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Making Book

Already unique among H-town artists for his business background, Justin Garcia adds yet another line to his résumé—author.

Garcia’s new book is part memoir and part collection of original sketches.

Painter Justin Garcia isn’t afraid to admit he still has much to learn about life. But he feels that he has taken a huge step forward with the forthcoming release of his debut book. In working on OneTonGoldfish: In Search of the Tangible Dream—which the handsome, shaggy-haired and bearded artist labored over for nearly two years—the abstract painter says that he landed at a deeper understanding of himself.

“It’s a story of an artist seeking purpose beyond the canvas,” says Garcia of the narrative nonfiction book that’s slated to hit the shelves in the next three months. “You get to see an inside view of how it happens.” Alongside traditional prose, the memoir features more than 50 of Garcia’s original hand-drawn diagrams and sketches.

The native Houstonian, who grew up in the Katy area and graduated with a business degree from UH, has been lauded among the city’s best artists. His conceptual works, often sweeping large-scale canvases of neutral colors, can be seen at traditional art-world hangs like the Texas Contemporary Art Fair and the Dallas Fine Art Fair, as well as inside of the Westin Hotel in Memorial City and Chevron buildings in H-Town and Washington D.C.

When Garcia isn’t spending most of his days working out of his studio at Silver Street Studios, the self-taught—and intensely private—artist takes long road trips across the country or hops on an international flight (Venice is a favorite destination). A year ago, while putting the finishing touches on his book, he spent two months in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, renting the charming guest room of a local artist and jewelry maker. “Oh my gosh, it’s a hub for expat writers, poets and artists, but it still has that very Old World feel. And it’s really, really safe,” he says.

Though Garcia loves exploring other cities, the lifelong Houstonian plans to stick around here, where the business-savvy artist-turned-author has carved out a unique career for himself. “Houston is a great city for business and growth, even though you’re running from one A/C unit to the other.”

Early-morning cappuccinos, relevant discussions, The Big Bang Theory, completed paintings, selling completed paintings

Drivers that don’t use blinkers, picking the slow lane in a double drive-through, sea urchin sushi, lots of pencil but no eraser left