Angel Ortega is a Big Artist mentor to TWO Little Artists, Angie and Melanie at Allison Elementary. Learn about her experience being an artist and arts mentor.
How long have you been a Big Artist?
This is my first year as a Big Artist. I loved it so much that I took on a 2nd Little Artist!
What is your favorite thing about the program?
I love seeing the creativity of my Little Artists. At the beginning of each work day, we talk through what we were going to work on and they are always creative in accomplishing it. It’s very cool to see them complete their work.
What is it about teaching and mentoring that makes you happy?
It is always fun to help people grow and learn. I learned so much from my mentors and I hope I can have that same influence on others.
When you were a kid, did you have a mentor or someone who gave you a push toward art?
I learned a lot of skills from my junior high and high school art teachers Ms. Fundis & Mr. Kolache. They encouraged me and often loaned me art supplies so that I could practice my skills. I still use a lot of what they taught me in my work today. In my 30s I went back to school to study graphic design. Austin Community College has an amazing visual communications program and I learned a lot from Gail Bayeta, Oen Hammonds, Edd Patton, and Sam Coronado. My greatest mentor is my dad. He always encouraged me to draw on the entire sheet of paper.
Where can people find your work?
You can see a fun collaboration piece I did with my Little Artists April 27th at the Dougherty Art Center. It’s going to be a great show. The future is talented! I have my own graphic design company, Garzig Design. You can find me online to buy merchandise. Keep up with all my work on Instagram.