We caught up with El Presidente, Hiram Villa to talk about the evolution of this project and where the inspiration comes from for creating.

How did you and your crew get involved with this project?
At the beginning, we got the call that they wanted us to get the contest going for Miller Lite and Chivas.

How has the process been working with them?
I have nothing bad to say. The commercials and the murals have been a great experience. The Miller Team has bent over backwards for us. We designed it, and they didn’t break our balls or anything like that. It was pretty chill and laid back. They were not so meticulous like, “What does that mean, etc.?” They let us do our thing.

How did you get started as an artist and how did Art Momentum Tech get started?
I started as a graffiti writer in Chicago. One or two of us are “traditionally” schooled. The rest of us are self-taught on murals and art books. We mainly got our training on the streets. We’ve been successful, because our business format is similar to Wu Tang Clan. Every member puts in and gets theirs back. All of our solo stuff builds back to the crew. One for all and all for one…

Do you have a favorite show you guys have participated in?
We love all the shows. We want to push the envelope.

Where is your studio these days?
Our studio is in Pilsen. (Ed: http://theblog.momentumarttech.com/)

What’s next for you guys?
We just finished a project for Brookfield Zoo. We’re now on our way to Europe going to Spain, Italy, Paris. We’re going to make and edit videos on random people and artists we meet: “Hey, you got a wall? Let’s work on something.” We’ve got thirty-three people in the crew now, and everybody has their key jobs.

What’s your favorite thing about being an artist and the business you’re in?
The whole creative process, thinking outside the box, creating from scratch, doing what you love.

You did a video for Chuck D. How was working with him?
Chuck D contacted us through Mark Flores who we’ve known for a few years and who knows that other crews are unable to do what we do. Chuck contacted us to do a video for him, and he was great. He doesn’t confine you, and we were very free to do what we do.

How do you feel you are keeping alive traditions of the past while pushing your own boundaries forward?
Being from our culture, anything we do pushes forward. We’re not really following any set tradition, any race or form of art. We’re doing what we’re doing our way.

What’s one thing you want to be known for?
Being an awesome artist. I want them to remember my art and know that I pushed it to the maximum.

The Miller Lite/Chivas design contest runs through October 1, 2012. You can still vote for your favorites at http://www.facebook.com/MillerLiteLatino.

The final four hopeful artists remaining in contention for victory are:

Jesse Hernandez

Robert Valadez

Rachel Matos

Betirri Bengston

Power to the people!

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