LPM Staff

A folk/modern mezcla

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garza_pedalcraft2_artBackground: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, in 1987 and raised in Phoenix, Arizona. My mom went to school for art and my dad has always been creative, so growing up I received support to pursue art. As a kid, I drew a lot and was heavily influenced by cartoon shows and video games. When I was 13 years old, I got into skateboarding and that became my life throughout my teenage years. Skateboard deck graphics and skateboard magazines filled with amazing illustrations inspired me to do similar kinds of work. I became interested in illustration and design in college. I got more immersed in that field through working various graphic design positions. While pursuing a degree in graphic design, I became involved in the art community and did a lot of live art at events. In 2006, I had my first art show at the Gallery Celtica, followed by others in galleries in downtown Phoenix. More recently, I’ve displayed my work at Phoenix Design Week events, booths at Phoenix Comic Con, and remain active in the Chicano art community. Currently, I do illustration and design freelance and, when I’m not working, I love spending quality time with my beautiful wife and four-month-old son.

Career Highlights: I graduated in 2008 with a Bachelor’s in Graphic Information Technology from Arizona State University. My first big design commission was from the Boys and Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Phoenix. At that time, I also had my first big-time freelance gig with Houston rapper, Chingo Bling, for whom I did some really cool illustrations. Of the many art shows I participated in, the most noteworthy include the Deck Show in 2009 at Bragg’s Pie Factory, A Failed Entertainment group show at the Monorchid in 2011, showings at the ALAC and Xico galleries, and being part of the Phoenix Pedal Craft events in 2012.

garzafamilymotoDescription of my art: My work is very illustrative with gritty line work, vibrant colors and Chicano-related themes. I enjoy drawing typography, portraits, motorcycles and comics. I’m very passionate about social issues, especially involving la Raza, so I tend to make very strong statements with that kind of work. However, I try to keep some of my other work light-hearted, like comics, because you can’t take life too seriously! I use traditional methods such as drawing, inking and painting, and do as much work as I can by hand. I feel that’s important because I’m able to apply my unique style to whatever it is I’m doing.

Sources of inspiration: I’m really influenced by my culture and upbringing as a Mexican-American. The music, food, imagery and artistic traditions of where I’m from impact my work greatly. I take a lot of inspiration from Mexican muralists, lowrider arte, hand-painted signs, vintage design and vintage motorcycles.

Future plans: To do what I love doing more and to keep making a living doing so! I plan to work with awesome new clients, do more art shows, get my work published and keep educating and inspiring others through my work, especially my son.

Website: jongarza.com

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