I first met Victor through Instagram when he drew a portrait of me. I fell in love with his artistic style and began to quiz him more and more. From that, a beautiful friendship blossomed between Mr.Franco and I.
As someone who has always been around teenagers who are “way beyond their years”, I was blown away when I learned how old Victor was. Not that I was thinking, “Oh, wow, he’s soooo young”. It was more of “Holy shit, this guy is going to conquer the world”.
After each question he answered, I would fall apart. I kept having to reread them because I was so floored by how beautiful his statements were. This is someone who has that “It Factor”. Talking to him is intimidating and exciting. I am so thrilled to share this interview with you all and I hope you read carefully through every answer. If you do, I guarantee you will feel something or be inspired in your own personal way.
M: To start, please tell us about yourself.
V.F.: My name is Victor Franco, I was born in a small town in Texas named Bryan. I’ve never felt like I really fit in the south, thankfully though for the last 10 years I’ve lived in Austin Texas, one of the best cities in the state. Ever since I was a little kid I’ve always been wanting to live in NYC and finally in couple of months ill be moving up to the city finally. The adults in my life have always told me I’m an old soul, I’m a very passionate individual. I’m 18 but I try to not let my age get int the way of the things I want to achieve in my life or career, so I don’t often say my age. I really like listening to Jazz and classical music, but I’m also really into rap and electronic music. I’ve been interested in art for as long as I can remember. I always have something to draw with me. I’m more comfortable talking with people older than me than I am with people my own age. I like to surround myself with people who inspire me. I’m a positive person and very driven, I don’t have time for negativity or nay sayers. I like my coffee black with no sugar or milk, I like wearing black greys and whites, not in a emo way, but more like a minimalistic way. I like fashion and fashion culture, but id be happy wearing sweatpants every day. I’m always looking forward to wearing a sweater. my favorite time of year is the winter. I’m a hopeless romantic and a pretty emotional dude. I never understood cooties as a little kid and was always the kid who would be hanging out with the girls. I’m always thinking about making something or creating something some way. Growing up I always got in trouble for sketching of drawing on just about every piece of paper i came into contact with. I like to drive for long periods of time and think. I think the universe works mentally. growing up I was never one to hate my parents, I always would talk to them about everything, and still do. I speak fluent spanish. I love meeting new people. I can only keep a grudge for about 30 min. I’ve always played an instrument. In middle school I would play in Blues bars in town (I play the saxophone). my room is pretty much always clean, I like to keep my bed made. I work best at night. I like when people make me see things in a new perspective.
M: What do you do?
V.F.: I’m an artist/creative, I don’t like limiting myself to only one thing so I do everything, drawing, painting, photography, video, sculpture, design.
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M: Where do you draw your inspiration from?
V.F.: I take a lot of inspiration from things that are generally thought of as mundane. By some miracle I’ve managed to retain some of that childhood wonder and amazement of the world around me. Like the way hair falls on a girls shoulders, the look in people’s eyes when they are really deep in thought, or the folds in my bed sheets. All of that is incredibly inspiring. I guess there is no one general thing or category that inspires me, it’s kind of a bit of everything at random times. Happy things, like love, life, people, and Sad and ugly things like war, death, etc. It’s all kinda beautiful and inspiring in its own way. But also recently for the work I’ve been doing, women have been a big inspiration. Being a straight guy I think its pretty common to have a tendency to gravitate toward beautiful women, but what interests me and really inspires me is the stories behind the beauty and the culmination of experiences that make up that person, because ultimately that’s what makes them timelessly beautiful, aesthetic beauty is fleeting and temporary. So, in my work it has been my objective to capture that beauty of thought and humanness, if you will, by depicting the aesthetic beauty.
By some miracle I’ve managed to retain some of that childhood wonder and amazement of the world around me. Like the way hair falls on a girls shoulders, the look in people’s eyes when they are really deep in thought, or the folds in my bed sheets.
M: I completely agree with you on the age thing! It’s so annoying to have people not take you seriously because of how young you are. Have you had an experience where you or your ideas have been shut down because of your age?
V.F.: Yeah, it kinda is but you get used to it. I always knew age would be a factor in my dealings in the professional world so I would try to have my work just stand for itself. I have had a couple of times where buyers will scoff at my prices when they find out how old I am, but nothing too bad, because I always end up selling the pieces anyway. But there has been a couple of times where I go to a meeting where the people have never seen me in person and when they do they ask for my dad. Honestly, that part is kind of encouraging. And I take it as a challenge, to go above and beyond to show people I can.
M: Do you have any projects you are currently working in? Can you tell us about them?
V.F.: I do have an interview project that is in the works right now but I can’t really say much about it, except that it will be badass and Megan Kennedy from The Retired Models will be in it, so you should definitely keep an eye out of it, because she has some cool stories to tell, Right Megan? haha.
M: HAHAHA, YES! But don’t worry, I can keep a secret 😉 Anyways, who inspires you the most?
V.F.: Coffee and my dad. My dad is an engineer but he has been and will continue to be huge inspiration in my life and I credit him with the entrepreneurial zeal I have. Also he has just always encouraged me to go for it and not be afraid. I owe a lot to what I have done to the things he has taught me. Also, coffee has helped me read a lot of boring contracts.
M: What advice would you give to teens who want to begin a business like you?
V.F.: I’d say just go out and do it, don’t wait.
-Fuck up now, it will hurt less than messing up later down the line
-Surround yourself with people who support you. Get rid of the naysayers. Also, hang out with people who are better than you at what you want to do, that way you will learn more. If you’re always the best in a group of people, you will never learn.
-Stay inspired: there will be good times and there will be bad times, learn from them all and don’t be discouraged by failures, rather see them as pauses where you can learn something new. and as cheesy as it sounds, if you fall get back up.
-Learn to network, who you are is who you know. It doesn’t matter how good you are if you don’t know anyone.
-Don’t do it for the money. If you’re doing it to get rich, you’ve already lost. People who just want to be famous or rich, don’t often get there. Do it because it’s what you love more than anything else in the world. Do it because when you talk to people about it, you get so excited you get butterflies in your stomach. do it for you. money will follow.
-Have enough ego or self-confidence to believe that what you’re doing is great because if you don’t, none else will believe you. (but not too much ego) in short: if you’re not 100% excited about what you do, you won’t get other people excited.
-For the creatives out there watch this video: https://vimeo.com/85040589 I watch it at least once every month.
-Have a vision. this is super important, have a clear vision for what you want, and don’t let anyone mess with it. and its ok if you change it from time to time, but don’t change it because of doubt.
-And I think the most important: FIND A MENTOR. find someone who is doing what you want to be doing in 10 years or 20 and be with them, just soak up everything they have to say. you will learn more from that than any website or textbook.
M: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
V.F.: Still doing what I love, just bigger and better.
MIND. FUCKING. BLOWN.
Bravo, Victor. You have succeeded in blowing me away.