ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A local Native American graphic designer, who is also a business owner, hopes to use what he learned to inspire young students.
“I want to show the youth that I came up like you guys. I had a single mother until I was 14. I was a numb skull. I wasn’t the smartest kid in school, but I proved time and time again that there was a lot more to me than what meets the eye,” said Adrian Tsosie, owner of Coat of Colors.
After 10 weeks of completing the Central New Mexico Community College Ingenuity’s Deep Dive Digital Boot Camp, he started thinking about how he could use his new skill sets.
“It was what pushed me into an entrepreneurship,” said Tsosie.
He left his day job and brought his expertise into his new business, Coat of Colors, where he does graphic design, screen printing, embroidery, and vinyl lettering. However, creating the business was just the first step. He wants to grow it into a nonprofit that teaches young native students things about graphic design.
Tsosie explained, “The mentorship I want to do is like a deep dive boot camp where you’re thrown into it. Let’s see if you can hang on. Strap on your boots and get ready because you’re going to get thrown into it.”
He plans to give Native American youth the opportunity to learn the skills that gave him a creative career.
“I pray that I can give each child a tool kit depending on their skill sets. They want to be a graphic designer? We get them an up-to-date computer where they can do graphic design web development all the cool stuff,” said Tsosie. “If they’re screen printing, give them their own little at-home screen print kit. Something that’s a tool kit to embrace what they’re doing.”
In the next two years, he wants to make his facility a technical school, and then, in 10 years’ time, he plans to bring the opportunity to reservations by creating a nonprofit called ‘Little Coats’ to give free technical schooling.
“When a man became a man, we got our tool sets to become warriors. Women got their toolset to provide for their tribe. I want to bring that back in a new world aspect. To build warriors for a new era,” mentioned Tsosie.
He hopes students will bring what they learn back to their tribes and reservations.
“For my Native American youth, don’t give up. Don’t let people think you only have a couple options. There’s more options out there than you really think there are. Just believe in it,” said Tsosie.
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Tsosie does mostly in-state work for businesses. He hopes to one day move to a larger facility with space for students to work Monday through Friday.