Meet The Artist with Val Garcia

Meet The Artist with Val Garcia

Meet The Artist with Val Garcia 1920 2560 The Tucson Gallery

Transcript (Unedited)

Tom Heath

Welcome back to another episode of Meet the Artist, our podcast filmed and recorded out of the Tucson Gallery in downtown Tucson. We’re at 300 East Congress, across from Hotel Congress, and we’re in the same block as the Rialto Theater, and every week we get a different artist to come in and talk about their process, their history, their story, and we share that on our website, thetucsongallery .com. You can check out all of our past episodes of what we call Meet the Artist, and more importantly, you can check out our calendar of events to find out when these artists are gonna be live in the gallery. And live today, we’ve got kind of a special treat, because we have, I think, a first in our gallery, and we’ll talk about that in a moment, but I wanna welcome Val to the show.

Val Garcia

Hi, I’m Val, I’m an artist. I kinda do like abstract, sort of like pop kind of art.

Tom Heath

When did you start painting?

Val Garcia

Actually, it’s a really funny story. I started painting actually, like, I would say a couple years ago, because I just kinda got a small interest about it, and, you know, I do like little doodles and like small drawings on paper, and then it kinda turned into, you know, like canvases, and then it kinda turned into this.

Tom Heath

Ha ha, so you, the reason why this is unique is because, for two reasons. One is, and I don’t normally ask this question to most of our artists, but how old are you?

Val Garcia

I’m 13.

Tom Heath

That makes you our youngest artist, and you have work in our gallery, and you are the youngest to do that. Also, it’s interesting, because you were the model for some of the art that was in our gallery. Your dad did something with you.

Val Garcia

Yeah, I was the kid running from the Pinatas, and I was, I would say around six years old. Can I tell the story? Yeah, tell the story, this is your show, man.

Tom Heath

I just wanna. We’re here to celebrate you. I can ask you questions, you do what you want.

Val Garcia

All right, I was just making sure. I don’t wanna ruin anything.

Tom Heath

No, man, you go for it.

Val Garcia

So, a couple years back, let’s start with my dad. So, my dad was fishing with his family, and there was this like giant, like, bull. Like, this bull was just like across the river, and my dad was so, like, freaked out, he ran back to the van and just hid there, and the whole family was just laughing, because the bull was just getting water and stuff, and then my dad kind of took inspiration from that, and, you know, I’m gonna turn that into art, and my dad took a picture of me, and it took me so many tries to do it, and he actually was saying, if you don’t do it, I’ll get your cousin on this instead. I’ll be like, jeez.

Tom Heath

Tough dad.

Val Garcia

Like, I was like, dang, I’m trying, man, I’m only six. So, I got the perfect pose, and my flip flop, like, flew. It, like, flung, and my dad caught it in, like, the perfect moment. It was like a new moment in that memory, because it felt like I was important, I would say.

Tom Heath

Well, you’re the centerpiece of a very big mural in downtown. Your dad, being Ignacio Garcia, painted the running of the piñatas, and there are two things that are very iconic about that. One of the, of course, the piñatas, but you running with the sandal flying off is, everybody recognizes that. So, you are important.

Val Garcia

I’m very, very grateful to be in this, like, just like this. I am more grateful than I can ever imagine. I, if I could thank everybody who likes my art, who likes my dad’s art, I would.

Tom Heath

That’s too many people, everybody. I mean, and let’s be very clear. I mean, your dad is a talented artist. Oh, yeah. But you’re here by your own merits. Your art is here because you are good, and we appreciate what your dad does, but what you do is different. You know, he does the murals and really fun stuff. Yours is a little bit more abstract.

Val Garcia

I took an abstract to, like, a pop kind of culture, and I thought it was interesting. So, you know the painting, Joy? So, that one was my first one of the collection.

Tom Heath

Can you describe, I’ve seen your five that you have here. Can you describe Joy?

Val Garcia

So, it’s like a blue, black, background, sorry, with like kind of purplish, and like a whole bunch of fun colors that just kind of squiggle on there. And I put my initials on it because I’m very joyful from, you know, like if I looked at myself in the mirror, I think I would be joyful. I think it’s very nice that I get to have like my own personal, like, art selling here.

Tom Heath

Yeah, it’s your own style, it’s your own brand. And I like all five of your pieces that we have have very, very succinct and very upbeat names. You’ve got Joy and Happiness, Satisfaction. What are the other two?

Val Garcia

Excitement and Love.

Tom Heath

Love, yeah. So, they’re all just, they’re wonderful pieces. They have a nice texture to them as well because they’re not just flat. And when you’re painting, what do you, are you thinking about these emotions when you’re painting? Or do you see it when you’re done and go, oh, this looks like happiness, or this looks like love?

Val Garcia

I usually just kind of go with it. Like when I’m painting, I just kind of go whatever’s like in my mind. And like, for example, like when I was painting Love, I actually was painting it, and I was like, oh, this is awful. And when I looked at it from afar, it was like, it really stands out, actually. And you know how it’s dripping? So, you know how like when you say you fall in love, you feel like you’re melting? So, I try to like capture in that moment the best I could. Like if you were really in love with somebody or something, I would try and reenact that through paint.

Tom Heath

That is fantastic. That’s, I love hearing that. And if you’re listening and kind of want to get a feel for these, you can always come down to the gallery or check out online at the TucsonGallery .com. We are getting all of Val’s work up so you can see it. It’s, the originals are available in the gallery. We’ll have some reproductions available as well online in the near future. But you can get a sense of what he is talking about. And I know that you do some other things too. I think the, what was the very first piece you sold was like a sword or something, wasn’t it?

Val Garcia

Yeah, the very, so there was this guy coming in and he wanted to do like a entire like episode about me and my dad. And the guy, I showed the guy like some of my woodwork. And he was like, man, that’s insane. And I was like, you know what? I could sell you my first one for about 150. And like, he was like, do it. And he was like, just paint the handle like orange because his favorite color is orange. And like make the ribbon like a gold. And I was like, for sure.

Tom Heath

There you go, your first commissioned piece. That’s awesome.

Val Garcia

And if you don’t know what a Gundam is, I, it’s like a Japanese model kit of a robot. It’s like Transformers, but it’s like vice versa. But they like don’t transform. And like Gundam came before Transformers. It’s very hard explanation, but I just bought a whole bunch of those. I swear, I’d even do investment, which was a very bad idea. I should have bought in like a, some paint brushes or more paint and stuff.

Tom Heath

Like the, you made art and you bought something that made you happy. You’re going to sell more art. That’s fine. I think it’s fun to splurge a little bit every now and then. Good for you.

Val Garcia

I think that next time I get money, I will definitely invest some, at least like 50 bucks each. I used to have a motorcycle and the reason why I’m starting to get into painting a little bit more is because to have how much money they can sell for. So I’m not like a big money guy, but like I kind of need a little money right now because my motorcycle broke. And I was like, man, I’ve been wanting a go -kart for a while. So I decided, you know what? I’m just going to get a go -kart with like all this painting money as I was like painting the canvases. And yeah.

Tom Heath

There you go. So if you want to help Val here get his go -kart or his motorcycle fix, you can support him by buying a little bit of his art. That’ll work.

Val Garcia

I would be so happy if he did that. Oh my God. I would hug you.

Tom Heath

So you’ve shown your art to some people and I know you’ve gotten different reactions. How does it make you feel when someone looks at that and just gets it and they just, puts a smile on their face?

Val Garcia

It makes me really, really happy that they can understand from my point of view. It just, it makes my day, to be honest. I just love seeing people love my art because my whole entire life I was bullied a lot. I mean, I’m not so much anymore, but most of my life from elementary to a little bit now. And it’s just so grateful for me that people actually come up to me and say, oh, I love your art. And it’s just, it means the world to me. If there’s anything I want more is just for people to love the work because I’m not trying to be selfish or anything.

Tom Heath

No, we create things because they mean something to us and when it means something to someone else, it feels very special.

Val Garcia

It’s just so special to me. Like what you’re just saying, it just means the entire world.

Tom Heath

Yeah, there’s a connection that we get through art and I think that’s why art is so powerful that you and I can look at something and see it completely differently. And when you see it the same way or you connect through it, there’s a power that unlike anything else. I get what you’re saying.

Val Garcia

Yeah, and I actually painted that for people to look through art instead of actually saying the words. So when you look through art instead of words, it’s better to look through it than art because for example, like satisfaction, let’s say you watch a satisfying video or something and you look at that painting and you’re like, oh, that kind of reminded me of that video earlier. So that’s what I’m trying to get people to follow through is I want people to really feel in that moment was my art.

Tom Heath

Awesome, and you were telling me this story, you have to fill me in a little bit, but you were working on a mural recently. Can you tell me more about that?

Val Garcia

This guy had these two huge walls and this very bland door and I was just looking at that. I’m just like, how? How can that just not be painted? And I asked the guy, can I paint that? And he was like, yeah, sure, I would totally love that. And I was like, sweet. And I did it for free because I just, I could not stand that door. I was just like, it’s so dark and like bland.

Tom Heath

Yeah, you need color, you need to bring life to things.

Val Garcia

I needed to touch it up. So I was at my mom’s house that week and I just filled up a whole bunch of random paints and even paints I didn’t even need.

Tom Heath

So when you went over, you have all these paints and there’s two walls and a door. Did you paint all of that or what did you paint?

Val Garcia

So I just painted the door and I just made it look like a nerd, like a nerd style. So there’s these two large rectangular squares that had windows in them. And I was thinking, what if I turn those into glasses? Because it’s really funny. And I made like the two boxes down into like really big, like buck teeth. And like this weird, like cartoonish, like crooked smile. And like he had this fat nose and like oil was dripping down it.

Tom Heath

I love that you used the material. I mean, you built it around the environment. So you didn’t try to change it. You just looked at what was there and you brought the life out of what was there. I think that’s fantastic.

Val Garcia

Yeah, so I made it look like a nerdy robot. Cool.

Tom Heath

And then you got a podcast out of that one, not this one. Someone’s gonna do like a real, you’re gonna make a famous podcast, not just a little thing with me. I’m just practicing, right? You’re just practicing with me.

Val Garcia

Yeah, I’m just practicing. No big deal. Don’t even watch this. Just go somewhere else.

Tom Heath

What’s your other podcast?

Val Garcia

So this other podcast is actually gonna be at Comic -Con and I’m gonna be actually dressed up as somebody. And this guy was saying like, oh, there’s gonna be like three other celebrities there and he wanted me in there. And I’m just like, really? And he was like, yeah. And I don’t know who the celebrities are yet. I haven’t checked, but I should probably go check now after saying this. Reminds me. But I’m very honored to do that because it really means a lot to me.

Tom Heath

Well, at 13, what you’re doing is impressive pretty much at any age, but at 13, it was so much ahead of you given what you talked about, briefly about your past and where you’ve come. Congratulations to you. I’m excited to see where you go, but congratulations on being positive and bringing life and love into the world. So thank you for that.

Val Garcia

Thank you so much. I mean, that meant the world to me, honestly, that really meant a lot because I’ve been struggling a little bit with school and stuff. And when people say that I bring the light into the world, it makes my heart melt, literally. It makes my day.

Tom Heath

Well, Val Garcia, you can check out his work at the Tucson Gallery or at 300 East Congress. We’re also online at the TucsonGallery .com. While you’re there, you can listen to this episode or past episodes of other artists on our media page. And of course, the best thing there, besides the artwork, is to get on the newsletter and find out what’s happening so that you know when the artists are gonna be in the gallery. We’ve got about 30 that we represent. Most of them have done at least one event and as we get into the fall and into 2024, they’re gonna be coming back for a second round. So don’t think you missed them. Just know that they’re coming up, but we’ll see when we get Val back in here. But Val, thanks so much for your time.

Val Garcia

No problem. I was so nervous doing this. I was like, man, I’m glad that I hope I don’t ruin this.

Tom Heath

You knocked it out of the park, man.

Val Garcia

Great job. Yeah, all right. Thank you.

Tom Heath

Thank you for listening to Meet the Artist. This is a weekly production by the Tucson Gallery located inside of the proper shops at 300 East Conger Street in Tucson, Arizona. The mission of the Tucson Gallery is to support local artists by providing a space to show their art, a forum to engage with their audience, a virtual presence to connect with global patrons, an outlet to earn a fair price, and an opportunity to hone their business skills. Head over to thetucsongallery .com for more information about our live events. Listen to other Meet the Artist podcasts and check out the wide selection of art, gifts, and other items created by Tucson’s modern, thought -provoking, and forward -thinking artists.

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