Today we’d like to introduce you to Marlo Saucedo.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I’m a native Houstonian, introduced to art through summer merit scholarship classes at MFAH’s Glassell Jr. School. Art’s always been a passion and a love but wasn’t an initial career goal. I majored in psychology in college, followed by a very rewarding first job in Washington, D.C., assisting with the resettlement of Vietnamese-American war babies in my work for the International Catholic Migration Commission.
Admittance into the M.B.A. program at the University of Texas at Austin brought me back to Texas. Creative outlets found of necessity during my master’s in the business school building would take me to the art building for individual classes, to KTSB/KVRX college radio where I was a DJ, to Rice University during holidays to DJ at KTRU, to the Houston Press as a writer, and to a music industry internship in NYC between M.B.A. years. (Side One Management, under Will Botwin. They managed Lyle Lovett, Liz Phair, John Hiatt, and Mark Isham, among other artists.)
By second year, all of the other students with journalism, radio, and music backgrounds in my U.T. M.B.A. class had dropped out of the program. Questions and self-doubts, my emotional response, became the inspiration for creating a visual diary which was (unknowingly) my very first handwriting-to-line piece.
After graduating with my master’s, I became an HTML coder in Houston in the early days of the Internet and continued to feel pulled toward visual art. My husband Alex’s and my first home was a loft in downtown Houston, in a renovated 1910 building and, piqued by the architecture and history of my own hometown, I revisited this handwriting-to-line technique in descriptions of the Houston skyline. Each work noted in each building the building’s height, architect, address, and year completed, and I sold my pieces to lawyers and architects with downtown offices.
Today, I’m using acrylic mixed with high-end latex paint, featuring history, thoughts, memories, sports facts, poetry … in English, Spanish, or French. I’ve trademarked my particular style of micrography: visual art narrative. It explores the internal and external, mind and matter, and presents inner thoughts only at close distances, like the stories we hold within ourselves.
Has it been a smooth road?
The biggest challenge to my art career is a common one. I was creating pieces for a Lawndale Art Center show until the day before my first son was born. My second son was born three years later, and there were years when they were both very young when I couldn’t complete a thought in my head, much less any works of art. Once the high-maintenance period was over, everything that’s come afterward has been so very well worth the initial struggle.
We’d love to hear more about what you do.
I specialize in creating calming and thought-provoking original pieces of art, creating commissions to client specifications, and creating and facilitating collaborative corporate and community art pieces. My particular contemporary artistic style – visual art narrative – layers fibrous Japanese Chiyogami paper – so strong it can be soaked in acrylic and cut finely without tearing – with a mix of acrylic and high-end latex paint which holds India ink fast, several layers deep. I tend to use narratives loosely linked to trees, animals, mixtapes, faces, ships, skylines, and other visuals in a palette of colors found in nature. My pieces are unique and easily recognizable as my own.
I love creating commissions to client specifications so that each piece is treasured and enjoyed daily in a central location in the client’s home. And I’m especially proud of creating pieces which bind entire communities together in each person’s own handwriting and/or own words. What I offer is a completely unique method toward creating positive corporate culture; to bring community and neighbors together; to convey a message or relate interesting history; to preserve family memories; and/or to celebrate favorite literature.
Recent commissions and corporate and community projects:
Commission: Trees on a 24×24” canvas, filled with the memories and thoughts of attendees at an 80-person gathering honoring my client’s recently deseased mother, where I facilitated with instructions. I’m completing the piece to hang in a chosen spot in my client’s home.
Commission: M.D. Anderson Cancer Center: Two 40×30″ pieces on paper for installation in the hospital’s newest location in League City, TX: Visuals from the Apollo missions, and words from MD Anderson’s Cancer Moon Shots Program: the action plan, doctors involved, discoveries, and other details on finding cures for 13 types of cancer.
Community: Woodlands Arts Council: AncesTree Project: Three-foot-diameter round canvas piece, live oak tree with 260 personal stories from attendees at the inaugural Woodlands Cultural and Heritage Festival, who wrote memories, traditions, cultures, and heritages onto paper leaves hung on the local high school sculpture club’s papier mâché tree at the festival. I was commissioned to write these 200+ shared stories into a more permanent piece for Market Street, the outdoor park/mall/event space. The finished piece, on more than one level, represents the community’s diversity entwined and growing together.
Corporate: Houston Methodist Hospital, The Woodlands location: Community art project. To commemorate their newly built hospital, all new employees at HMTW signed a triptych work depicting three loblolly pine trees, called “Heart and Soul.” I finished out the piece with HMTW’s core values and vision, and it’s installed on the third floor, facing and visible from the lobby.
Community: Houston Methodist Hospital, Houston Medical Center: Visitors and employees to the Martin Luther King Day event at the hospital created a portrait on canvas of Martin Luther King, Jr. in his own words, the “I Have a Dream” speech. I finished out the piece with more of the speech, and it’s installed in a public hallway at the hospital. (Stop motion video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3XtDOOPGt5k)
Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Having a studio at #231 The Silos at Sawyer Yards has escalated my productivity and focus. I’m fortunate to have talented creatives all around me at Sawyer Yards. We collaborate, discuss ideas and our work, make things happen. I feel part of a close, cordial community with multiple opportunities for growth.
The hundreds of amazing artists – and writers – living and working throughout multi-layered Houston mirror this down-to-earth city itself in working and hustling – hard – and contributing to the city’s quality and ambiance. Living here is an opportunity to be surrounded by and inspired by greater talent, and arts and cultural organizations which stalwartly support us.
For newcomers, Houston’s always been less about, “Who are you?” and more about, “How hard are you willing to work?” There are constant opportunities for artists here, won with the same kind of energy that grew this diverse and astonishing bellwether of a city up from the bayou that runs through it.
- Originals/Commissioned pieces priced by size, approximately $(20 * (Length + Width))
- Prints: $99
- Address: 1502 Sawyer St., Houston, TX 77007
- Website: https://www.marlosaucedo.com/
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bohemian Photography, Martin Holmes