#PeopleofNEI: Raul, changing his fate

Northeast Indiana is evolving. These are the people and places shaping its future. #PeopleofNEI #PlacesofNEI

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Raul has an aura of positivity around him. As a DREAMer, he moved from Mexico to Fort Wayne in 1996 and stays busy following his passions. We talked to him while he was painting his new Art This Way mural that he works on when he isn’t at his full time job, running his business, or planning a future with his fiance´. “Inspired by local artists, I put the idea of creating a mural on my bucket list. It’s so easy to self-sabotage. I finally applied. I focused on it, and came up with this design. I couldn’t believe I was selected. This mural is made in partnership with the Center for Nonviolence which felt like a sign. Growing up, the Center for Nonviolence helped my mom realize she wasn’t alone. They helped with school work and made sure we were fed. That was important for our future. It’s taking that struggle and turning it into something good. That is what my clothing line was born from. I grew up with hand-me-downs. I always loved clothes, and when I worked at Macy’s, I learned how they were made. I created a clothing line in school and it was received well. I graduated at the top of my design class and that empowered me. I made my own clothing line inspired by how I grew up. When you’re from certain areas, you think your fate is already written. These garments are about free will and changing your fate. I am bringing that to this mural, too. It’s about empathy. We’re quick to judge others without knowing them. I want this mural to remind people to invest in others. I’m here because of my teachers, mentors, mom, and fiance´. It’s because of a collective group of people. You can’t do it alone. Painting is a mediation but also a struggle. You have to let go when painting. I remind myself that when you step back, you don’t see little mistakes. That’s how life is. I want to give back to Fort Wayne because I love it here. It’s welcoming and an incredible place that has given me that South Side pride. Don’t be afraid to reach out to others or speak up. Life can be difficult and scary. It’s good to be open because people don’t know you’re struggling if you don’t share. You can’t do everything at once. It’s small steps and that’s okay. Give it time.” #PeopleofNEI

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Read more articles by Stephen J. Bailey.

Stephen J. Bailey is a Fort Wayne native and the owner of PH Digital that was founded in 2006. Based out of the Anthony Wayne Building in downtown Fort Wayne, he specializes in web development, SEO development, social media management, and digital marketing campaigns with numerous companies in northeast Indiana. Stephen loves road trips, sushi, his pups, and spending time on our three rivers.
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