What He Does: Johnathon Michael Espinoza began to dabble with paints at the age of 19, and his output has grown to include drawings and sketches as well. His work has a great degree of pop art elements to it, not unlike previous 100 Creative subjects like Jennifer Chen and Davies Graves, and also calls to find the more elegant moments of Rob Zombie. His work has been featured at JoMar Vision, Blossom Street Gallery, Ecclesia Houston, Lavo Collections and in various Art Crawls and events like the Streets Have Soul. Boy-Cott Magazine recently referred to him as an art prodigy, though a somewhat disturbing one.
Why He Likes It: "Being an artist is as if openly admitting to being involved in a secret society per se. I can get away with anything and call it art; actions alike. Rather than thinking of an artist as starving, think along the lines of bold. I like the fact that I don't need anybody's approval or opinion. I do what I want and it's expected. I choose my own pace and reasons with no hesitation. I'm not creating for anybody else because in the end, all that matters is self-happiness. I like to create. I like to be happy. Some choose to take advantage of this and become a slave to their clientele or get satisfied with just living the lifestyle. I just can't fathom being inclined to do either."
What Inspires Him: "The best inspiration is drawn from within. Extract from your inner anguish. Utilize your experiences. Provoke theories. I don't focus so much on goals, for the future is unpredictable. Instead, I rely on my visions and push in that direction instead of in an aimless manner.
A major contribution to my art and open mind is a direct result of self-searching in my younger years. I was never one to fit in. Instead of finding my place in society, I feel I made my own. The opportunities that have been entertained in my short career, I'm grateful for. Fashion designing intrigued me after my publication in Premier Bride Magazine for co-designing wedding dresses with local Houston designer Shawn Kingsley.
I try with all my might not to watch television or tune into the radio stations simply because I don't want my art to be persuaded. I have a large, diversely talented immediate family which plays a major role in where and who I am today. Everything around you is inspiration if you allow it to be. Oh, and I can't function without music!"
If Not This, Then What: In addition to his artistic pursuits, Espinoza is partnered with his brother in launching PMBY, an alternative energy group. The primary focus of the company is improving water service to remote areas, as well as updating existing systems to be powered by solar and wind energy. Espinoza considers business as much of an art as any other creative pursuit.
If Not Here, Then Where: Espinoza has a score to settle with Houston, where he considers his life to be a struggle against "the statistics I was undoubtedly supposed to succumb to as a youth here." He feels that artists in H-town owe it to the city to spread their work as much as possible to help bolster the opinion that Texas is a place of art and culture. He considers that goal worth more than any achievements earned in another city.
What's Next: "Forever progression is my mind-set. If I like what I'm doing, I want to master it before moving on. If I lose interest in it, I'll drop it. I believe every artist, in general, wants to be satisfied and recognized for their work, sure. I honestly don't mind reaching my potential on my deathbed. So long as I leave my mark on the world.
"I'll be 23 on April 23 and I have to say, I'm in no rush to figure out exactly how I'll be remembered. I don't know exactly what I'll pick up in the future, but I have a few ideas of what my art is moved by. Movies, sculpting, music, fashion, photography, dancing, writing, illustrating; the list goes on. Wherever I find my 'white rabbit.'"
More Creatives for 2012 (In order of most recently published; click here for the full page). Jaemi Blair Loeb, conductor Katya Horner, photographer Johnathan Felton, artist Nicoletta Maranos, cosplayer Carol Simmons, hair stylist Joseph "JoeP" Palmore, actor, poet Greg Carter, director Kenn McLaughlin, theater director Justin Whitney, musician Antone Pham, tattoo artist Susie Silbert, crafts Lauralee Capelo, hair designer Marisol Monasterio, flamenco dancer Carmina Bell, promoter and DJ ReShonda Tate Billingsley, writer Kiki Lucas, choreographer and director J.J. Johnston, theater director Mary Margaret Hansen, artist Richard Tallent, photographer Viswa Subbaraman, opera director Emily Sloan, sculptor and performance artist Sonja Roesch, gallery owner Enrique Carreón-Robledo, conductor Sandy Ewen, musician Camella Clements, puppeteer Wade Wilson, gallery owner Magid Salmi, photographer Carl Williams, playwright