Art from the heart

Cristian Escanuela, 29, sitting nearby a variety of his latest pieces of artwork inside his shop named Los Pajaritos de Escanuela located in Harlingen.

Ever since Cristian Escanuela, 29, was a child, he has always been fond of art.

For him, seeing his artistic ideas come to fruition makes him feel a great deal of pride.

He sees them as a reminder that he has found his sense of worth and purpose.

When Cristian was in high school, he felt like working with its type of structure wasn’t right for him and didn’t continue.

After working a variety of jobs, he decided to pursue his passion for painting.

At 23 years old, Cristian wanted to start creating art for a living and took several classes at the Harlingen Art Forum.

There he met art teacher Armando Ortiz, someone Cristian says is one of the first people that greatly encouraged him to create art.

After learning a variety of art techniques such as creating layers, contrast and shadows, he began to work alongside his dad, Agustin, who is a woodcarving artist.

Here is what Cristian had to say about transforming his hobby into a career.


Q: Can you tell me about your artwork?

Cristian: I really love painting animals and I try to create artwork that’s bright, colorful and vibrant. I started my artwork with oil on canvas, but now I use acrylic on salvaged wood. I create my artwork on scrap pieces of wood my dad doesn’t use. We salvage wood from people that were going to throw it away. So by doing this, we’re able to clean the environment and create artwork.


Q: What advice do you have for others who are interested in turning their hobby into a business?

Cristian: Make sure it’s something you are passionate about and really want to do. Never give up. Don’t worry if you come across obstacles. Find something that really motivates you.


Q: What do you enjoy most about your career?

Cristian: I love taking my artwork places and being able to see the world more. Markets are different from having a store because at stores you wait for people to stop by, but at markets, I’m able to show my artwork to 10 times the amount of people and hear a lot of feedback.


Q: How do you feel about being able to conduct your career along with your dad?

Cristian: He’s always supported me and I really enjoy working with him. I honestly couldn’t see myself working with anyone else.