An artist in the making

Marisol Gutierrez continues to create work

Amelie Hernandez, Staff Writer

“Art is about growing as a person and trying new techniques along the way and the best part of it is seeing others’ reactions to what each of my pieces means to them,” said LMC artist Marisol Gutierrez.

Gutierrez was first introduced to art when she was in the second grade, but it sparked back up in sixth grade and continues still to this day.

 High school is when her artistic skills peaked. She took all four years of art and received an AP Art score of 5 — the highest score you can get. Junior year she received honorable mention at Freedom High Schools art show. Senior year she was chosen by an alumni who supplied her with free art supplies.

Despite her love of creativity, Gutierrez is not an art major. She was concerned that artists sometimes struggle to earn enough money to survive so, instead, she studies biology at LMC. But she makes sure to find time to follow her passion as a hobby.

She loves drawing out-of-the-ordinary compositions emphasizing faces. Gutierrez explained that when she first started making art she tried drawing like everyone else — normal, realistic compositions — but that was something she wasn’t very good at. So she began drawing unique and surreal compositions, which was the complete opposite of what she was being taught in her middle school art class. 

 “Try doing art, don’t be afraid to do it,” she said. “It doesn’t matter if it doesn’t come out as everyone else’s because you can create your own style of art that doesn’t conform with anyone else’s.” 

In her case, that advice did wonders because she found her own creative style that she actually enjoys.

 “For the most part, always try new things to get out of the norms because you may be surprised by the talent you have that you just haven’t opened the doors to,” said Gutierrez.

She explained that her own compositions have been influenced by the work of artists such as Picasso and Frida, and surrealism in general, which features fantasy and dreamlike compositions.

Gutierrez uses acrylics, watercolors, colored pencils, and, occasionally, color pastels. Typically, she works on regular 12-by-12 sized paper, and explained that she first starts each drawing with a plain face and then adds a bunch of lines and shapes to make it interesting and strange. Most of her compositions are unique colorful faces with abstract features and backgrounds.

She often leans toward using bright colors like green, yellow, orange and blue to make certain features stand out, and enjoys incorporating shapes like circles, dots, swirls and lines.

 She said she tries to incorporate almost all the elements of art in her work. 

The reason her compositions draw customers in, she said, is because they are not only designed to be viewed from a distance, but to stare at and follow the movement of the art elements she integrates. 

Line gets incorporated with the strokes of bushy eyebrows. Color overflows her art with bright shades that work with one another. Shapes are thrown all over the backgrounds of her artwork in a style inspired by Picasso, she explained. Value is shown through the strokes of the harsh outlines of her subjects and the strokes of her colored pencils as she fills the spaces of the abstract loopy faces.

She likes the idea of people seeing her artwork as something unsettling or strange, yet at the same time aesthetically pleasing. 

Friend Isabel Ochoa describes Gutierrez as a quiet person yet her art screams otherwise. 

“The art she makes is crazy unique. Sometimes I think she makes them on acid but I know how impossible that is because she’s never done any drugs,” she said. 

The abstraction of her art creates an illusion of things you might see while hallucinating. Faces of unbalanced, enlarged and odd facial expressions may deceive you into thinking she’s experimenting with drugs, but Gutierrez assures that she is, in fact, the soberest person on the planet. 

With the support of family and friends, Gutierrez started up an Instagram account where she posts her art.

 Despite not having a huge number of followers, she recently got her first paid commission to draw a surrealism portrait of the customer. This is a huge milestone for Gutierrez because she never really thought her art would be something someone would want to buy. 

She said she was surprised yet stoked when she received a direct message from a stranger asking for a personalized drawing. She hopes to continue making more art for fun, and for those who are interested in commissioning a composition. 

The pricing of Gutierrez’s pieces varies on sizing and subjects. For more information, check out her art page on Instagram

With more time on her hands because of COVID-19, she will be active on her art account now more than ever.