ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) — A local Native American graphic designer and business owner hopes to use what he’s learned to inspire young students.
“I want to show young people that I grew up just like you guys. I was a single mom until I was 14. I was a numb skull. I wasn’t the brightest kid in school, but I’ve proven time and time again that I’m capable of far It’s more than it seems,” said Coat of Colors owner Adrian Tsosie.
After 10 weeks of completing Ingenuity’s Deep Dive Digital Boot Camp at Central New Mexico Community College, he started thinking about how to use his new skills.
“That pushed me to start a business,” Tsosie said.
He left his day job to bring his expertise to his new business, Coat of Colours, where he works in graphic design, screen printing, embroidery and vinyl lettering. However, creating a business is only the first step. He wants to grow it into a non-profit organization that teaches graphic design to young native students.
Tsosie explained, “The mentoring I want to do is like a deep dive bootcamp, you’re going to be thrown into it. Let’s see if you can stick with it. Lace up your boots and get ready because you’re going to be thrown in .”
He plans to provide opportunities for Native American youth to learn the skills that have led him to a creative career.
“I pray that I give each kid a set of tools based on their skill set. They want to be graphic designers? We give them an up-to-date computer where they can do graphic design web development and all that is cool stuff,” Tsosie said. “If they’re doing screen printing, give them their own little home screen printing kit. It’s a kit that embraces what they’re doing.”
Over the next two years, he hopes to turn his facility into a technical school, and then in 10 years, he plans to provide access to free technical education by creating a nonprofit called Little Coats .
“When a man becomes a man, we have the tools to be warriors. Women get their toolsets to feed their tribes. I want to bring that back to a new world aspect. Raising warriors for a new age ,” Tsosie said.
He wants the students to take 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 few options. There are more options out there than you really think. Just believe it,” Tsosie said.
Tsosie primarily does in-state work for businesses. He hopes to one day move to a larger facility that will provide students with Monday-Friday workspaces.