Who is Onem ?
I was born on 12th August, 1983, in Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico. I’m the youngest son in a conservative, Catholic middle-class family. I discovered my passion for the visual arts when I was just a little kid, drawing cartoons, creating my own characters and making up stories for them. Later on, during my pre-adolescence, I started drawing comic strips and I also learned a bit about rock sculpting, illustration and piano. Throughout my infancy I played a lot of videogames on consoles such as the Atari 2600 and the Nintendo Entertainment System, which spiked my interest in the digital arts and to this day I consider them a big influence in my work, as I believe that play and learning are deeply related to each other. I was also fortunate enough to have grown up in a family in which travel was always a big priority. When I was only 4 years old, my parents took me to Disneyland in Orlando, Florida, an event that most certainly changed my life for the best by inspiring me to always look out for hope, magic, illusion and play, which are elements that I try to spread throughout my artistic works. During my childhood and teenage years I also had the opportunity to visit several countries in Europe and the Middle East, where I learned about expressions, architecture, art, habits and traditions that were radically different to the ones in my country of birth, and helped me open up my mind and change my views on many things.
When I was studying high school, my dad gave an iBook laptop as a birthday present, which quickly became my most precious object at the time as it allowed me to explore new software tools that sunk me into the digital arts world. However, as there were not any universities that taught digital arts in Monterrey at the time, I decided to follow art and design in other study areas such as marketing and graphic design at the Monterrey Center of Superior Studies of Design (CEDIM) .
Thanks to a contact, I had the chance to work a few months as an intern with Hani Rashid at Asymptote Architecture in New York, which was a tremendous experience for me. After that, my brother invited me to Boston to study a Strategic Planning Certificate at Harvard GSD, which we took together. When I came back to my city, I decided to study a bit of architecture at CEDIM and took a chance to travel to Panama to work in an emergency apartment project at Isthmus University, where I made the most of 3D modelling software and earned honors for my work.
I started my professional life in my mid-twenties working as a graphic designer for some Dutch architects from KBH Arkitekter who were working in private projects in Monterrey. I also launched my own t-shirt brand, using my own designs which I named burro-inc. But by the time I turned 26, I realized that what I really wanted was to pursue an artistic career with complete honesty and liberty, and so I began to experiment with digital art, photography and painting. I opened my own art gallery, Awake co, with the intention of generating opportunities for local emerging artists. I started receiving invitations to display my works all around my country, and I was offered to teach a course at Arte AC Institute in Monterrey as well.
Eventually I chose to travel back to Boston in order to continue learning and expanding my artistic opportunities. I recently opened up my own studio, which was a long-time dream I had. I consider myself a very lucky person and I expect to keep exploring new ground and improving my workflow, methods and designs so I can go communicate my knowledge to other people.
My dream is to open up a school where new Mexican talents can receive a proper, progressive and integral artistic education. I wish to give them the technological tools they need to expand their own creative possibilities .