Aloha and thanks for visiting my website, I am super stoked you stopped by to take a look around and learn a little about me. So here is a snappy version of my story, what I been doing and where I’m at these days.
ESCAPE FROM L.A.
I came into existence in the sprawling concrete jungles of Los Angeles in the year of 1965. This is where I grew up, went to school, learned skateboard tricks, skinned my knees, fell in love, had my heart broken, got into trouble, managed to graduate from high school and learned some of life’s basic lessons. I quickly realized that I wasn’t put on this planet to stay in one place or live in a big city. At the age of 22, with a wanderlust heart and a yearning for adventure, surf, and an artistic existence I left the South lands of Los Angeles. With a pencil and sketchpad my constant companions, I traveled North up the coast of California and across the U.S. I maintained a fluid semi nomadic lifestyle throughout my 20′s and 30′s which allowed me to move around and experience the adventure of traveling locally in my own country and meeting fun and interesting friends from new cities and from around the world. During my travels, I would usually attend the local city college of whatever city I was in and take general education and art courses. I can boast of having gone to nine different colleges over the years! I have enough college credits to sink a ship, but never got my degree because of my severe aversion to mathematics.
GRAPHIC DESIGN DAYS
After a lot of moving around and working all kinds of interesting jobs; mailman, produce stacking specialist, deckhand, muralist, cartoonist, grape picker, set dresser, concert vendor to name a few. I eventually ended up moving to Santa Cruz county in central California to be closer to my mom, sister and my two nieces. Over the past years, I had taught myself how to design, create art and get around pretty good on a computer. I decided to obtain a “Certificate of Proficiency in Multimedia” from yet another city college. Since then, I have worked as a graphic designer, illustrator, animator, web designer, web master, off set printer and sign maker as well as an online marketer selling my own and client’s products over the internet.
THE RISE OF CHONGOLIO
Back in the day when email and the internet were just becoming an everyday thing, I was signing up for and AOL account. I wanted to use the word chongo, which is Spanish for monkey, as my user name. This name was already taken so I had to come up with something else. At the the time there was an infamous cartoon character who had made the rounds on MTV who called himself Cornholio. There was also a rap artist named Coolio and I had recently been hipped to Spanish diminutives. So I added “lio” to the end of chongo and never had a problem getting my user name ever again.
It was during my time in Santa Cruz, that I became very involved in the Tiki art scene and began to sign my work as Chongolio. I was a featured artist in many art shows and events all over California. I illustrated and colaborated with my friend Chris Osburn on a book called Kamapua’a, the Hawaiian Pig God: Adventures on Oahu which was featured in Tiki Magazine and I won a Tiki mug designing contest on Tiki Central. I had also created a monthly podcast which I produced and hosted called Coconut Wired. I kept the episodes going for about a year and would play surf and exotica songs, feature artists and tell a fictional adventure with a plot and characters that I had made up. Another fun group where I met good friends and spent many a memorable moments with playing music, surfing and camping was with the Ukulele Club of Santa Cruz.
After working for a graphic design business and in an offset print shop or five or so years, I eventually went out and started my own graphic design studio which had a steady clientele and a continuous flow of work. I ran my studio for about ten years before the economy tanked, the traveling bug resurfaced and the urge to move around set in again.
Hawaii has always held a magical place in my heart. I had travelled to the islands several time in the past always to be captivated by the beauty and natural power of those amazing isles in the Pacific. So in 2007, I sold or gave away most of my belongings that had little meaning to me and bought a one way ticket to the garden island of Kauai. I had no idea of where I was going to live or work but I made the jump and I immediately found housing and work as an in-house freelance graphic designer at a silk screen printing company. I learned how to prepare artwork, print on a manual and automatic press along with all the ins and outs of running a print shop. I made plenty of new friends and settled into island life easily and quickly. Everything was going awesome and I was very excited to be living my dream of surfing every morning and exploring a new and exciting island home. Sure there were ups and downs and I wasn’t getting monetarily rich, but I was working in a creative enviornment, felt genuinely happy and I was living in a tropical paradise!
However, as I went into my fourth year of living on Kauai, things started to lose their initial glow. I wasn’t feeling the deep rooted joy and happiness anymore. I still loved being on Kauai, however, the shop where I was working and where my studio was located went through an unpleasant change of ownership and after a few years I eventually left feeling quite bitter and jilted. Also, I had pretty much dropped out of all the artistic circles and forums that I was involved with and had been spending way to much of my free time drinking beer, playing video games, watching movies, cursing at insects and not putting nearly enough effort into fueling my creativity or connecting with others who share my same creative interests. Something was missing in my life and I wasn’t exactly sure quite what.
A CHANGING TIDE
After leaving the shop, that I had worked at for about the last four years, I decided to take a staycation, live a bit simpler, reduce my spending and take some time off to figure out why I was no longer feeling the stoke and excitement I had felt earlier. I also needed to figure out what I was going to do next with myself. It was around this time I started a video log which you can find posted here on my site under the category titled VLOG. I also really got back into cultivating a creative mindset which helped me to get out of my own head and realize that all the happiness and stoke were still there inside me. I had let work and my brain’s interpretations of the world around me dictate my thoughts on what I thought I needed to find happiness. I am now begining to understand that by sharing the amazing and transformational gift of creativity with the world and by coming from a place of contribution and gratitude for all that I have been given in life, I can find a deeper happiness and inner peace that goes beyond what I have ever experienced!
I have created this website to share with you not only my creative endeavors but also helpful tips that I have learned, artistic techniques that I have come across and methods of letting your own creativity out so that you can help your artistic soul to flourish and thrive. I truly believe that artistic expression is for everybody. It is a doorway to your soul and a valuable tool for discovering oneself, finding inner peace and enriching your personal time. My mission is to share with others love, laughter, happiness, humor, music, art and creativity with respect, an open mind, a sense of wonder and adventure. If this all sounds cool with you I hope that you will come along and join me on this awesome artistic journey called life on earth.
If you are diggin’ the info that I am sharing here on my site please be sure to opt into my email list and get your free gift “5 Easy and Inexpensive Artistic Ideas Using Items Found in Your Home.” I will only use your address to send out my ocassional updates and would NEVER intentionally give your info away to anyone. You can also join me in all the fun over on Facebook and follow my shenanigans on Twitter. I look forward to hearing from you. Have a amazing and creative day!
aloha nui loa,
Chongolio a.k.a Randy[Permalink]