We had the good fortune of connecting with Jose Angel Castro and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jose Angel, what inspires you?
The real question is “What am I NOT inspired by?”! LOL.
Creativity is a Universal truth. It is everywhere all the time, and so is it’s inspiration. I am lucky enough to see the world through that lens and can therefore be struck by almost anything for inspiration. My point of view as an artist allows me to see life in all its colorful detail. Though I love this way of seeing, I also recognize that at this stage of my life I have no choice in the matter. That is the duality that I think most artists live with. It can be both the benefit and the bane of our existence. It cannot be turned off or retreated from. The trick is in being able to filter all the information (good, bad, and ugly) I take in on a daily basis to make it manageable.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I started my company, The NowHouse Education Group, in 2014 as a way to provide compelling educational experiences aimed at making life a little better. I create workshops and seminars that guide people to a greater understanding of how to move through the world with more balance and more satisfaction. My latest workshop, Life Master, was built to do exactly that. It details a practice I created called Adaptive Satisfaction which allows us to take a more deliberate approach to the way we live our lives.
For me, teaching is an art. It allows me to bring every skill I have ever acquired to bear in one pursuit. It is the logical application of everything I know how to do. All of my previous experience from entrepreneurship to dance to design comes into play on a regular basis.
The greatest challenges I have faced (and often still face) have been the battles against myself, the inner demons like procrastination or distraction or melancholy or self-doubt. One of the things I am most proud of is always being willing to examine and confront those facets of myself that might hinder my progress and ultimate success.
My purpose in life is to have a positive and productive impact on the people who I have the fortune to interact with. That is the legacy I want to leave behind. When I go, I want the world around me to see that I left it a better place.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
One of my favorite things to do with people who come to visit is to take them on a special drive. I drive them to Union Station in Downtown and drive them from there to the ocean along Sunset Drive! This drive offers a fantastic cross-section view of Los Angeles taking us through iconic neighborhoods like Echo Park, Los Feliz, Hollywood, West Hollywood, Brentwood and so on. You can make a day of it and stop along the route for delicious snacks like fish tacos at 7 Mares taco stand in Silverlake or to see sites like The Chinese Theater (Hollywood Blvd) or drop by for a picnic at the UCLA sculpture garden.
I also love to take people on street taco and donut shop tours. There are too many great eateries to name, but I do have favorites in each part of the city. I would also choose some the great walk-worthy parts of town like the Venice Canals and Abbott Kinney. I LOVE the Getty Villa on PCH, so that would definitely make the cut.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would like to give a shout out to the network of incredible women in my life who have supported me throughout my journey. There are many. I will name a few here: My mother, Aurora, who I would not exist without and whose tireless dedication shaped the man I am today. My wife, Maria Elena, who lives with me day in and day out and still manages to love and support my shenanigans. My sister, Odaly, who is a beacon of sage wisdom when I most need it. My friend, Melissa, who sees the world much like I do and feeds my creativity.
There are many more, but there is not enough space here to name an honor them all. I will make sure to reach out to them to let them know.