by DESIREE MENDEZ//Staff Writer
The brilliant artist, Salvador Dali, once said, “ A true artist is not one who is inspired, but one who inspires others.”
There are many artists around the world, and being able to take the time to talk to one is very fascinating, especially being able to witness their talents and their love for art.
Mike Corrales, a local Lubbock artist, has been displaying his art around local communities. Corrales started drawing in elementary school, but he says that he did not really start focusing on his drawing until he was in middle school and high school.
During this time, he began to gain a better understanding for certain illustration styles, techniques and anatomy.
“My family and fellow artists inspire me to draw,” Corrales said. “But I have to really push myself to complete pieces sometimes.”
Originally from San Antonio, Corrales moved to Lubbock with his family, including his wife Dre (Andrea), in 2011. He and his wife have been married for 15 years but have been together for 19 years. They have a little girl, Arias, who is 11 years old.
Corrales says that his biggest inspiration is his wife, because she has always believed in him and pushed him to show his artwork, as well as his having him attend art shows and events. Their daughter also is his own little cheerleader when it comes to his artwork.
“I am married to my best friend,” Corrales said. “We are both involved in Lubbock-Con and the Lubbock Art community. If I ever have artist’s block, she is very helpful in guiding me through an idea. Dre is my best critic because she knows me. She is very talented as well and has a bit of the artist bug.”
Corrales’ art style is constructed as fan art. He likes to paint anything that falls into the Geekdom culture, such as “Star Wars,” Marvel, DC Comics, horror and sci-fi. But he likes to throw his own twist to the piece. It can take Corrales 15 hours (three-four days) to finish a piece if he buckles down and just draws. Corrales uses acrylic paints and spray paint on most of his work.
“Professionally, I’d like to work with J. Scott Campbell or Todd Mcfarlane,” Corrales said. “But any established Comic artist would be exciting as well.”
Corrales made his in debut February 2016 at the Lubbock-Con. That was the first time he had his art on display. Corrales said that it was “such a blast” being part of Lubbock-Con.
Since then, Corrales has participated in First Friday Art Trail in Lubbock and was able to do some live art at last year’s Art Festival in Lubbock.
“It is very humbling when someone comes up to me and recognizes my art,” said Corrales. “It makes me happy to know that someone appreciates what I do. You can appreciate art as a general statement, but to get recognition on your heart and soul is very gratifying.”
Corrales said that this past year has been very fulfilling. He has had several opportunities to put himself and his artwork out in the community. He has also had a little success in selling some of his artwork too. Corrales said his two favorite pieces, and prized favorites, are his “The Hulk” and “Galactus” pieces he completed. They are 36X48, so they’re very large prints and really stand out.
But being an artist can be hard.
“You are vulnerable and putting yourself out there for the world to see,” Corrales said. “When you are an artist, you are basically letting people judge you, and it takes courage. But there’s a lot of struggle that surrounds any aspiring professional artist.”
Despite the struggles, Corrales has still been able to find joy in his artwork.
“Art to me means being able to create something you love with any medium simply because it makes you happy,” Corrales reflected. “Although so much art has story and background and feeling and emotion, I don’t feel it always has to.”
During high school, Corrales used drawing various animes, along with Spiderman and other comic characters, as a means to cope with his mother’s untimely death.
“It helped me keep my mind occupied, and I needed it,” Corrales said. “I used it as an outlet. I always loved Graffiti, comic book illustrations and pop art. I feel like those styles and influences come through when you see my paintings or drawings. Whether it’s abstract, expressionism, ink blots, surrealism, still life, sketching, sculpting or drawing comics.”
For anyone wanting to become an artist, or anyone who draws as an outlet for stress or anything in their life, he has some advice to share.
“Do not quit,” Corrales said. “Practice and get better. Don’t be afraid of failure and criticism. Do you, paint or draw what you like.”
To check out Corrales’ artwork, find him on Instagram @Mikecorralesart, or on Facebook under Mike Corrales Art. Corrales has also participated in a Facebook podcast titled, “The Sunday Funday Podcast.”
To all inspiring artists out there, Corrales adds, find inspiration where ever makes you happy.
“Do what speaks to you,” Corrales said. “It’s all creation from imagination. Nowadays, I do it because it’s fun.”
[Photos by DESIREE MENDEZ/PLAINSMAN PRESS]