We had the good fortune of connecting with Jamie Chihuan and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jamie, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
Many artists consider their craft as a hobby. We might even devote hours out of our days to these processes but there comes a realization when we realize we could make a living out of doing something we love. That was my issue, I would work so many jobs just to hate every single one of them. I felt that my purpose in the world was to create and inspire others. I did not want to work for a boss who doesn’t even care for me or work with a team that sees me as less than them. Art gave me the opportunity to launch my own career, especially as a Latino. I had to think of making art as a business instead of a hobby. A hobby does not earn you money but a business does. After my first few art events, I noticed that my art had the ability to sell itself. I would sell dozens of prints and originals every time I would go out to these events. In order to keep my finances in check and my tax situation in order, I decided to create my business A Deal In Hell Limited. I have a future for my business not just as an artist selling websites but I want the company to grow into a creative studio or production house.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am still far from where I want to be but I am not as far as I once was. I like to think my drive and motivation are what separate me from others. Many have told me how outgoing I am and how I look for every opportunity that can benefit me. My creative mind also helps me work out difficult situations that are far different than what most of my peers think of. I am excited to finish school and begin my career as a creative in the advertising or film world.
A huge lesson I learned throughout the years was never to close a door on yourself. Poor POC like myself has a difficult time getting out of the situation they are in because they are mentally trapped to believe that they can’t. We start to close doors on ourselves like that’s too expensive or I will never get chosen for that. We begin to lose our confidence and we don’t even try to apply for the opportunities. I learned that we should always strive for what we want even If it seems out of reach.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would take my friend to my favorite dispensary in Denver called AllGreens where I would introduce them to Denver’s finest rosin, After that, I would most likely take my friend into the mountains. I would also show them Santa Fe and broadway and just walk through random shops together. I would take them to eat at the Brutal Poodle off of Broadway and have them try their chicken and waffles with sriracha syrup. Don’t worry it tastes amazing.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
As a Latino artist, I was often looked down on by others in the art community. When I first began I set out to get into any gallery. After getting rejected by almost everyone I decided to go to the Museo De Las Americas. There I met a wonderful group of people who took me in and helped me become the artist I am today. I was given the advice to create a lot of art and to find my own niche. They also gave me the opportunity to sell things in the gift shop and be a part of their many events. I am currently an in-house artist at the Museo de Las Americas and without them, I would not be in the same position I am today. If you have not visited the museum please do so! It is in Santa Fe in Denver and hosts a wide variety of Latin artists.
photos by Lisa Doane