Mario E. Figueroa, Jr. (GONZO247)

Mario E. Figueroa, Jr. (GONZO247)

Multidisciplinary Artist

Don’t be afraid to be who you are. You don’t have to have anyone’s permission to be who you want to be.


By Roadtrip Nation

Mario E. Figueroa, Jr. (GONZO247)


My road in life has been direct.
I was born and raised in Houston, Texas.
I grew up admiring Leo Tanguma’s mural “The Rebirth of Our Nationality” and knew that I wanted to do something similar one day.
When rap, hip-hop culture, and graffiti made its way to Houston, I finally felt like there was a space where I belonged.
I started researching through art magazines from the library to learn more about graffiti.
The first time I used spray paint as an art tool, I felt instantly gratified and was immediately hooked.
When I graduated high school, I decided to stay in Houston and help usher in the graffiti and street art movement here rather than move away to a city where the industry was already saturated.
I had been tagging my real name on my art and quickly realized I didn’t want to do that anymore—I came across the word “gonzo” in the dictionary and started using that.
Driven by my passion, I continued to express and develop my art, and I’m now seeing the rewards of that.
Keep following my journey


High School


Multidisciplinary Artist

I'm a self-taught multidisciplinary artist specializing in graffiti and street art.

Career Roadmap

My work combines:
My work combines:
Being Creative

Day to Day

Every day is different. Sometimes I stay at home and work on designs, catch up on digital correspondence, have a production meeting, and organize my schedule. Other times I’ll leave the house and head to the studio and either work on commissions or create new pieces. Some days I’ll get to the studio, load up materials and head to an offsite location to work on an installation for a client. Other days I am either in meetings with potential clients, running errands, or picking up paint supplies.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for everyone

As an artist, I had to plant the seeds before I could reap the fruit. For others with similar goals, I recommend keeping your eye on the end result and then backtrack your route to figure out how to get there. It's also important to remember that it won't always be a straight path. On your way to your goal, you might see something else that makes sense at that time. It's okay to take detours or make other stops on your way to reaching your goal. It happens. Just keep that end goal in mind.


The Noise I Shed

From Parents:

"Art is not a career. Art's a hobby. You need to go to college and become either a doctor or lawyer."

Challenges I Overcame

First-Generation Immigrant

Interviewed By

Wide Open Range

Wide Open Range

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