Last day to give $5 to help fly 100 shelter cats to new forever homes! ✈

NOVICA Artisan Jose Luis Dopazo

Jose Luis Dopazo

I'm Jose Luis Dopazo and I create leather jewelry. My friends describe me as shy, creative and devoted. I've always liked to express myself with manual work and creating jewelry allows me to communicate and evoke emotions through my work.

After 17 years of designing and creating stained glass, I started having problems with my back. I had to leave a job I was passionate about since I couldn't put in the effort the work required. After that, I worked in tourism for ten years. Eventually, I was able to return to the creative world through jewelry.

"I had a craft shop where I sold the jewelry I’'d buy. Customers would often ask for different things than the market offered. I got the idea of making them myself and started experimenting with my own designs. Little by little, I became more involved in creating the pieces until I decided to work at it full-time.

"What attracted me to jewelry was the fact that in a small place, abstract ideas could move feelings, memories and emotions. For me, artisan work combines positively with the world around it. Sharing it and inviting the participation of others exalts the human condition.

"The challenge is making your own designs immediately recognizable through clear and powerful ideas that convey happiness and well-being. I've learned that imagination is limitless and that inspiration is everywhere, but you've got to have passion. I work with leather, gemstones, crystal, wood, metals, pearls and rubber. I buy raw leather and then tan it, cut it, glue and paint each piece. Practice makes these processes easy to complete and the most exciting part is designing.

"Working for yourself requires much more time than having a job where you leave the office and forget all about it until the next day. When you work independently, you need to make all the decisions and you're responsible for everything. So independent artisans have to depend on the people who have experience. Novica, for example, helps us a lot in making our designs known.

"I'm very satisfied for having created a platform that allows me to work in a field I'm passionate about. I don't have a specific business plan, but I want my project to earn an income while generating social and spiritual benefits for myself and my community, including the social groups with the greatest need."