We had the good fortune of connecting with K. Joie Santos and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi K. Joie, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
Some of the earliest memories I have are of my dad encouraging independence by making me order my own food, explaining how saving money works by giving me an allowance for good grades that I’d put in one of those kid atm machines, and then of course living by example that the goal of life is to be happy. I also realized early on in school and even a few of my jobs that I have an issue with authority. I like to do what I want to do when I want to do it in a way I know it will get done. As I grew into myself, I also realized one of the main things I value from what I do, is being able to leave a legacy through creativity and inspiration in every sense. The combination of these things molded me into an entrepreneur. If you know how to make your own money doing what you love to do, you should never be broke.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I like to think of my art as dark, trippy nostalgia. I tend to do a dark or abstract background, with a character that appears to be intoxicated. I also always have to include 1 or more of my signatures which include: drips, glitter, rhinestones, and UV light reactive paint. I got to where I am today by trying different mediums. It’s important to me to be skilled in as many areas of art as possible because inspiration can come from any and everything. The magic happens when you combine all these skills and experiences together. That way, every piece you make will be 100% original and authentic to your artistry. But this wasn’t an easy process. Having or building a supportive team is super important . With that being said, one of the main things I want people to know about my brand is that I am supportive of all things amazing. I want to bring people up with me, especially my beautiful yet misguided black community. We don’t have to be so competitive when there’s plenty of room at the table for everyone to eat.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
The Wrap Bar
Can’t believe it’s not Meat
Love on the Blu
All the Chicago museums
(@ChicagoBucketlist always has trendy things to do in the Chicago area)
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I want to thank my mom for doing her best to be supportive and she’s very creative so in a way, I feel like I’m helping her live out her dream. My dad was a huge inspiration in learning what to value in life. My best friend Yvonne and boyfriend James deserve recognition for giving me the confidence to even start turning the gears. Other special shoutouts: My acting teacher in art camp with the Wizard of Oz tattoos. My beginner drawing teacher, GD in high school. My beginner painting teacher in college, Jim.