Making a Mark – Christopher Herrera is a meticulous and intimidating self-taught
by Evan Senn
Q: What or who, got you interested in art?
A: When I was around 7-years-old I used to watch TV every morning before heading to school. I would always watch Pokemon and Power Rangers. I used to love Pokemon so much that I eventually started sketching them. So, I have to thank the creators of Pokemon for getting me started.
Q: Were you artistic as a child?
A: In school, I would draw virtually everywhere. I used to get in trouble sometimes because I would get caught drawing on the desks. I always doodled on the side of my notes, homework, and my exams.
Q: Are you self-taught or did you attend a trade school? Tell us about your artistic journey.
A: Two years into being in the Navy I came to the conclusion that the Navy was not what I wanted to be doing for the rest of my life. I then stumbled upon a group of artist who use to draw exclusively on the game Draw Something. So, I decided to join them and I started drawing again after taking a few years off. A few months later I decided that I want to take it more seriously so I started drawing on paper and on drawing apps on the iPad. Within a year of me drawing again I no longer drew digitally and drew exclusively on paper. I watched a lot of YouTube videos looking for tips and by this time I had a good amount of friends who were artists themselves so i was also taking advice from. Without them pushing me to keep drawing I would not be where I am artistically. So, at the moment, I am self-taught.
Q: Tell me about your art. How would you describe it?
A: My work is mainly realism or hyper-realism. I love getting the likeness of the person or thing that I am drawing.
Q: Has the tattoo culture inspired your artwork at all? If so, please explain.
A: I get inspired from some of the tattoos I have seen. I feel the need to draw something badass whenever I see a well-executed tattoo.
Q: What else inspires you?
A: Details. I am completely in love with details. Whenever I stumble upon a photo or a hyper-realistic painting/drawing with an extreme amount of detail I just want to run home and get to work. Being surrounded by other artists is something that inspires me just as much; also, the female form, in general. As a man, I can admire their beauty. But as an artist, I want to capture it and present it to the world.
Q: Where do you get ideas for your artwork? References? Personal photos?
A: I get my ideas just from browsing on the internet. I always use a reference for my drawings so that I can be as accurate as possible when it comes to proportions and also because I want the drawing to be as detailed as possible. At the moment I am using photographs from the internet but I am currently starting to find my own models and will be doing drawings of them in the near future.
Q: If we walked into your home or studio, whose art would we find on your walls?
A: Emanuele Dascanio, Matt Hubel, and Gustavo Rimada.
Q: What are your favorite mediums and why? Is there a medium you enjoy over the other?
A: I use to draw with mainly graphite and colored pencil, but I recently started drawing with ballpoint pens and I found out that I enjoy pens more. I am making this my main medium, so all of my pieces from this point on will be done in ballpoint pen. It forces me to get everything right the first time and it is not as forgiving as the other mediums. I love to challenge myself. I will continue to pursue hyper-realism just that I will be doing it with a ballpoint pen instead of graphite or oil painting like the majority of artists.
Q: Tell us about your current projects or anything else you’d like to promote.
A: I am currently working on my biggest biro drawing to date, and it is a 19×24” drawing of Batman. I am also working on biro portrait of Nelson Mandela. I will continue doing larger pieces in biro because I can fit more details into them that way. I will be having a solo show here in upper Manhattan in October so if anyone is in the area you’re more than welcomed to come! I will update everyone via social media.
Q: Do you have any words of advice for an up-and-coming artist?
A: Practice, patience, and persistence. I know it sounds cliché, but you will not get better unless you continue practicing. More importantly than getting your work out there is having great work to put out there. Have enough confidence in yourself and you will see in the end that it was all worth it and all that doubt is just your brain messing with you.