We had the good fortune of connecting with Juve J. Cortes Rivera and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Juve J., have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
We were raised with the belief that it is important to balance three things in life: work, health, and family. That’s not easy to do where we come from. Our solution has been to find an artform that mixes all of these. Crafting, creating, and painting are therapeutic activities; because we incorporate our family, it has become a collective endeavor; and because we love creating, we don’t see our labor strictly as work. This is how we found our balance.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Mass consumption means low quality items produced in exploitative working conditions by expendable individuals. Our work is a reaction to this. We are different because all of our crafts are 100% hand-made. We select the wood, create the design, and build and paint each piece. In doing so, we strive to create items that are cherished over a lifetime by blending functionality and design with excellent craftsmanship.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Food, food, food and some sight-seeing. Anyone coming to the Harbor area should visit one of its many diners for a longshoreman-sized breakfast. A lunch would definitely include a visit to Red West Pizza (best in the west?), and the day would be completed by an evening tour of the many taco trucks and stands throughout Wilmington. When not eating, the history buff would love a boat tour of the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports and a visit to the Korean Bell of Friendship at Angel’s Gate Park.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Definitely our parents, family, and community in Urequío, Michoacán! As immigrants it’s impossible to separate the sacrifice and work of our parents have done for us over the years. It’s equally impossible to separate the influence that our beloved Urequío—its people, colors, food, geography—has had on us.