Today we’d like to introduce you to Joseph Hernandez.
Joseph, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
I was always interested in art. My parents always encouraged me to do so; maybe they could tell I was an artist early on. I remember painting with Bob Ross on KPBS and reading and collecting comic cards in the ’90s. I would try imitating the images I’d see on Lowrider Arte Magazines and murals on all the lowriders I love so much. After trying so many different mediums, I found myself pinstriping for a while influenced by all the sweet rides in my beautiful city. One day I strolled into a Tandy Leather Store that was down the street from my house to buy some lace for a motorcycle seat I was trying to DIY for a bike I finally got my hands on. I had no idea what I was about to find. I never took notice to any types of leather crafts before that day, but when I saw some of the holsters, wallets and floral images in the leather, I was blown away. I asked if they knew where would be a good start to learning the craft and they mentioned that they would be having an intro class starting the next day and that it was free if the beginner kit was bought. I was sold and can honestly say that I have dedicated a portion of every day to this craft I love so much. Im proud to say that I have been a participating artist and contributor to the arts in the Barrio Logan Art District and I am also a Spanish Village Art Center Patio Artist.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
One thing to know about me is that I consider myself to be a creator. I’m always curious as to how things are made and how people did things before us. I feel I’m an artist that puts my passion into a piece so that the consumer walks away feeling as though a piece of my soul and best effort has been put into their piece. I am a leather craftsman. I make wallets, purses, holsters, motorcycle seats and so much more. I am able to make my pieces stand out by “hand tooling” my leather products with images that have influenced my life and history. Hand tooling is the process of casing leather to be more pliable and then cutting an outline with a swivel knife. Then beveling and texturing the leather with stamps of different patterns and textures. This medium allows me to create something by hand and then put my own art or sometimes someone else visions on these pieces. The images in my art often reflect my interests. You can often find early Mesoamerican imagery or a southern Californian style to my art, with cars, pin-ups, pinstripes, and images that exude Chicano Power!!!
Have things improved for artists? What should cities do to empower artists?
I feel that we have so many great outlets here in San Diego. We are becoming more and more of an “art hot spot.” It really doesn’t make vending art any easier. However, my art is able to adapt to so many different types of applications. I’m able to apply my art to more practical and used daily items like belts and wallets, which people use every day. Social media plays a huge roll in getting people to see your art and whats put into making these art pieces. It really comes down to not just being a great artist but also the hustle and promoting yourself and making efforts to be a part of art shows, vendor events, and community efforts. I think other cities that would really like to shine as art communities need to form small business areas where art is heavily influenced. Then, also make efforts to beautify the surroundings in a group effort of artists. Heavy promoting amongst the artists is a must; that type of love is contagious and grows for more eyes to see.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
Being a patio artist in Spanish Village, you can sometimes find me vending on the colorful steps of Spanish Village, between The Natural History Museum and the SD Zoo. My art is often displayed in the Barrio Logan Art District. I often participate in many of the popular shows at the famous “La Bodega Gallery.” The “Frida Khalo” art show, “Perfect 10” art show, and the “Dia de Los Muertos Skull” art show just a few of the annual shows I present artwork at. From Iron Fist Brewing through Chicano Park, to Border X Brewing you can find pieces of my work on display. At any time folks can check out my web page www.maspazleather.com or check out my Instagram page @maspazleather.
- Website: www.maspazleather.com
- Phone: 6197354520
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @maspazleather
- Facebook: Joe Hernandez