Spotlight Series | Jose “El Matador” Palacios

Born in Managua, Nicaragua–Jose Palacios always had a passion for the Arts. Weather it be Martial Arts, Music, or creating art pieces, you name it–He’s had a great appreciation for it. We recently collaborated with Jose to design our5th Year Anniversay t-shirt, and discovered that there is truly more to him than meets the eye (like a Transformer).

In an attempt to collect some background information on him, I sent him a little questionaire that was meant to help me put together a little profile about him. The questions were answered with so much honesty and humility— I thought that it would be a crime not to share it with you.

Take a look and get a chance to learn a little bit more about him.

AC:Describe your work. 
Jose Palacios: My work is simply expressions of the heart and mind. Sometimes soul… Sometimes my best work is done when I’m in a hurtful state of mind.I spend a lot of time being active and when I’m not training… these expressions just become easier for me to share.

How would you describe your style or method?

I took art classes in high school and for my major in college. I learned different methods and techniques and what I learned was.. other artists just worked with what they had. They created methods that worked for them. Over the years I realized that what I do is my own way.. If you were to put a “style” or “method” to this madness it would be surrealism.

“Surrealism is a cultural movement that began in the early 1920s, and is best known for its visual artworks and writings.
Surrealist works feature the element of surprise, unexpected juxtapositions and non sequitur; however, many Surrealist artists and writers regard their work as an expression of the philosophical movement first and foremost, with the works being an artifact. Leader André Breton was explicit in his assertion that Surrealism was above all a revolutionary movement.
Surrealism developed out of the Dada activities during World War I and the most important center of the movement was Paris. From the 1920s onward, the movement spread around the globe, eventually affecting the visual arts, literature, film, and music of many countries and languages, as well as political thought and practice, philosophy, and social theory.”

What mediums do you work in?
The mediums that I learned to use were a pen and pencil. Growing up I didn’t have many tools.. so I learned to use what I had. As I got older, I learned how to use Graphics skills and just opened my mind up to a whole different level.

What subjects?
The subjects are really just what I’m feeling at the time. When I start on something.. I don’t stop til i’m done. If I do stop then the piece changes the feeling. That’s another thing I’ve learned. Before I used to worry about what was pleasing to the eye.. rather than what feeling the artwork had.

Do you have a statement about your work that you would like to share?

Statements… express yourself! There is nothing like making emotions seen and felt through art and music. I have some work that will definitely have statements about what I see and the issues I deal with, which in turn everyone will be able to relate.

What made you decide to become an artist? 
I didn’t decide. In fact, I didn’t even know I was an artist. I’ve always been told I was.. and I just never considered myself to be one.
Stepping back and looking at myself.. I am an artist.. I’m also a martial artist. Expression is key. It just feels great to be able to do so.

How did it all start? 
It just is. I’ve always enjoyed drawing, dancing.. singing. It’s fun. I love it. Colors, I freaking love bright colors. Latin culture is all about bright colors, lively music and dancing. It’s a way of life.

Was there a specific event or a series of events you can describe?
Just being around family.

Have you had any important people who have mentored or influenced your growth?
I’ve had a few mentors in my life. Different people for different avenues. My older brothers helped shape the person I am big time. My little brother helped me grow.. In fact my family has everything to do with the person I’ve become. They helped me make decisions I’ve made thus far. Coach Rudi, Coach Cung, my art teacher Mr. Waters–I’ve had a lot of mentors. You need them to grow.

How long have you been pursuing your art?
I’ve been artistic my whole life. I didn’t see it as a career until I got into Graphic Design.

Any notable education?
I got my B.S. in Applied Science of Advertising. I learned so much about leading your eye in the direction you want it to go.
It’s organized chaos. How colors affect your message. I learned other aspects of design that your traditional drawing classes didn’t teach you.
I’m actually looking to enroll in more classes.

What do you consider a breakthrough/turning point/major step in your career? 
I was at a coffee shop, and I took a look around at the artwork that was up on the wall and it gave me confidence. It made me believe in my art and it changed the way I did things on paper. One thing that I’ve learned–in all aspects of life you need confidence.

Where do you create your art work? 
I create my artwork at home. I just fall into my own little world and just explore the paper with my pen.

Where do you currently sell your work? 
I don’t. I’ve given pieces away as gifts. I didn’t make art for money. Except for graphic design of course.

Is your work owned by any noteworthy collectors or part of a significant collection?
Not yet. But it will be. :)

Have you been influenced by an artist of the past that your audience can relate to?
Sure.. Salvador Dali.. Max Ernst.

What are some goals for your work moving forward?
Develop more skill. Share with the world. Maybe touch of influence somebody somewhere. :)

Where do you currently reside?
I currently reside in Fremont, CA. It’s a nice peaceful area. When I was younger I didn’t really appreciate the comfort of peace. It’s a beautiful thing.

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About AileenChristabel

Aileen is a Contributing Editor for - She also serves as the host on the website's Spotlight Series, where they profile local artists, musicians and entrepreneurs. A product of San Jose, Aileen's goal is to showcase the multitude of talent and creativity that this city has to offer, through social media outlets and her website. She currently has a recurring guest co-host spot on a weekly internet show called The Lions Den.

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