We had the good fortune of connecting with Juan Jose Vargas and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Juan Jose, how do you think about risk?
When it comes to my career, risks have been something I’ve always taken. You see when I decided to be an artist, I always had these subconscious thoughts that filled me with fear and regret. I was risking having a stable income, social life, and sanity as so much of my time would be spent alone with just my own thoughts, and emotions. So, even though that style of life can be considered unhealthy or even depressing, it was the risk I had to take to be able to actually do what I have always loved to do and it’s because of that, that I can say I’m happy. Success doesn’t come without its risks and sacrifices, but it’s the ones that are able to persevere through it all that can truly say they succeeded.
Please tell us more about your work. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
I’m really glad you asked, and to answer your question; It wasn’t easy at all. The number of challenges that I was up against has always been overwhelming. There have been so many times where I just wanted to give up. I was frustrated, sad, and I felt like I didn’t have a place in this life anymore. However, one thing kept me going and it was the joy I felt whenever I would make a new drawing. Art was my hope, and it was that hope that always allowed me to take three steps forward, even when life has taken me two steps back. Art is, and forever will be, my escape. Each of my pieces represents the figurative illustration of some of life’s most important lessons. Centered around equanimity, which means mental calmness even through the chaos. My work looks into the good that can come from our negative experiences. To look at pain in a new light, a light that has allowed us to grow and develop as humans. So, if there is one thing, I want the world to know about my story, is that I’m just an artist that looks at life through an imaginative lens. An artist that has turned his dreams, into reality.
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.
You know, I have been living in Miami for more than 21 years, and I still have yet to learn more about the cities hottest spots! However, from the places I do know I have to say, The Museum of Graffiti is up there in my recommendations since it offers so much knowledge about the history of street art. Second to that, would be the Perez Art Museum, which showcases exhibitions of a variety of renowned contemporary artists from around the world! We also have Wynwood Walls, which showcases different murals from both local and international artists! Around the Homestead area, there’s Miami Brewing Company, a bar that offers a variety of locally brewed beers and ciders that are to die for! Kendall offers probably some of my favorite restaurants from the city. These restaurants are Tacos and Tattoos, Earls, and Los Perros. For some fun with friends, and families we also have Topgolf which besides the open bar it also has some incredible food. I could go on and on about the many spots around Miami, but these were the first few that I could think about!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
When it comes to my success the list of people, I can thank is endless. but if I were to say a few names I want to thank my parents for raising me, loving me, and supporting me as they cheered me on from the sidelines. I want to thank my brothers, for always taking care of me. and teaching me what I needed to know to be successful not just as an artist but as an adult. I want to thank my high school art teacher for keeping the fire of creativity alive in my heart as I was passing through my semesters. I want to thank my college professors, for always pushing me past my limits as they helped me grow as an artist. Last but not least I want to thank all of my friends who are a bunch of creative geniuses for always teaching me something new, not just with my art, but also for teaching me how to be better. I feel truly blessed for having such amazing people in my life, and I know that I couldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for them.