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Meet Ciro Flores

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ciro Flores.

Ciro, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I was born in Honduras, Central America in 1971. For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to be an artist. I made small paper cutout figures and posed them like sculpture; I guess these small figures were my childhood form of sculpture. I spent countless hours drawing my favorite comic book characters.

Color pencils and crayons were not available to me back in Honduras, so most of my early work was crudely drawing in pencil. I immigrated to the United States, to Pasadena Texas, in November of 1982. I came here with my two sisters to live with my mother who had left Honduras when I was four. We arrived not knowing a word of English and not really knowing our new family very well.

My mother was very strict. She wanted us to succeed, so she enrolled us in school immediately where we spent half the day learning English and the other half attending classes, where we didn’t understand a word the teachers said. My favorite class quickly became art class. From that point on there was no turning back. I knew I wanted to be an artist, to make art, paint, draw, and make sculpture.

That led to high school where I learned and developed a style of painting that is influenced by my experiences, the art of the times and the idea that art can transform a person into a world of his or her creation. I went to college in Idaho, but it was not for me. I loved studio art, but the book-learning classes bored me, and eventually, I dropped out.

I came back to Houston and continued to paint. It’s been over 30 years since those early days in Honduras, and I have been lucky enough to be able to make and sell art that makes me happy, that I am proud of, and that people like… at least some people!

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It has not been a smooth road. When I first started painting, I used to do all my work in colored pencil on paper. The work was very colorful, and the color was heavily saturated.

The repetitive back and forth motion of covering large paintings with color pencil caused arthritis in my right hand, and for a while, I couldn’t make art anymore. One day an artist friend saw my art and asked why I wasn’t making art anymore I told him my story, and he suggested I try acrylic paintings. He invited me to a couple of workshops that he was teaching, and because of him, I started painting again.

Of course, there are always the challenges that many young artists faces: trying to find a gallery that will show your work, receiving the first rejection by a gallery, that shows that you entered that you know you will win, but in the end, someone else gets selected. And there is even the fear that maybe your work is not that good enough and that maybe you should just pack it up and concentrate on your day job.

Those are challenges that I still face to this day, but as an artist, I have found that I have to deal with it all, put it behind me and continue to create work that I am proud of and that makes me happy.

We’d love to hear more about what you do.
Ciro Flores Art is my art studio. I make bright, colorful works of art that have been described by some as abstract and by others as figurative. The work itself is influenced by the artist I loved growing up, by my early years in Honduras, and by modern graffiti art.

The work is clearly definable by its bold use of color, bold black outlines and the storytelling aspect of the work. When people see my work the very first things they point out are the very primitive figures and the eyes and lips on my figures. They are an important theme in most of my work.

The second thing they mention is that they feel the work is trying to tell a story. When I create art, I always have a concept, but not always a story to tell, so I ask the viewer to imagine their own story through the art.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success for me is simply doing what I love for as long as I can. Success is being proud of the work I create and knowing that it is my creation. Success is having people tell me that every time they pass by one of my painting in their homes, it makes them smile.

Selling paintings, showing works with galleries, winning the art competition, getting commissions are all secondary if an artist doesn’t love and is proud of what the artist is creating. I do love and am proud of the art I am creating.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Frankie Mohammed

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