Drawing from simple pleasures
Phoenix native Frank Ybarra was born March 9, 1958, and he’s been creating art since he can remember. Family memories, the desert environment, and his Mexican heritage inspire him. “I enjoy these subjects because I find it natural to express my feelings and experiences through memories from childhood as well as my current daily life,” says Ybarra.
What inspired you to become an artist? I’ve always liked to draw. I would find anything with a blank space and draw pictures. Paper, shopping bags, flattened boxes and the occasional wall! I was fortunate to have wonderful teachers throughout my school years who encouraged me along the way. My parents and family were also very supportive.
What was the subject of your first painting? Probably a landscape, maybe a still life …
Education: ASU, Graphic Design
Work: I worked for Samaritan Health System right out of high school. I eventually got a job in their in-house communications department as a graphic designer and illustrator. I worked there until 1994. I also did freelance illustration work during this time, creating editorial illustrations for the Arizona Republic, New Times, Phoenix Magazine, and various marketing projects with local design and advertising firms.
How would you classify your art? It’s been described as “neo-cubist,” which I think is a good description.
Favorite local art venues: Phoenix Art Museum, all the art centers, in Scottsdale, Mesa and Tempe. These are all wonderful facilities. As for galleries, I would have to suggest visiting the art spaces during First Fridays in downtown Phoenix and at the Scottsdale ArtWalk on Thursday evenings.
See it in person:
Joan Cawley Gallery
7135 E. Main Street
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
See it online: