Senior artist draws inspiration from his own mind

Eddie Garcia talks about what his art work means to him.
  • ART CONTEST WINNERS

  • Gold Medal: Alex Lopez, junior at East; "It's Hell Being a Chicken Farmer," acrylic on canvasGold Medal: Shelby Rice, freshman at East; "Ropin' the Rails," Prismacolor pencilSpecial Merit: Virginia Tijerina, senior at East; "Dreaming of Greener Pastures," Prismacolor pencilFinalists: Tye're ...

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  • ART CONTEST WINNERS

    Gold Medal: Alex Lopez, junior at East; "It's Hell Being a Chicken Farmer," acrylic on canvasGold Medal: Shelby Rice, freshman at East; "Ropin' the Rails," Prismacolor pencilSpecial Merit: Virginia Tijerina, senior at East; "Dreaming of Greener Pastures," Prismacolor pencilFinalists: Tye're Lewis, East senior; Jourdyn Montgomery, East sophomore; Benjamin Fogal, West freshman; Travis Johnston, West junior; Anastasia Murphy, West seniorFirst Place: Tyler Vargas, East Junior; Orlando Sanchez, East freshman; Menhal Sheikh, West freshman; Ashley Valle, West sophomore; Leanna Rosales, West SophomoreBest of Show Middle School: Jordan Benavides, eighth grader at Howell, "Bulls on Parade"Gold Medal Middle School: Destiny Garza, eighth grader at Stroman, "Baby Fawn"Best of Show Elementary School: Piper Kallman, fourth grader at Vickers, "Stopping at the Water Hole"Gold Medal Elementary School: Donovan Vecera, fifth grader at Chandler, "Snake Eggs"

The inspiration behind this year's Best of Show artwork at the Houston Livestock Show Art Contest came straight from Eddie Garcia's mind.

The 17-year-old senior at East High School created a graphite drawing of an American Indian, with piercing eyes and a flowing headdress, to take the top honor at the show on Jan. 7.

And unlike a lot of artists, whose drawings derive from photographs, Eddie came up with the "Windows to the Soul" drawing on his own.

"I try to be different in the Houston Livestock Show because everybody draws cowboys," he said.

Eddie, who works a part-time job on top of school, said he spent about seven hours a week over the course of two months working on the winning piece. Persistence is one of the most crucial elements of being an artist, he said.

"It does get frustrating when you get to certain parts, and you don't know what to do," he said. "Sometimes you have to take a break, too."

Eddie's no novice when it comes to competing in art shows. He's won awards in several competitions, but this is his first big win that will be auctioned off in Houston for potentially thousands of dollars.

Eddie said he first knew he had a knack for drawing in the first grade, when a teacher complimented him on some of his work. Since then, he's been schooling himself on the art of making art.

He's learned proper proportions and practiced vanishing points - things that require an "artistic eye," he said.

Eddie learned to draw from photographs before beginning to challenge himself to come up with drawings in his head. More than portraits or landscapes, now he likes to do drawings that include skulls and bones - subjects he translates straight from his mind to the paper.

He thinks drawing without the help of photos gives him an edge in competitions. And make no mistake, the art departments pack just as much rivalry as the football field.

"Everyone wants to win," Eddie said. "I'm not competitive. I just try to do my best and try to get my name out there without hurting anybody else's feelings."

Hurt feelings or not, the fact is Eddie's drawing is the only art from more than 300 entries in Victoria that will make it to the Houston auction.

It left Victoria before he got to see it on display - he didn't attend the show until later in the day. But at least his fans were able to see of photograph of "Windows to the Soul" before it left for Houston with the judges.

"My family saw it. Mom was crying," Eddie said.