We had the good fortune of connecting with Armondo Williams and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Armondo, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
As an artist I do not think you really choose the path of an artist, if anything I wish I can turn around, it is more like you need to create.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I guess I would say how my art sets me apart from the rest (I think most artist feel the same) is that it is my art, it is my soul, it is my emotions and views of the world. The art piece itself is one thing, the creation process and possibly the show is also part of the art experience as well if that makes sense. For an example my proudest moment in my art career besides telling clients I will not paint just anything and able to be more selective, was my Free Show, I will explain more. I came up in a not sell well off family and to me art was just something for the better off, nothing I can touch. So as I got older and started to create art I always wanted to kind of give back to people that cannot afford my art. It just never made sense to create these pieces of art and the people you base your art off simply cannot afford it. I looked at it like you are taking something from them for your own benefit. So I had an idea to create a full line of work 30+ pieces, a little over a year’s worth of work, put it in a nice gallery, have live music, drinks, food. Like what someone would do if they plan on getting rich at a show, well not rich but you know make money. Everyone that went to my show no matter how much money they made or where they came from have they same opportunity as everyone else. It was a raffle system and like I said they all had the same opportunity one of the winners literally was pulling themselves up from the lowest of the low per our conversation and they considered their winning of the artwork a sign they are doing the right thing AND that moment right there was my single most proudest moment when it came to the art world. Not selling my first piece, not closing my first big public art project it was that moment where someone who felt similar to how I felt when I was younger felt like “Hey I am awesome too”. Was it easy, I would say HELL NO! the art world is a challenge in so many ways. I recently spoke with a class about the troubles of being an artist and all that good stuff. Like I told them “Do not get me wrong if you truly love art and feel it in your heart and soul then it will be worth continuing on the path it is not an easy one but one that is full of living, laughing and experiences you can never get anywhere else”. The only way to get through it is to just keep moving forward “who cares what the haters say” lol it is true you put your first piece out there pouring your heart out and there will be one loud ass that says something and it can really hurt you, like cut you deep. At the end of the day you will learn there are always people who say negative things about you , you will fill out and send hundreds of submissions and get many rejections but you just keep going, you only fail when you quit and when it comes to art you are literally quitting on yourself.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I love Phoenix in general, born and raised, so I would have to show them my favorite spots, if it was a walk down memory lane well I would HAVE to take them to La Olmeca in South Phoenix in South Plaza just that corner on a Friday or Saturday night it has history. Then I would guess take them to Roosevelt Row it has two of my favorite restaurants there Carley’s and FEZ. We can peep the art work they have their get some drinks and allot more drinks. Then the next day we would have to hit up my favorite BBQ spot in the west valley Eric’s Family Barbecue in there I did a huge wall to wall mural so we would stop get some good Texas style BBQ again enjoy some drinks. Besides that Arizona is full of natural beauty form Flagstaff and Sedona’s high mountains to our cool fishing and camping spots we have up on the Rim,….. I just feel so blessed to live in this city and state. Oh and we would have to chill one night up by the antennas on South Mountain cannot forget that!
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?
Honestly a true shout out would have to be my good friend Joey “Gold” Chavez. We have been doing our art together for a very long time. We had our first studio / gallery together in downtown Phoenix and we have since threw together some awesome pop up shows.