How does our society define art? A more important question is how do we as individuals define art and what does it mean to us? I have been an artist since I was a little girl. I come from a family that has deep roots in art and creativity. I have family that play musical instruments, write poetry, and create visual art. One of my favorite artists is my father David Ramirez. He is my biggest inspiration. My dad is a tattoo artist and has been since he was 12 years old. He also builds motorcycles and does paint jobs on them. Growing up in Eastside San Jose means trouble for most teens. My dad made sure I was focused on positive activities and when he realized that art came natural to me, he made sure to encourage my dreams.
I started drawing at the age of seven. I would look at Disney characters and try to duplicate them as best as possible. When I got into middle school my skills progressed a little more, but I still had no discipline or any sense of identity. My high school years I felt determined to dedicate my time with my art. I wanted to grow within my creativity and my maturity. I worked it out so that I would be able to take art all four years of high school, and I did. I was in Mr. Stachnick’s class. He became a teacher of four years and our relationship reminded me of Mr. Meyagi and his students. He was a mentor and pushed me beyond artistic limits that I could not imagine. During my junior year I became an AP Studio Art student. This meant hours of dedication a day and a major portfolio due by my senior year. I entered the AP exam my last year of high school and Mr. Stachnick warned me that the judges were very strict. I did not pass. All my hard work of four years seemed meaningless and destroyed. I was disappointed and discouraged. Then I entered UC Santa Cruz the next year as a pre-art major.
I realized after high school what my art meant to me and its purpose. The AP exam was not significant. My art progressed the most during my years of high school. My art allowed me to see myself in a different light and to truly discover my identity. When I ran away from home, my art was my way of expression. I can write a book through my art, make a movie through my art, and tell a message. I believe that art is a way to define the things around you, send a message out without having to say it in words, and it is also very personal to the artist. I create visual art. The mediums (materials) I use are: acrylic paint, oil paint, charcoal, graphite, mixed media, conte crayon, oil pastel, and colored pencil. I do not now if I have created a personal style that has my signature visually, some friends say I do, but believe me, I am my biggest critique and most the time artists are never satisfied with their own work. I am hoping to write a separate blog on my art during my first year of college. I feel that the art classes I did in college and the art I created is a whole new kind of progression. So I will write about that experience soon. Here are some photos of my art; please if you have any comments feel free to write them. As for all you artists, which include everyone from musicians to poets: Never give up or stop your passions. Fight for your talent. The hardest part is the battle with yourself. It is worth the battle. - Steph