ALBUQUERQUE, NM (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 the young people that I came like you. I had a single mother until I was 14. I was a numb skull. I wasn’t the smartest kid at school, but I proved time and time again that there was a lot more to me than meets the eye,” said Adrian Tsosie, owner of Coat of Colours.
After 10 weeks of completing the Ingenuity Deep Dive Digital Boot Camp at Central New Mexico Community College, he started thinking about how he could use his new skills.
“It got me into entrepreneurship,” Tsosie said.
He quit his day job and brought his expertise to his new business, Coat of Colors, where he does graphic design, screen printing, embroidery and vinyl lettering. However, creating a company was only the first step. He wants to grow it into a non-profit organization that teaches young local students about graphic design.
Tsosie explained: “The mentoring I want to do is like a deep dive camp where you’re thrown into it. Let’s see if you can last. Tighten your boots and get ready because you’re going to be thrown into it.”
He plans to give young Native Americans the opportunity to learn the skills that have enabled his creative career.
“I pray that I can give each child a toolkit depending on their skills. Want to be a graphic designer? We get them a modern computer where they can do graphic design, web development and all the cool stuff,” said Tsosie. “If they do screen printing, give them their own little screen printing kit at home. Something that’s a tool to embrace what they’re doing.”
In the next two years, he wants to turn his facility into a technical school, and then, in 10 years, he plans to provide an opportunity to reserves by starting a non-profit organization called ‘Little Coats’ for free technical education.
“When man became a man, we were given our tools to become warriors. Women were given their own set of tools to provide for their tribe. I want to bring it back in a new world aspect. To build warriors for a new era,” mentioned Tsosie.
He hopes the students will bring what they learn to their tribes and reservations.
“To my Native American youth, don’t give up. Don’t let people think you only have a few options. There are more options than you really think there are. Just believe in it,” said Tsosie.
Tsosie mainly does work in the state for companies. He hopes to one day move to a larger facility with space for students to work Monday through Friday.