Student finds path expressing himself through artwork

With marks of a pencil and strokes of a brush, Christian Garcia fills a blank canvas with his colorful view of the world.

Christian Garcia, sophomore art major at South Plains College, uses his artwork as a form of expression and says he hopes others can find it relatable.

Garcia took his first art classes when he was in the sixth grade, but really immersed himself in the craft at home.

IMG_0004“I would say my art is about 70 percent self-taught,” he said. “I spent most of my time making art at my house, or by watching YouTube videos.”

After spending a semester at Texas Tech University, the Frenship High School graduate transferred to SPC.

“At Tech, I kind of felt like this little bitty fish in this big ol’ sea of students that were better at their craft than me, and professors that didn’t care about me,” Garcia said.

Garcia explains SPC was a much better fit for him.

“When I came here, the classroom size is a bit more manageable,” Garcia said. “The teachers seem to care, and it’s a lot cheaper.” he said.

According to Garcia, he was told by one of his instructors that he is one the best artists on campus.

“I wouldn’t say my expertise comes from one really awesome teacher,” he said. “I think it’s more my thirst for knowledge.”

Garcia credits his collection of teachers as having been a huge part of his success at SPC.

“I get a lot of good advice from the drawing professor, Chris Adams,” he said. “I’m learning a lot from ceramics class, painting class, drawing class.”

Branching out into other art mediums has helped to improve his own painting, according to Garcia.

“The metals teacher, Allison Black, has helped me understand 3D things and expand my horizons,” he said. “As a painting person, a 2D person, it’s really hard to wrap my head around 3D, because it’s not something I work with.”

IMG_0013After receiving his associate’s degree, Garcia hopes to transfer to the University of North Texas or the University of Texas at San Antonio.

“After I get my undergrad, I want to live in San Francisco for a little bit, New York for a little bit, or maybe somewhere in Italy,” Garcia said. “I have a very nomadic personality.”

Garcia has been invited to participate in an art show in San Antonio at the Aztec Theatre on April 25.

“There’s going to be a lot of people, artists, a fashion show, and jewelers,” He said. “It’ll be pretty cool.”

The show is hosted by a non-profit company called Raw Artist.

“A scouter found me on Instagram and really liked my work,” Garcia said. “They set up with their show director for an interview. He thought I’d be a good fit for the show.”

Garcia said he gains most of his attention from his social media profiles.

“The biggest jump in my following has been from Instagram,” he said. “It’s probably been the biggest thing. There are a couple of people following me that I have no idea what language their profile is in.”

Garcia says he hopes his followers can relate to his artwork.

“I’m working on painting with a purpose,” Garcia said. “I want someone to see it and gather their own personal meaning from it.”

Trauma and personal pain are a few of the things Garcia gathers inspiration from.

“I think a lot of people from any generation can understand and relate to feeling alone,” he said. “Maybe your parents don’t agree with you or support your dreams.”

Garcia’s artistic pseudonym is ‘Toxic Sheep,’ which has an underlying message for those who enjoy his art.

“I want to tell my audience not to be like the toxic sheep in their lives,” Garcia said. “Don’t be a follower. If you want to have this big bold dream, live it. If you want to be an artist, writer, or entertainer, go do it. Don’t do a toxic sheep, and don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it.”

You can see Garcia’s artwork on Instagram and Twitter @toxic_sheep811 or on Facebook @toxic.sheep.

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