In this special interview, we talk to someone from around the bend -the Coastal Bend!- as we open our arms to individuals bringing their art to Corpus Christi. Meet Joseph, the man from Beeville behind South Texas Spin. Either way you spin it, no two pieces of Joseph's creations will ever be the same, which may be why he has customers not just out of state -but around the globe.
What do you do in art?
At first I wasn't even sure that I was an artist. People were calling me an artist and I was like, "I don't draw. I don't paint like other people do." Some people thought I painted what I do by hand. They're like, "Wow, you're so good!" Then I tell them how it's done. I would say I create one-of-a-kind pieces. No matter how much you try to get it just like that, it's never going to happen. I can use the same colors and try to put the paint in the same pattern but it won't come out the same and that's awesome.
How did you get started?
I lost my mom last November. She was very artistic. She could draw, paint -she was a good artist. She did very well. After she passed I was always thinking about her and I don't know, it was something to fill that gap, to get my mind off missing her. I started painting and got decent then I started pouring. I put too much paint on one time and tried to fling it off. It left streaks and I was like, "It'd be really cool to spin this really fast to get all this extra paint off." Then was like, "No, there's nothing." Two months later I see Johnny Q Art on Tik Tok in California blowing up the scene with spin art. That was the start of it, seeing his work. I went from doing that to adding decals because throwing a name on it or anniversary date makes it even more personal.
Who has helped you along the way?
For starters, you and any help you're able to provide. Also my old art teacher. He called me up one day from an unknown number -I didn't even know he had my number still- and was like, "Where was all this artistic ability when you were in my class?" In high school I didn't want to try, not do good, and people make fun of me. But he always had faith and confidence in me. He always told me I could do so much better. He said, "I knew you had it in you" and it got me kinda watery-eyed because of my mom. Anyway, he was a big part. Of course, my wife and step dad who lives with me. As soon as I finish painting I show them first and they keep me going.
What's been your favorite part?
Watching your video, when you start fumbling with the box and you're like, "Let me put the camera down!" You pull it out and see it, not even right side up -you were looking at it upside down, but the look you had on your face to me is payment. If I had a rich wife I would just give my pieces to people like, "Hey, what do you want? Don't worry about it, I got you. What do you want?"
There have been some people along the line that I have blessed with a painting because they didn't have the funds. It was a Winnie The Pooh themed one for their unborn child. I sent another to my wife's friend of the family in Kansas for their eight year-old or something like that. They recorded it and when he was opening it, he pulled it out, smiled and hugged it. Man, that's my favorite part of it: just making people happy and people enjoying it.
What's something that you wish you would have learned sooner?
To just take my time with it. I don't know if you ever saw that painting that kind of flew off my drill. It was the Houston Astros colors for my brother. He had actually just beat COVID. He was in the hospital for two weeks in a coma and it hit hard. I wanted to get it made so that when he got out and came home, he'd have it. So I rushed it. It was me try to hurry versus taking my time measuring, marking, making sure it functioned properly and wouldn't fly off.
How would you define success?
My favorite part. When I first started, one guy wanted certain colors for a mermaid so I did the colors and he didn't like it. I said, "What do you not like?" He said, "Well this isn't it." So I redid it to where he was like, "Alright that's good." I'm like, "No, man. What do you want on here?" I was getting frustrated and kinda felt like giving his money back just like, "Hey I'm sorry I can't do what you want." When he saw it in person his jaw dropped, his eyes got big, he said, "I love it man!" This is a grown man, one of those "bro" guys, you know? He gives me one of those gangster hugs, is like, "Dude this is awesome!" That right there is me having success.
What are your dreams?
I would love for painting to be my job but I know that what I do goes to a certain crowd. Not everybody likes this type of art and that's okay. But you can't deny those colors look cool together. I would like to see myself making a successful living off of my paints and as of right now I have a map in my room marking where paintings have gone. I have painting of mine in Arizona, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, and Florida. I have two customers out of the country, one in Germany and one in the United Kingdom. I'm not even sure how they came across my page. I want South Texas Spin to go international, global. I know Rome wasn't built in a day -it's not going to happen tomorrow, but if it did that'd be awesome.