We had the good fortune of connecting with Francisco Palomares and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Francisco, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
I pursued a career in art because that is all I have done since I was a little boy. Ive always have had this impulse to create from my imagination. It is a great sense of accomplishment to have a vision , begin from scratch and finish with a work of art to put out to the world. I am addicted to art . It is what fills my soul with joy. It gives me a sense of purpose. I couldn’t imagine doing anything else in life there is no plan b.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
It wasn’t easy to be where I am today. To have an art career that continues to progress, an artist loft to have the peace and space to create my art, and a job to not feel the immense pressure to make sales. I am a first-generation Mexican American kid that grew up in a low-income immigrant community of East Los Angeles. The odds were against me from the very beginning. To want to pursue a career in the arts was out of the ordinary. A career in art wasn’t even a thing in my neighborhood. Only 1 in a million. Regardless of the odds, I have always had this gut feeling that being an artist was what I was born to do. Luckily I had my mom who taught me independence and the work ethic to overcome these challenges. In my path to becoming an artist, I began to see how my community and people in it weren’t represented in higher education and/or fine art institutions. The canvas became the medium in which I tell the stories and memories of my neighborhood. Where I would celebrate the culture and beauty of the people I grew up with. Using traditional genres of portraiture, landscape, and still live I document the people and neighborhoods that often are overlooked by society. What I want the world to know about my art is that it is a product of my environment. I paint what I observe in society and mix the world that I grew up in of working-class immigrants and the Fine Art world of immense wealth. What I have learned is to always trust my instinct. Not take shortcuts. To always do my best. Stay positive. Be patient. Don’t panic and not wait to be discovered.
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.
Roll a blunt, drive to LACMA,The Broad, or Getty Musuem. Drive back to LA Arts District eat sushi in Little Tokyo with warm sake and glass of Sapporo. After go to bar or brewery in the La Arts District repeat. Dance the night away at La Cita. Visit Echo Park in the morning. Get cold brew from Le Colombe in Silverlake. Repeat.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My 5th-grade teacher Mr. Morales for asking me hard questions like “so you can draw but what are you gonna say with art?” And giving me freedom in class to explore my interest. My high school art teacher Mrs. Williamson for noticing my eagerness and talent for art. She gave me so much freedom and encouragement to fully express myself. She was the one that recommended me to Ryman Arts. Ryman Arts was a milestone in my life. A Life changing event. In 2016 I was accepted to Ryman Arts, a nonprofit art school for high school students to take college-level studio classes at USC all paid by generous donors. For a low-income student like myself, I had this idea you had to be rich to take art classes. Ryman Arts changed that mindset. I learned that if I applied myself I could go beyond what I could even imagine. I took beginning, intermediate, and advanced courses in drawing and painting. The mentorship I received from teachers and administration gave me the confidence in myself to pursue my passion. I forever will hold everyone at Ryman Arts close to my heart for all the support I got. Class of 2017. Trevor Walker and Natalie Walker , lifelong friends that support me in my art and always ready to celebrate my success. Danny Gaughm, always being a genuine friend. Cheyanne Sauter and team, director of Art Share L.A for always being a champion for local artists. Angel Carela, for believing in my dreams and ready to help when in need. The book The Alchemist by Paolo Caohlo, it thought me how to listen to my gut feelings and manifest my goals.
first image by Matthew Romasanta @mf_romasanta