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Meet Jwlç Mendoza

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jwlç Mendoza.

So, before we jump into specific questions about your art, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
My name is Julio Mendoza, but my artist name is Jwlç. I was born in El Paso, TX, and raised in Cd. Juárez MX until I was 11 years old. In 2001 my dad decided for us to move to Denver do to the violence in Juarez.

Ever since I came to Denver, I’ve been living in Westwood Denver, where I did my first mural. But my love for art has always been there ever since I was just a kid. Most of the inspiration came from my brother who was a graffiti artist back in the day.

I grew up drawing cartoon characters and doing graffiti on my sketchbooks. All my middle school and high school I took art classes, but as I grew up, I became more fascinated by the street art and wanted to express my self in other places other than my sketchbook. I started doing graffiti on the streets and highways. My stage of doing it illegal was very short though. As I started College, I stopped doing illegal graffiti and decided to focus on school.

Unknown of which career to choose, I decided to start an art and graphic design major, which is what I love to do, “Art.” First-year of college was awesome, buying art materials, creating and learning new things. But Influenced by what society describes as a “real job” I ended changing my major, and started taking some Criminal Justice clases. I’mostly blame this in not believing in my self and wanting to satisfy other people instead of me. Anyways I ended up graduating with a Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice, landed a job after I graduate, then I found a “better” job in the criminal just field also. This last job was against my personal beliefs in life and was the hardest job I’ve ever had. After almost three years there, I decided to quit. I wasn’t happy inside and I felt I was letting the life I really wanted to live vanish. But I’m great full for the way my life started. I really believe that if it wasn’t for all that I wouldn’t have had the guts to pursue my passion and live the life that makes me happy. It’s been only two years since I started my career as a “working artist,” but having a regular 9-5 job was giving me no time to create. So if I was for real about pursuing my passion, I had to figure out a way to do this.

So this is how it’s been for over a year; I work on a restaurant pretty much all day Friday, Saturday and Sunday, to be able to get a decent paycheck and any art project I have I work on it Monday-Thursday. It’s been working out so far but sometimes work cuts into my time for any art project I have but I won’t become a full-time artist until I feel more comfortable about leaving my other job which I’m really grateful for it too.

My first mural was all done with my personal money but after that, I started to get paid for my artwork. I was so lucky and blessed to network with the awesome people of the Westwood Creativity District. They have been a blessing and a very important part of my beginning as an artist. As of now, I’ve created murals/projects for the City of Denver, the City of Thornton, Westwood Creative District, a Strive Prep School, NewCottage music school and other awesome people. So I’m so grateful for the way my life is shifting.

But I’m not going to say it’s been easy, I’ve had to work twice harder to be able to do what I love. So when people ask me what is my motivation, my answer is simple; I only have one life and I want to live it doing what I love!

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It hasn’t been easy but it’s been a fun road. I’m not a full-time artist as of now, my job on the weekends helps me economically whenever I don’t have a project going on. Although sometimes when I don’t have an art project line up, I try to stay busy and use this time to paint something for my self, which I love doing.

We’d love to hear more about your art.
I’m an artist and a muralist. My colorful Mexican background and the Latin culture that surrounds me is the inspiration to the style I’ve been developing. I like to stay true to my beliefs as an artist and not mimic, copy anybody’s work or follow what’s trending. I like to paint things that are important to me with the purpose that someone feels connected to what I paint. I want my murals to make a positive impact on whoever is looking at them. As an artist, we are the voice of those who need to be heard. Art is a really powerful way to communicate and can really make an impact on a person, a community and even the world as a whole.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
My favorite memory from my childhood is playing outside. I had an awesome childhood, from playing “trompo” top, “canicas” marbles, soccer and tazoz. I loved playing on top of the houses and jumping from one rooftop to another. I also remember drawing a lot of dragon ball, Korn and Limp Bizkit characters.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Personal picture: Will Martinez.
Picture with blue galaxy background: Berenice Aguirre.
Picture with black background and bird: Eduardo Gomez.

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