Our newest hire, Mauricio Cremer aka Super Mario aka Maux has been an indispensable asset as a creative freelancer and since we’ve added him to the full-time roster, we haven’t looked back. We brought one of our account interns with us as we asked him to tell us his story:
Word on the street is you’ve lived in Austin, what made you want to move there? And how did you get into freelancing?
So, I had been freelancing for a couple years at that point and Austin was a place I had visited a few times and just totally saw myself living there. Everything about it checked a bunch of boxes for me, so I just made the leap and moved down. But, then I left because I took a job in Oklahoma, to be closer to family. Because I’m Hispanic, I can’t stray far away from my mom. Just kidding. No, but I still like Oklahoma, I don’t have anything against it. There is just not as much happening there from a creative standpoint.
I’ve worked a bunch of different jobs; I’m going into my 17th year of design. So, I’ve worked at really big agencies and really small studios like Schaefer. Over time, you establish your specialty or signature that you do and clients, depending on where you are, will come with you and they’ll want to keep working with you or they’ll refer you. I started to get a lot of referrals and realized I could do this without being at a company. So, I went for it. I feel like for a creative that is the ideal scenario. I loved being able to control my own schedule and all that. Sometimes, that’s worth more than money. Sometimes. But what brought me to an office was to be able to collaborate. Before Schaefer, I had been freelancing for 2 ½ years, home office, by myself, in a bubble. I’m really energized and fueled by people and social interaction, collaboration, so that made freelancing really hard. I know that sounds silly, but it helps to be able to bounce ideas off people.
Tell us a funny hometown story.
Something memorable was when I moved from California to Oklahoma, when we moved back basically. I was going into my sophomore year, and I was very much a part of the b-boy, like breakdance, tagger, graffiti crew in California. So, big stove-piped jeans, creased white t-shirts, hair slicked back type of thing. I pull into El Reno, Oklahoma, which is kind of a rural town, 20,000 people tops. Everybody was in Lucky Jeans, no fear t-shirts and Doc Martens. And I was like, “Where am I?” And the school looked like this (the office): three stories, brick building, auditorium in the center, classrooms all around. It was like a time warp, I thought I was going into the Wonder Years. I was like, “What is this place?” But, I quickly adapted to El Reno because the people were so nice. I got to do a lot of cool stuff like work with an auctioneer, haul hay, work with cattle and build fences.
So, graffiti tagger turned country boy. There’s our title. But wait, tell me about your graffiti career? I’m really interested in graffiti; I know that’s weird. I took a pop culture class at TCU and never realized there was so much to it. Were you like really in it?
I didn’t go as far as some, because my mom would kill me, I didn’t go as far as paint, spray painting. We did mostly marker stuff, just tagging things up. Guys really take their alphabets seriously. So, we would work on our letters constantly, during class, after class, whenever. Then we would go and breakdance, essentially, and battle other b-boy crews and things like that. But graffiti is multi-leveled. Some would go as far as trying to find the perfect tip for the way the paint flares off the tip. They would remove the tip off hairspray cans and different things to get a different effect.
Did you ever have any crazy experiences with tagging?
The only close call was this guy pulled a knife on me asking what crew I was with. Turns out that he was one of the ten most wanted in my town. We lived catty-corner to a sheriff, so I was like, “Hey, this just happened to me.” I was on my way home from school (we walked because it was close enough to; uphill, both ways, in the snow). So, I told him that, they chased him down, turns out he was a pretty well-known criminal at the time. Aside from that, it was always like, the cops are on their way or guys coming in trying to mess with you. There was nothing super serious. Everything was pretty fun.
Has anyone ever gotten your name wrong?
Yes. Constantly. The most recent was at a Starbucks, ordered a coffee and they wrote, “Brorisimo,” on my cup, I had to take a photo of it. It was bad. But, yeah. My baseball coach called me Arsenio, which was weird. Mo is what they call me here. My friends in Austin call me MarMar. Um, Maux, I get that one. Mario. Kelli has called me Mario a couple times, which is fine.
So, tell us about your Trailblazer.
Did Jon tell you to write trailblazer? I will put him in a headlock. It is a land cruiser, number one. A Toyota Land Cruiser. It’s a truck that I always wanted growing up. In Costa Rica, where I was born, you see them all over the place. In Africa, they use them as ambulances, safari vehicles, and all kinds of stuff. They are pretty bulletproof engine wise. They are like tanks. It has been hailed on several times with very little damage. They don’t make cars like they used to. The point is, it’s a really great truck that I have put entirely too much money into and I should sell because I just don’t need that in my life, but I can’t let it go because it has become a part of me.
Do you like Texas more than Oklahoma? What’s your favorite part?
Well, it’s Texas. Texas is awesome. In a lot of ways, yes. Not completely because my heart still belongs to Oklahoma because I grew up there, but I love being in Texas. There’s tons more to do, there is so much to see as far as different parts of the state you can experience, the terrains, things like that. I like West Texas. I like the desert. Have you guys been to Marfa? That whole area is super cool. I like the desert. I also love the mountains. That is where the trailblazer comes into play.
Any last words for your fans?
Go get that cacti, and be kind. Just be kind to people.
Don’t be prickly like cacti. There’s a lesson in there. This came full circle.
Also, I feel like people need to stop complaining and start doing.