Meet Your Maker Monday: Jesus Omar Ochoa

This week, Houston Makerspace visits the man behind Houston brand AWRE - Jesus Omar Ochoa. We first saw his work on stickers around town, and heard he was producing art for his own line of shirts and cycling gear. We stopped by Omar's space as he was burning a screen for a new design that you can see at the end of this profile.

All photos by Alex Barber

All photos by Alex Barber

What is your name, company, URL, and social media links?

Jesus Omar Ochoa, AWRE; FacebookEtsyBlogspot

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What do you make? 

Artwork and clothing - mostly graphic t-shirts at the moment. I also work on other accessories such as toolbags for bikes; pants, beanies, hats, and brand-related artwork such as prints on paper and stickers

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What does a typical day look like for you?

My typical day is mostly spent between school and work. But I find time to think about future projects - planning ahead, drawing new concepts, doing research, and promoting or creating brand awareness through photos. I also find time to go on a bike ride or read. I believe there has to be a balance between work and being out in a social setting or just relaxing.

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Why did you decide to start your own business and why Houston?

The urge to create and to stay active in an artful manner have been two of the major factors for me to start my own business and simply doing it for the love of it. Between the people, the city, scenery and architecture - Houston is just an amazing city to live in because of its cultural diversity. Houston is constantly growing - it's a perfect setting for new businesses. Our family moved here in 2003; the plan was to move to California originally, but somehow stayed in Houston. For that reason I believe I didn't choose Houston; I believe Houston chose me.

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What are your inspirations and how do they guide your work?

Most of my creative thinking comes from when I'm alone either on a bike ride, while at work or when I'm driving. The things that inspire me the most are the everyday events, nature, politics, music, conversations with friends, human behavior; some of the small things other people tend to ignore on their everyday life. All the small things take part in my work - it reflects a lot of spontaneous thoughts on random everyday events. I spend a great amount of time in the process, which I find at times more important than the final result of any of the projects that I'm working on.

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What's next for AWRE?

Three years into it, I'm ready to take AWRE (aware) to the next level, appreciating every moment and taking it slow day by day. I'm embracing positive thinking and always staying active while going in the right direction. I'm working on new things every day - experimenting, improving my craft and learning something new. I can't give too many details on what's next, but there is always a bigger punch coming with good content - I like to surprise people.

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What do you want people to know about your work?

I want people to understand that my work is relevant. I want them to have their own interpretations of it, to question it, to possibly be inspired by it. My work is intrinsic and it has a life of its own. My work reflects my spontaneous thinking process, the process of breaking simple, intricate and random thoughts down so much that you can understand them from different angles, then possibly putting them back together. I found that the more work I put into any of my pieces such as pushing through and finishing or just the production to be rewarding; it's hard to explain how much satisfaction comes from doing something you love doing. Through art i found out a lot of things about myself - I use it as a way for me to deal with internal issues. The constant struggle and the journey is just the way of reaching a higher state of mind.

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Copyright Houston Makerspace, LLC 2013.  Background images by Marisa Brodie and Alex Barber.