Julio Suarez is an assistant professor of art. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
What’s your favorite genre of music?
Well, it’s Bob Dylan. So, whatever genre of music Bob Dylan is, which I don’t want to put into a category.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be an architect.
What’s your favorite movie?
I’m gonna say Master and Commander, but there are a bunch at the top that are tied together.
What’s one piece of advice you’d want to give to every Hillsdale student?
Find out how good you can get at doing one thing.
Do you have any hidden talents?
Art. I also remember trivia really well, just random facts and trivia. I’m sure I’m not as good as I was when I was your age, the brain slows down a little bit.
If you could only eat one carb for the rest of your life, which would it be: rice, pasta, or bread?
Well, it’s definitely between rice and bread…it has to be rice. Where I come from, we eat rice with just about every meal. So, I’d have to go with that, even though I love bread so much.
What was your favorite part of college?
Being in my teacher’s studio drawing. Just an afternoon on a Tuesday from 1 to 4, just being in that room was my happiest time ever. I could just live in that room.
Who’s your favorite artist?
If I had to have one painting to have in my home, I would have to go with a pretty obvious one, which is Vermeer. It’s just, they’re just amazing. I don’t think I would get tired of looking at a great Vermeer, the little gems that they are.
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
I would live on the Amalfi Coast in Positano. There’s such beautiful places in this world, but I think I could spend a lot of time in Positano. The weather’s so beautiful, the painting, and the food. Can’t go wrong with a super touristy town that no one lives in that’s next to a volcano.
What’s one way you hope to impact your students?
I would want them to learn to be curious and to love learning.
If you could own any animal as a pet, what would it be?
A wolf. I love dogs.
What was your favorite book as a child?
They were Spanish books, I wouldn’t remember their titles. Crime and Punishment. No, I’m kidding, not as a 7‑year old. Oh, let’s just say Call of the Wild.
What’s a life lesson you learned too late?
I don’t think too late is right, but I would say I would have wanted to learn earlier. This is what I emphasize with my students so much: it’s all about who works the hardest, it’s not about the talent. It took me a while to figure that one out. I thought everything was about who had talent, and that’s not true. You must figure out how to have grit. But, I’m sure there’s many lessons to be learned still.