I can still remember the day I graduated high school. I knew that in merely two weeks I would be continuing my academic career at The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandise (FIDM). My entire senior year I would look at my academic course book and picture all the projects I wanted to do. As my two year venture went by, I met new people that motivated me. I stepped back, analyzed my life and questioned myself, "What do I want to do after FIDM?" I had the creative skills to edit, and put stories together, but I wanted to make a deeper impact in the lives of others by using creativty and creating untold stories.

In 2008, I graduated from FIDM with a degree in Digital Media and almost concurrently decided to attend Azusa Pacific University (APU). I wanted to further my eduction in pursuit of my dream to become an exceptional filmmaker. While attending APU, I was still in contact with a close friend from FIDM, Gabriel Enamorado. I would contact him about design work I needed, and also developed a closer friendship with him after moving back to Downey after graduation. He invited me to shoot an art show at the Downey Civic Theater for Downey Art Vibe, and I began to get a little more involved as they started to create more art shows in the community.

One day Gabe told me, that his friends, Valentin Flores, Joe Manacmul and himself were opening a gallery and invited me to join their discussion on the space. Upon arriving, I saw a hole in the wall that had been gutted out, with no electricity and everyone gathered in a circle with candles, like it was a campfire. We all expressed what we would like to see in the space and the opportunities that the place had to offer. 

As months and countless hours past by, these three guys worked tirelessly and received the biggest help from the community to make this place look the way it does today. Their passion is what motivated me to step away from working at my father's business after eight years.  My father showed me how hard work, dedication, and goals can be achieved day in and day out by working by his side. I was determined to take what I learned and apply it to the beginning of my career. 

Stay Gallery has granted me the opportunity to follow my goals in life. It has also taught me to meet and engage with people that touch my heart and inspire me to work harder. As I make this journey to follow my dream and to tell the untold stories of a growing city with undiscovered talent; I want to be more than a production and media manager. I want to be an inspiration to the new generation by telling the stories of individuals throughout the community in hopes of leaving an imprint that will motivate each and every person to not only dream big, but achieve it as well.

Stay Gallery