it, just do it."
A big thank you to Julio. Go follow him on Instagram under DotDotJulio
There's something about people whose dreams are translated into their work that inspires you to chase your own, and Mustang Jane is one of those individuals. So, prepare to be inspired!
If you've never heard about Mustang Jane, I will let you know that she is a very inspiring artist who looks to make a change through her art and fight for those who cannot fight for themselves. Mustang Jane describes herself as a "multidisciplinary political artist" and she does a lot of work in "arte de denuncia." This means that for her art is a way to talk about injustices and violence, especially regarding women.
For Mustang Jane, living in the border really influenced her decision to go into this type of art. Ciudad Juarez has a lot of history regarding femicides and other violence against women and this motivated Mustang Jane to speak out about it through her art. For her, a well articulated community process has the potential for social change because though education and organization the younger generations can be reached.
Having left Ciudad Juarez, her hometown, for ten years made her realize that if she was going to come back, she needed to create something meaningful that would create an impact. Mustang Jane decided to make a change and start by doing something, no matter how small. Little by little her "small grain of salt" in the community has began to expand with the help of her collaborators.
Not only is Mustang Jane committed to making a change on her community, but she also embraces change herself. Her process and her projects have changed because she believes that you always learn something new. She explains that you constantly need to be making connections to your surroundings, including politics, your environment, books, and other individuals. All of your experiences begin to grow and add up, making you into who you are.
Mustang Jane is very dedicated to her community, and her art speaks about the many issues she is passionate about. You can see this through her work with embroidery, textiles, knitting, drawing, and painting. Mustang Jane is an artist to watch and following her work feels like you are growing right along side her and I think this is one of the many things that makes her so special.
You can follow Mustang Jane's work on her Instagram, mustangjane
All pictures are courtesy of Mustang Jane (go check out more of her work on her Instagram!):
"It's ok to feel." - Diego Mendoza
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