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Meet Martin San Juan

Today we’d like to introduce you to Martin San Juan.

Martin, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I guess if I were to really take it back, I would say my love for creating started with my older siblings and I. We just moved to America in 2004 so it was a new world for us and we were always just home. So to defeat boredom we would record music videos, skits, dancing/singing videos, and that’s probably where I would trace the beginning of my love for creating. For the first time, I was able to see an idea come to life and use a camera, and to express some sort of creativity was addicting as a kid. My love for fashion and clothes came next as going into a whole new country, my siblings really absorbed the hip hop culture in the early 2000’s. Being young, I absorbed it as well from borrowing my brothers XXL white tees to asking for fitted hats with the stickers still on. Looking back, I owe a lot to my family for blessing me with such a welcoming environment for creation.

From then, my love for fashion and creating became a part of me, and growing up I wanted to make clothes that others didn’t have so in high school is when I first started to get hands by bleaching shirts, adding zippers to the bottom of pants when it was still cool, and just any sort of customization. After high school though is when I really tried to expand my creativity getting into photography, videography, graphic design, starting a clothing business since I’m in school for marketing, and honestly just thinking of random projects or ideas. I still have so much to learn but that’s whats addicting to me about it, the possibilities are endless.

Has it been a smooth road?
I’ve definitely had my bumps in the road through it all. A main problem I still battle today is being by biggest critique, not being proud of my work, and worse comparing it to others. It leads to long periods of time where I wouldn’t do anything and just go on with the daily routine of school and work and nothing else. That path just led to never being happy and be hiding my work and projects instead of sharing it. It’s still a struggle of mine but I’m working more on doing it for me and not for anyone’s approval. I want to share that to anyone else feeling like they aren’t good enough. I know I’m particularly not the most talented, but I love doing it, I’m passionate, and I can work hard on it and that’s all that matters. Another struggle that pertains to now is this lockdown, so the tools and opportunities aren’t all there but been trying to make the most out of it by working on projects and trying to stay busy to keep my knives sharp.

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I never wanted to limit myself to one thing only, so I guess you can say I dip my feet into a lot of aspects of design/art. And that’s honestly why I love it, there’s so much freedom with it. But as of now, I run a clothing brand called SanJuan, a brand about family (hence the last name). I’m very proud about my family and I owe a lot to them so with this brand, I’m able to share my stories and passions through the clothes I design and make. I want to not only show people the power of a family/community but I also want to inspire others who relate to my story and passions to create things themselves. SanJuan is really a side business I run on the side with school and work to keep me creating and hopefully becomes full time one day. I also love thinking of event concepts/ideas as I feel like that one thing missing in today’s society is personal connection.

Everything is through a screen so I really want to advocate the importance of meeting people in real life and building strong connections, especially meeting other talented people. I did a pop-up photography exhibit earlier this year with the help of my friend Mikee de Villa to not only showcase our work but also give a place for other creatives to meet and network. From there, I surely have more events/exhibits planned in the future. I also am starting a magazine that focuses on showcasing up and coming creatives from artists, models, photographers, designers, musicians, and more. I just always felt like there will always be hidden talent that needs to be shown to the world. I’ve always been looking for a platform for that so I decided to start one myself. I also love to take photos, shoot videos, do graphics/cover art, and honestly anything that has to do with making an idea come to life. And I think that is really what I love about all of this, from the process to the final product. And I lift this all up to God, who I really couldn’t do any of this without and I’m proud to be a God-fearing person/creative as it really helps with facing adversity and spreading positivity.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
What I like about OC is the hidden talent it has in it. I’ve met many talented people in the city and I’m sure there are plenty more and I’d want to bring a spotlight to them as we wouldn’t get much attention from some of the bigger and more popular cities.

 Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Martin Mamangun, Desmond Kye

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