We had the good fortune of connecting with Javier Flores and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Javier, can you tell us more about your background and the role it’s played in shaping who you are today?
I am from Denver, Colorado, I was raised in Brighton, a suburb of Denver to immigrant parents from Mexico. This greatly impacts the human and artist who I am today. My mom has a work ethic unparalleled and I feel like this is why I engage art the way I do, where I am constantly creating, researching, or teaching art. I try to do my best at all times in all endeavors.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
What sets me apart from other artists and something that I am constantly telling my students is my unique story. No one else can be the definitive expert on my life and that has shaped me to be the artist I am. I am currently most proud of achieving full time employment as an educator, something that I have been working hard for the past four years post grad school and my terminal degree. I got where I am today by working hard and usually never saying no to a project or opportunity. It has not been easy but I am grateful for all of the chances I have been given to prove myself as an educator and artist. I overcame the challenges by simply working, making lists, always trying to improve my ability to teach and make art. Some of the lessons I have learned are nothing in this world is free except the grace of god. You have to believe in yourself even when others do not, and that will lead to people believing in you and supporting you. When you are an artist or adjunct professor, there are usually no days off, you need to work hard to achieve your dreams. Lastly in terms of lessons, be grateful, humble, and supportive of others and the love will reciprocate itself. I want the world to know that despite being paraplegic, never having financial security and what feels like the world against you, you must TRY! You have to put yourself out in the world in a way that honors who you are and where you come from.
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?
I would say that it is not in the city but the mountains, if you have never been to the Continental Divide then you must! It is so beautiful and incredibly humbling, it always reminds me of the speech “A Pale Blue Dot”, by Carl Sagan. In the city you should go to the Denver Art Museum, Stowaway Denver (Great Food), walk the 16th St. Mall, and I would list more restaurants but many have been closing due to gentrification.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
First and foremost is my mom for her unconditional support and understanding, My family, friends and loved ones are all integral in my success. My mentors to name a few are Carlos Fresquez, Ryan O’Malley, and Jade Hoyer. My heroes are Emiliano Zapata, Malcolm X, Fred Hampton, Che Guevara, Ricardo Flores Magon, Emma Goldman, Noam Chomsky, and Howard Zinn to name a few.
Twitter: Lenguaje Vulgar /@JavierF53860241