We had the good fortune of connecting with Francisco Reyes, Jr. and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Francisco, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
My thought process was that there was never a thought process behind starting my business! It started off with me just making art, posting it online, and enjoying the growth. It wasn’t until a few years later that opportunities like commissions and freelance work started to present themselves. I then realized that I could monetize this work for myself. I started developing a personal brand and aesthetic. I guess what I’m trying to say is that it happened very organically, I never set out to make this project into a business but I am so grateful that my work has reached a large audience.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Growing up as a first generation Mexican American kid in Los Angeles, California has really shaped my work ethic and perspective. My parents were immigrants from Mexico and I saw them both bust their ass to give myself and my siblings a better life than they had. I learned that things aren’t always fair or easy but If you work hard enough, you can achieve what you want in this life. In this Country, someone with my complexion or darker has to work twice as hard to get half as far. I got to where I am professionally by being stubborn, wanting to accomplish goals that I set for myself, and not giving up when adversity hit. I went to design school (that I’m still paying off!), worked a lot of odd jobs, landed an internship with Shepard Fairy, started working for Obey Giant and Studio Number One, and said yes to a lot of opportunities. I continued to strive to develop myself professionally and then would come home and work all night on my personal work. It wasn’t easy and it still isn’t, I burn the candle at both ends but I absolutely love it. Even though I am politically inspired, I also enjoy making art that is aesthetically pleasing and open to interpretation. I enjoy hearing from the viewer what it means to them, as we all know art is subjective. I am most proud that other people see enough value in my work that they hang it up in their homes. Whenever I get pictures of any of my art hung up in someones bedroom or living room or office, its always a super proud feeling. I learned that things don’t come easy, things happen because of hard work. you have to earn your place in this world. Never Made, Always Earned is my motto!

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Although, I work in Los Angeles, I live in Long Beach. Long Beach is extremely special to me. There is so much diversity, art, and love in this city. There are also really cool small businesses here that I like to support. This city has a ton of history, too! I’f I was taking a friend around that hadn’t been here before, I would first take them to the Queen Mary. The ship is HUGE, has a great bar with a view of the cityscape, and it even sits next to a giant dome that once housed Howard Hughe’s Spruce Goose. I’d then take them to some of my favorite local restaurants and bars. The Bamboo Club for Tiki drinks and really good appetizers, Alex’s bar for drinks and live music, Joe Jost’s for ice cold beer and sandwhiches, Pancho’s taco truck for the best tacos, Steel Craft for more beer, The Long Beach Creamery for their Burnt Caramel Ice cream, and Lona’s City Limits for a nightcap and billiards. Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’d like to dedicate this shout out to my Boss and Mentor, Shepard Fairey for giving me an internship 10 years ago that turned into my dream job, which I still am currently at! He has been a constant inspiration to me, even before I worked for him and still continues to inspire me.

Website: https://nevermade.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nevermade/

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