Jesus Sosa Santiago – “The Fantastic Alebrijes”

Hello, introduce myself, My name is Jesus Sosa Santiago, currently have 26 years, I was born in 1995 in San Martin Tilcajete.


It is one of 570 municipalities that make up the state of Oaxaca in Mexico. It belongs to the district of Ocotlán, in the Valles Centrales region.

Well, San Martín Tilcajete is the birthplace of fantastic shapes in wood.

I would love for the world to know what I do.

When he woke up his desire to be an artist?

Since I was little and until today I am a young man craftsman from Oaxaca belonging to the third generation of wood carvers, for this reason since my father Don Herminio Sosa Ojeda and my uncle Don Agustín Cruz Prudencio cultivated this wonderful work for me.

I am the last member of my family of great masters of popular art. I have been encouraged by them, we have contributed and enriched for years in our workshop, an artistic technique of great detail, that brings to life fantastic animals decorated with Zapotec motifs, whose specialty is called “tons”.

What kind of art do you like best?

Currently, I like to dedicate myself to creating and detailing my pieces with a unique and incomparable style., where vitality, energy and movement are present through color and texture.

I like the perseverance and dedication in decorating my pieces in copal wood in good style..

How he developed his style (techniques)?

I had the teaching of my parents in the handicraft of copal, the alebrijes. My interest is since I was eight, at that age I started to know the family workshop and in the process of making an alebrje, at twelve I started painting them and at fifteen I started making my first pieces with a fine and different style.

Cite if you had artistic influences in your works and which artists?

To my great-grandparents who also made elaborate wood carvings, used for utilitarian purposes, and also to create wooden masks for carnivals.

Do you have a family member or acquaintance who is an artist?

Yes, as I mentioned before, this profession crosses generations in my family, I'm currently the youngest.

Living from art is possible?

Thanks to the talent and perseverance we have built over the years, today i can say yes, you can live from art.

Ever thought about not acting with more art? can comment why?

No, never, I would even like my future children to have a sense of art.

What skills are needed today for the artist?

I think that above all you must really like what you do, in second place, have a good sense of color, shape and volume, as well as creative and artistic ability.

What do you feel when you create or appreciate a work of art?

Personally, every time I'm creating an Alebrije, I feel full of inspiration, that I want to capture to share my feelings and emotions. Finishing my play makes me feel accomplished.

Your inspirations to create a work of art?

The competitions I participated in and the awards I won inside and outside the country inspired me to continue working.

From the beginning it was difficult to start attending national and international fairs, did not have sufficient resources or solvency, but little by little my pieces became known and recognized, mainly not exterior.

I never gave up because I value my work, my family and my parents, they are the pillar and the engine that drives me to continue to create.

Which art has impressed you the most so far?

The first piece that made me feel something special and inspired me was a Virgin of Guadalupe, I keep my respect and gratitude for her for guiding me on the path of creation, today I am passionate about creating everything related to animals, since it was interesting to observe them, I'm passionate about creating them, specializing in your decoration, export worthy.

You must always be creating or creating only at certain times?

I get inspired every day, I get up every morning motivated to create or finish my piece, I like what I do, so my imagination flows.

The product of your work is unique or has a close or distant relationship to your previous work?

My work is unique and original, even in my community we make alebrijes, we all have unique and authentic styles.

What are the challenges of art / artist in the current scenario?

I would like to reach more public or a medium that connects me with the public that would like to know more about my work and also the support of the government to publicize me more.

Social networks have helped you to spread your work?

It has helped me a lot, it makes it even easier to promote my work and communicate with people who want to know my work.

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How plastic arts can contribute to education and culture?

I think it could be a great method by which we could be taught how to express ourselves freely as a society., we could even lower the stress and focus on getting to know each other.

How you analyze the qualities of a work of art?

In my case, I like that the history of the Zapotec peoples is involved, every detail of my piece is incorporated with symbols that represent its people, your culture, bed, places and agriculture zapotec.

What are the criteria for stipulating the value of a work of art?

For me the details are important, that the details of the piece are fine, taking very good care of the color combination so that it looks like an alebrij originally.

Talk about your projects today ...

I am very interested in leaving some of my art in all parts of the world, art exhibitions all over the world, this is slowly and i know it.

For now I will be performing in San Diego California and I hope that soon it will be on the other side of the world.

What's your advice for those just starting out?

I advise that the most important thing is to have your own essence, don't copy anyone follow your instinct and you'll see that it's your style and that's why you'll make yourself known, the public will see you for what really inspires you, and always supports so that we all come out ahead.

If you want to leave a message ...

Thank you very much for dedicating your time to this interview., I hope you can see my work, I do it with a lot of love and affection.

In addition to supporting the new generations so that art continues to grow.

About your exhibitions, have any comments regarding, feelings…

I feel very grateful to all the people who have supported me to where I have come, who believed in me from the start, thank you to everyone who likes my works of art and I make them with great affection for you and for you to know a little about my roots.

Could you comment on some artistic curiosity?

These fantastic art objects are always colorful and made to be treasured., because it is believed that alebrje chooses you.

Social media:

WebSite Mexican style | IFAM International Folk Art Market

Facebook: Sosa Crafts (official IEBO)

Instagram: arts_sosamx (Sosa Crafts)

Tony Franco is a Business Administrator.
Tony Franco is a Business Administrator.


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