Juan Carlos Pagan

A pretty intense argument with someone I care deeply about.

I have always lived in New York. I’ve had some short stints in other countries but I always find my way back.

New York attracts creative people. There are emotional, social and aesthetic stimulations everywhere. A lot of my own inspiration for typography comes from this city and its artistic community, but I am also influenced by the colors and letter-forms I find in places like Mexico City, Dominican Republic and Cuba. I think that's why some of my work looks like things you might see in the streets.

I have a diary of sorts where I like to doodle and write down notes. One day, I had a pretty intense argument with someone I care deeply about. It was harsh! So I wrote down what I could remember in that notebook. It was therapeutic for me; it made me reflect on that moment in a more critical way.

I decided to take it one step further so I picked a few specific phrases and painted them. Very simple phrases like "Don't go", or "Just listen", or "You're not". These words have a strong personal meaning to me. They’re fragments to the story of my argument, but I think everyone has a relationship with those phrases. People can relate to them, and they always find a place in their own life stories.

Juan Carlos Pagan

Designer and typographer from New York City.

Just Listen

Memories of an intense argument painted by Juan Carlos Pagan on a canvas.


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