Juan Grande is a 24 year old artist. Born in Mexico, his family moved to Houston Texas when he was two years old, and there he lives to this day. He's now in his senior year at Houston Community College, working on earning his Associate degree in Applied Arts in Digital Gaming and Simulation.
"I love everything and anything that has to do with art. I am an ARTIST!!"
- Juan Grande
Juan's mother was a painter in Mexico, selling painted pottery to tourists. When he was young, Juan sat next to her whle she painted and would mimic her hand movements.
"So naturally art was my first and only choice as a career. My mother is what got me started in art but what kept me on art were Comic Books," he explained. "Like many young boys I was fascinated by Comic Book super heroes; Batman, Spider-Man, Ninja Turtles. You name it; I was a fan of it. And only until now have I realize that all my life had and hopefully will revolve around Comic Books."
One day, Juan hopes that his art will be at the level of those comic book and video game and concept artists that he's admired his whole life, like Mark Bagley, John Romita Sr, Stuart Immomen, and Jim Lee.
"Like many people I started drawing before I could even talk and walk right and I haven’t really stopped since. It is only until very recently that I have actually taken art seriously; it is no longer just a hobby to me but a lifestyle one of which I am proud and happy to be a part of. [...] I want to be the best artist I can possibly be and then be even better."
And he really seems to mean it. His dedication to his practice regimen is quite impressive: Juan practices daily. More than just daily, he practices before school, after school, in the evening before work and at midnight after work.
Were it not for school and work I would practice all 24 hours. And after having found this website (about 3 months ago) practicing is no longer a chore or a hassle but something I look forward to everyday."
When asked what he knows now that he wishes he had known when he started, he told me:
"I wish I knew that art would be the career I chose and I wish I had the same attitude in High School toward art that I do now. I also wish I had knowledge of this website when I started attending College and taking Life Drawing classes."
Juan's advice to other artists trying to strengthen their art skills:
"I would give them the same advice art teachers have given me… one teacher called it the “5ps”. Practice, you can’t get better without practice. Passion, if you don’t enjoy what you do than why bother doing it. Persistence, art has a unique way of humbling and intimidating even the toughest of people so you must know you will fail many times but if you keep pushing through the failures you’ll reach your goals. Positivity, never put yourself down, your art might suck but it sucks only when you compare it to other artists who have been drawing/painting for longer than you’ve been born. And above all PRACTICE!!! You can’t substitute more passion for practice, there is no magical formula. Practice is the KEY!"