Latin Grammy nominated Toto Gonzalez, AKA Mr. Pauer, came from Venezuela twenty years ago and is a self-described performing artist and musician “with a passion for music and design” currently working as a producer, re-mixer, DJ and new media artist. We met up at the Creative Capital office this past summer and talked about his experience taking Taller Profesional de Desarollo Para Artistas (our Spanish-language workshop) in 2012 with the Miami Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs. Throughout our conversation, we discussed the changes Gonzalez has made to his career since the workshop, many of which are due to his skillful strategic planning and sense of purpose with each career move he makes.
For Gonzalez, the workshop “was an eye opening experience, and it was a reality check too… I moved from my downtown studio—which was a basement—to a great location at The Light Box with a studio that really fits my needs, surrounded by different types of artists.” So, Gonzalez not only found a community within the Creative Capital workshop, but was inspired to seek out a broader artistic community in a space that works better for his creative process. The way in which he approached his new workspace was innovative for him, choosing to inhabit the space as an artist instead of as a business entity. He describes these new decisions as the result of having “clear intentions,” due in part to the goal-setting strategies we advocate in our workshops.
Mr. Pauer’s Cumbión Del Sur (Feat. Itagüí) from the Latin Grammy-nominated album Soundtrack. Directed by Pablo Erminy.
Asked about the changes he made after the workshop, Gonzalez explained that he delayed the release of his new CD, allowing more time for planning and raising additional funds. The workshop forced him to reflect and consider, “Is it going to be healthy and have the same impact? Will I have the time to plan everything or will I need to rush it like before?” Extending the release allowed him to really enjoy the process and network more.
But perhaps Gonzalez’s best shift has been hiring an assistant with an interest in music. He told me, “Having an assistant manager to follow up on payments, scheduling and bookings has changed my life.” Having someone to tend the administrative side of his career will allow him to focus more on his music.
For me, one of the most rewarding parts of teaching Creative Capital’s Professional Development workshops, including Taller, is meeting incredible artists and their communities, and keeping in touch to hear about their progress. To that end, we’re so excited to be starting a new Creative Capital PDP Taller Alumni Facebook group for all the participants of our Spanish language Professional Development workshops.
Miami Dade County’s Department of Cultural Affairs has been an incredible longtime partner, and their Cultural Project Administrator, Adriana Sanchez Perez, assembled an impressive group of diverse artists for the workshop that Gonzalez attended. Thank you, Adriana, for the great outreach and bringing together such an amazing group of artists. Thank you as well to the Knight Foundation for supporting our Spanish language workshops.