Artist Feature: Marioso
For those that believe youth or age limits one's view of the world stop right here. Breathe, and take a moment to take in the story of Marioso. I originally met the young Fashion Designer, & Artist at Blerdcon’s Artist Alley. Charmed by a winning smile and a love for art and life I and my friends stopped and listened. There is a lot that can happen when you stop and listen, and I am tremendously happy that I did. Allow me to tell a story about Marioso and his outlook on life. Known as the "happiness spirit" which he truly lives up to, this artist has a life of wonder with a bit of flare from the 1930's.
What was it like growing up you?
Growing up in Oakhill Washington DC, and living in D.C. for his entire life meant Marioso is surrounded by the cultural exposure residing in the city. It was dangerous growing up in Oakland, and the drug activity of the area forced his family to move to Capitol Hill. D.C. influenced a part of his drive in entrepreneurship. The public school experience showed him how less funding cut into creative programs. This experience inspired him to be a voice for arts in its place. Schooling gave him structure and organization, but his family and art gave him motivation for the future.
With his family separating at the age of twelve, Marioso spent years living with his mom until he moved in with his grandmother. Despite the split his family his parents were active in teaching the importance of family. A part of his professionalism is family orientated. His mom is a significant influence in his life, even though his studio is at his grandmother's house in Capitol Hill. Mom has always taught him to dress and present well, and she inspired him with her maternal training. His mom is an inspiration to his art. Her middle name inspired his fashion line, thus prompting him to create story into his fashion fusions.
Writing and drawing is a big part of his life, but so was philosophy. In eighth grade, he released his comic book titled Sticker Adventures and this prompted his positive advocacy. The idea that a positive mentality could not reach those in a lower class changed when he came along. Duke Ellington School for the arts afforded him the opportunity to explore not only his art but his desire to be a positive influence in the world.
What is an experience that gave you perspective?
Marioso Experiences what he calls "Artist Vision" a sudden introspective moment that guides his motivation and his focus with his art. He has three experiences that helped prompt these visions and gave him a different perspective on life.
The First experience was his trip to Las Angeles to meet a business partner/manager. He flew down there alone, and the experience took his breath away. In fact, to this day he is still in awe of this experience. He was able to get a tour, see the greats, and experience the cultural flow of L.A. Now his manager is a quite a character he's a CEO of lingerie business and is also heavily involved in cryptocurrency. However, this man doesn't drive. Anyone who knows L.A. knows how awful and heavy the traffic is, and using Uber or rideshare to get around is pricey. What shocked Marioso was how casual his manager was in spending $200+ on an Uber. He clicked through the app and hit the summon button without hesitation. It showed him what freedom looked like with finances. L.A. offered the opportunity to experience a life of life. One of his favorite moments was french fries. If you wonder how something so simple and common could be luxurious, Marioso would tell you "Being financially free brings you free" those ten dollar loaded fries showed him a world where food was a guarantee. The entire time he was in L.A. he questioned the nature of his reality. Not realizing that in his shock and awe he would miss his flight home while he experienced a private screening of a movie. His mom called, and his heart dropped to the floor at this moment 10 hours felt like 3 hours. The trip was humbling, even with him missing his flight and having to reschedule under his mother's guidance. It was the entrepreneur experience that showed him what his future would look like.
A second experience that offered him insights and his "artist vision" was his time with his old Mentor Mauricio Gaitan (a New York Life Insurance Agent). They went to a VIP New York life insurance conference in Virginia and once more Marioso was blown away. "They had no metro center" and no train center, so he felt lost at first. His mentor drove them there, and Marioso was blown away by the cheese there which is his favorite snack. "They had the best cheese there" displayed on a wooden block. He went into the cheese, but even in this moment life challenges you. Despite his age adults offered him drinks in the past he was offered drugs, but he persevered. In this VIP exclusive event, he turned down provided drinks and was inspired that life is often a parent guiding him down the right path.
The third event to guide his heart was at Baltimore Comic-Con. There he met artist Ron Wilson who is an old time and current Marvel artist who worked on many Fantastic Four series, and more. He had a free chair, and Marioso zoomed in on it. He asked Ron to sit and even though he hesitated for a very long time he allowed him to sit down beside him. Marioso was able to draw alongside Ron, hoping to show his skills but he drew so fast he couldn't keep up. As one of his first cons it was still a thrilling experience, and now at age 16 he tables at conventions as an artist.
How would you describe your personal aesthetic or brand?
Marioso likens his personal aesthetic to the fashionable 1930’s. Certainly bringing back a classiness and elegance often left in vintage nuanced photography. Marioso refreshes his community with a different look than what's considered fashionable. Dressed in black and white suits, he embodies the classy look of an award show host, paired with a good cane and white gloves. These famous White gloves aren’t just for aesthetic. His buddies, the gloves, protect his hands. He views his hands as the workers and strongly believes in the self-care to rest his hands as an artist.
In his Fashion brand, he is all about the entertainment, happiness, of a previous era being brought to the present. As a fusion of classiness and modern happiness, his brand is the refined aesthetic that many current brands are missing.
What factor do you believe impacts you as an artist the most?
"Not knowing enough about himself" Marioso answers. He doesn't quite know how he is perceived by others despite the fact people say he is happy and funny. He doesn't feel like that is what describes who he is. He questions what he perceives as happy experiences as being real. One day during his sadder summers before school, without the camp and an outlet, he was listening to a song "We might be dead by tomorrow" by Soho, once the song ended his phone blacked out and he experienced happiness as a jolting shock. He felt joy within in his whole body. The weirdest day of his entire life, a rush of yellowness and happiness. It was the moment he truly felt the “happiness spirit.”
What is something you want to leave the world?
One day he hopes to leave the world Project 11. Its a group composed of a designer, a musician, a writer, a dancer, and other types of artists to show the adults that the younger generation will build a healthy future. This group will combat the social issues that they grew into and change the world in a positive direction. He hopes that with this as a legacy he will be able to also be an advocate for spreading positive will to impact others saving the world with a happy spirit influence.
What is like working with Marioso?
I can say with no doubt in my heart it was a conversation that kept me smiling. Who would have thought my cheeks could hurt so badly. I'm excited for Marioso; I'm excited about his dreams and the success of his “happiness spirit.” There is nothing that would make me happier than to see his Project 11 be a positive influence in the DMV area. I know how crucial it is to have art as an outlet in your youth. The fact that Marioso is prepared to create this space and wants to is inspiring. What I can say about working with Marioso on this collab is this, do not underestimate his skill or his talents. Don’t let age stop you from respecting his professionalism, and don’t let his pictures be without his white gloves. He is his art, and he represents it well.
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