We had the good fortune of connecting with Jubei Mercado and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Jubei, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
I am an Air Force veteran of 10 years. I started my career as a hydraulic technician for AWACS radar planes… but quickly learned that I didn’t fit in that world. I’d often get teased for not liking trucks, fishing, and football… you know “manly” things. I found success my first few years doing squadron art for aircraft. I eventually was able to shift my military career into photography where I ended up thriving. As my photography progressed, so did my need for edits… I ended up becoming very good at Photoshop, and I loved the images I could create pairing Photography and Graphics, nothing was off the table visually at this point.

After I left the military I attended the Art Institute of Dallas, and after a couple of years, I determined they couldn’t teach me any skills I hadn’t already acquired on my own. I’ve been doing Graphic Design and Photography ever since. I love my job.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I am a Creative Photographer and Graphic Designer by trade… what sets me apart is my photo manipulation skills. I come up with ideas, plan, and execute them with a tenacious will to see the final image through. The results are photos that typically get people asking “how did you do that?”. I pride myself on NOT following popular photography trends and carving my own path.

My career here in Dallas wasn’t an easy road… when I first moved here I was willing to anything for $50 and clients would run me into the ground with edits and reedits… it was a nightmare. I slowly picked up new skills, and created more value to what I offer as a creative.

My creative journey is still ongoing. I hope to open my own studio soon and have real space to focus on my craft.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Hmmm… it would look something like this;

Food places-

Dream Cafe (Dallas)
Astoria Cafe (Addison)
Bistro B (Richardson)
Sprouts SpringRoll & Pho (Arlington)

Drinks/Hang Out-

Barrel & Bones (The Colony)

Sights to Visit-

Dallas World Aquarium
White Rock Lake
Grandscape
Legacy Hall

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My shoutout goes to my good friend and roommate Ari. He has been a key component in the current chapter of my life and has provided companionship and emotional support. He has loved me unconditionally where others have failed me and has been by my side unrelenting as I am coming to terms with my recent divorce. I hit a very low point in January and was in a dark place… he reminded me that I have value and that people depend on me.

We have conversations daily and he is pretty honest in his assessment of things, often wrinkling his nose at me when I do something he does not approve of.

In reciprocation of such a great friendship, I keep his litter clean and have cat treats on hand daily for him.

Website: www.NaokiGraphics.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/naokigraphics/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NaokiGraphics

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCt2P-JG93Ex0206CVcAIKoQ

Image Credits
Nikki Miller Stephanie Nguyễn Savannah Roberts Lauren Wixom Stephanie Ruiz Tiffany Hoa

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutDFW is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.