Today we’d like to introduce you to Guillermo Haro.
Guillermo, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Hi, I’m Guillermo Haro Jr, I was born on July 6,1998 in East Los Angeles,CA. I am a Chicano Artist from East LA, Ever since I was a child at the age of seven, I already wanted to do something with Art. Throughout my childhood, my parents ,older brother and grandpa was always supportive of me and my artwork. I started taking art seriously when I was in the 5th grade at Humphreys Ave Elementary school. My teacher there Gabriel Garcia was always supportive of my artwork because throughout the year there, I would always carry a folder full of white copy paper with me and my drawings.I would take it out during the middle of class and start drawing cartoons or what ever came to mind. My teacher didn’t notice me doing anything I wasn’t supposed to the first couple of weeks in class and some time had passed on, he had started to notice I wasn’t getting some of my classwork completed. One day in class I was called in by him to speak to him on what was going on with me and why I wasn’t getting my work completed.So I did that I gave him an explanation to him what was going on and how during his class I rather be drawing then paying attention to him. I could tell there was something different in him when I told him that.. almost as of if he was mad at first through his facial expression he had on. Until he asked me to show him what was I drawing in his classroom a few of my drawings and he was thrilled actually.. looking through my artwork. His facial expression had changed into a big smile and was amazed with my drawings and details I had. So he let me lose and just told me to pay attention to class and told me have real talent.From that moment on I realized seeing that smile on his face seeing my drawings I knew he was serious and I knew I had to take art seriously..
Furthermore, throughout that year, Mr. Garcia was really supportive of my artwork and thrilled to see anything new id create after class. He had Even made some class assignments that involved art to get me motivated about classwork and homework. I remember when my my mom would have to attend parent conference at school when it came around. Mr.Garcia would have a conversation with my mom and mention to her and tell her “Memo is a unique Artist and to make sure he doesn’t ever quit drawing at all alawys be supportive of him no matter what”. I can say from repeatedly hearing that from him kept me motivated for a good amount of time , even now till this day .. I still get flash backs and i wish I could thank him for believing in me and my artwork.when I graduated from 5th grade Mr.garcia had a gift for me with some art supplies and a bunch of art paper .. and he thanked me for always being real to him and I to him, I still have majority of the supplies he gave me for memories and a note wrote me.
Throughout summer that year I drew so much I knew I needed to improve my drawing skills as much as possible. My older brother was into drawing as much as i was ..Joshua was actually one of the reasons I took seriously. Knowing If I can get as good as him.when it came to him drawing and taking his time in his artwork,then I can do the same thing and get as much details as possible. When he would draw he’d draw many cartoon characters from T.V. shows we’d watch together for example Spiderman, Batman, SpongeBob and Dragon ball Z. He was so good at drawing cartoons or anything he would set his mind to it was crazy.When he would leave his drawing on the table, I would go and grab his drawing from the table and pick up a fresh new sheet of paper and trace over it and copy it. My grandpa caught me once tracing over my brother’s drawing and was mad because he told me in Spanish “porque estás copiando a tú hermano, té dije que si tú sigues dibujando vas a ser más mejor de tú hermano échale ganas”. I took my grandpa’s advice and drew everything on my own without copying him not matter what.
I finally entered middle school. It went on by quickly I made some new friends and hung out with a few and had some good times. Middle school taught me that people to never judge a book my it’s cover.. and I was always learning new about someone about them.whether it was feelings or emotions for one another. Until I had reached high school it was a game changer for me. I finally reached a breakthrough where I can be myself with full potential. Then willingly to show to others what I was capable of doing with my art and sharing it with others. I was a freshman at Esteban Torres Highschool. In my Arts and technology academy where i got a lot of my creativity from and one of my teacher’s there had recommended me to an art class at my school because she had seen what I was capable of as an artist. So, I was then taken into an art class as a freshman to a senior/junior class to meet the teacher there, Ms.Ing had asked me to show her my artwork and she loved it. She had mentioned to me and said if I was interested in going on a school trip with her and her classroom that had to do with art. Luckily I said yes and had to get permission from my other teachers and was given the opportunity to go, I was excited. It was amazing and I shall always keep that memory to me i remember the trip because I was the youngest one on the trip and was able to hang out with other artists and an older crowd. I knew I had chosen the right school for me, surrounded by creativie people and different cultures.I made a few new friends there and seen some old friends from middle school and new I was going to do just fine. Sophomore year came up and I was finally given an art class that so much fun in it with a bunch of laughter’s and memories. Many of my friends were in that class and had made it fun for me to keep me going and being happy there.
Junior year and senior came on by, It was ruff for me.. To be honest, it was going great made more achievement’s and really didn’t have much fun. I had to deal with my grandfather getting older and unable to do much as he’d used to as in walk or go around anymore. He had dementia pretty bad and I still loved him no matter what nothing changed for me.He helped raise me and my brother and I shall do the same for with and watch over him. We helped him out and took care of him as he did to us. Every morning when I would get ready for school my mom would have to make breakfast for my grandpa and i. It was hard for her, she worked early and my brother worked nights and she cared for us and make sure we were good. I would even sometimes eat and feed my grandpa while my mom would get ready for work. Then my mom and I would leave the house and go do what we had to do. I didn’t have much free time as a High school teen but it was worth it I learned so much and gained truthfulness. I’d go to school and once I would come out of school i would have to go back home to make sure my grandpa was good and taken care of. While my mom was at work and my brother was asleep from Working at night. So school and art class was important for me and it was almost an escape for me from reality and peace. I learned so much from the art that it became a thing a deep meaning behind my artwork. I had gotten so good at drawing, it was almost becoming natural to me. My art style came from pictures and wanting to recreate it in black and white a pencil and draw it out .. because a picture is always a short memory and a flash back to someone.So I had explaines to my art teacher Mr.Botello portrait drawing is important to me. He taught me how to build up my art skills and creativity, especially how to view art from a different perspective from another person’s point of view. I was also able to connect myself to him and have one on one conversations with him. Knowing that, he would listen to me and give me his full attention, even when our conversations weren’t about all art and when it was I asked him for some feedback. My senior year continued and it was coming close to an end and I had a major fallback with my mom getting sick with breast cancer.
I wasn’t in the right state of mind at first because I was thinking’s bad thoughts and couldn’t process anything or be happy at all. It was a sad sometimes for me because I didn’t mention it to anyone except my Dad and two friends of mine that I was close with and they were really supportive of me. I thank them for that, My brother also did the same thing and had mentioned to his close friends and friend’s family were we are always around them. Also want to thank them for taking care of us the Lopez family and De Marcelo family are the best and is our second Family till the day I’m gone. They constantly checked up on us and I can’t truly never thank them for that. I can really say they kept us together till this day and to be able to witness a family that care about each other so much and welcomed us to be part of there’s.
Furthermore school was coming to an end, I had burly graduated with a High School diploma and was able to walk on stage with my peers, knowing I had earned my way up there and improved my grades and be able see my mom watch me walk the stage and dad see me earn my diploma with a smile on both of there faces. Summer had gone by my mother had beaten Breast cancer a week early from my birthday witch is in July and was truly a blessing for me that year for me and my loved ones.
Now here comes the fun part Right now in this moment, I was currently attending community college at East LA College. But I decided to take a different route from school and take a break from studying and focus on my career as a studio artist and teaching myself many different styles of art. My reputation for my artwork online helped me get out my work online so the world can see what I do with my Art. I was also able to create my portfolio with my artwork. So when I plan to go back to school I can show my peers and professers what I’m made of. Then later on transfer to a cal-state and apply for a scholarship with my artwork. So I did just that I was supposed to be enrolled for 2021 but the virus happened and came on by. I didn’t want to attend class virtually , I wanted to attend class physically.My art was starting to become popular online with my art I was able to get commissions Out of it and make money with my art. I sticked to specialize inportraits in black and white pencil drawings. My artwork mostly artwork includes a bunch of portraits of music Hip-hop Artists. For example, Russ,Childish Gambino, J Cole and Frank ocean are the most popular drawings I created besides my personal ones with friends and family. I love art I can truly be me when I am drawing and can have a vibe with playing music in the background.I intend to use music artist in my portrait drawings to show what each artists I create a meaning behind the music I listen to and others to. As many people can hear the message the music artist is trying to be heard and talk about their stories.
I wish to hear back from someone with some similarities as me with what art has done to inspire you and create. Also shout-out to all Mexicanos Out here creating better community all around us and to all the Chicano Artist in LA.
Has it been a smooth road?
Some obstacles I had growing up as a teen. I was leaving in East LA for a year and moving with my mom and brother to Santa with my aunt when my mom had split from my father. It was Challenging at first going to a new school without my friends and being able not to see them. Then the same thing for my brother that was already in high school and having to deal with the same thing, and my mother and to look for a new job, it was hard if you tell me. I wasn’t all there at first. I didn’t know what was going on. I was still a kid and not being able to see my parents together was new to me. But I had to move on and not think about that that’s between them, not me. So, I didn’t draw for a bit because I felt so out of touch with reality and the new area I was living in and going to my aunt’s house for a year that was “different”. So, a year went on and I didn’t draw as much, my mom was luckily able to save up enough money to rent out a house back in East LA a family member was moving to Texas and had mentioned to my mom about the house. We were back in the area I grew up on. It just felt like home here.
Furthermore, I would listen to music constantly like Rap, Hip-hop, and EDM, and even old school music to like the 80’s, 90’s area music. I guess I used music to help me get my mind off things I was thinking or emotions I had and even so, until this day, I do that. I even intend to listen to music when I’m drawing or sketching. My top music artist is Logic, Childish Gambino, Tyler the Creater, Frank ocean, and J Cole they each hold meaning in my life. and I thank them for that, to share many similar story’s in their songs or emotions. It’s just genius to music lovers out there and me.
Another struggle for me was when I was in high at Esteban E. Torres high school at the Academy of Arts and technology. It was the best I had my first art class as a freshman, and there were my best throughout the four years. My art teacher there Paul Botello is a Chicano muralist in East LA who was always there for me and was supportive of my art and he taught me so much about art for example Blending with a blender, shading and face portions. It was a blast I had fun there with him and my friends. I was a teen. I hung out with my friends after school to eat or do something together. Halfway through the year, my mom had gotten sick to the point we had found out she had breast cancer in 2017. It was ruff for me and my brother, even my family too. I didn’t tell anyone at school for a bit because I didn’t want to concern them. Until the parent conference would come by and even though my mom was sick and getting chemotherapy, she didn’t want to hold back from me from school. She would go and I knew that day she showed up back to school with me. I was going to be getting a lot of attention but I didn’t let that get in my way and support her and me no matter what. I was later on shown more respect differently from my peers and teachers and I didn’t like that. It felt really weird to me, and I just wanted to be treated the same as I did before them, not knowing about my mother and how sick she was. The high school that was coming to an end and our teacher has told me that we were creating a self-portrait in class as homework of ours. He mentioned to me when I had spoken to them about the same it that I can use my art to create a beautiful piece of art by drawing down my thoughts and I been having. So, I did create this piece and I had called it nothing was the same to represent my mom when she had breast cancer it was amazing I had so many of my friends and teachers and tears when I had explained the meaning behind the art. It was amazing to see and hear the feedback I’d get from them. I knew I had a big art career coming out it. So, I finish graduating high school and my mom beating breast cancer it was the best present I could ever receive and her doing the most while recovering from Treatment for me and everyone.
A big struggle for me in 2020 was the death of my grandfather. I couldn’t handle it well. I had so many thoughts and memories that night my mom had called me saying my grandpa was dying and had gone straight to the hospital, I felt like someone shot a bullet straight into my heart. It had just felt unreal to me losing my role model when my dad wasn’t around. He taught me how to give respect to people and show kindness to others, even when not showing it back to you. I still get flashbacks of the days we’d hang out together to do activities that would make him happy and we’d even go to my mom’s old job to eat for lunch and wait for her to until she’d get out of work. It was always fun being around my grandpa. He was a jokester and a kind man and always asked me one on how I was. I guess some of his genuineness from him because I was always with him and he was like my best friend. I can say the day he passed away was the hardest pain I have ever felt in my entire life. I didn’t want to do anything after that, not even draw. I would hear his voice asking me what I was working on or who I was working on. It would have me cry so I would go in the restroom or my room and having to put music and blast the speaker up so I would hide my noise of crying form my mom and brother. It’s been four months since I moved on, but I still think about him a lot there is people in my life that I hang around with that remind me so much of my grandpa in each one of them. Shout-out to the Lopez family there amazing. They are supportive of my brother and me and even so until this day and I can’t never repay them for that, thank you, guys.
Please tell us about your work.
I am a portrait artist I specialize in portraits with graphite pencils in black and white. I also just started getting into oil painting and designing design for logo companies. I am known for my portraits and meaning behind the artwork and my emotions to go with it having to do with my work being made of a bunch of Music artists or commissions in black and white. I am proud of myself that I have come a long way with my artwork just getting better and better and becoming popular on social media and there not being as much Chicano Artist from L.A. putting them self’s out there. I also hope to get into the tattoo industry and become a tattoo artist that specializes in portraits.
Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
What I love about my city is the people and the genuineness you get from everyone and the mixed cultures you get to grow up with and learn from one another. It doesn’t matter the race or skin color one is; we are treated the same here. I also love seeing everyone get along and become a big, diverse community and expect everyone for who they are. Also, the old cars in L.A. are the best, especially at the weekend, you’d get to see in Whittier Blvd. On the weekends going for a cruise, it just screams out the area we once had and how it came together with the new area. Some dislikes I don’t like is that there are not many people in our community that support young artist just trying to make a living and put their name out there. and the Traffic here sucks LMAO!!
- single self-portrait 125$
- more then 1 person self-portrait price 200$
- more then 2 person self-portrait 300$
- custom logo or design , we can discuss the pricing
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: Instagram.com/gharodraws