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Angel Hernandez-Cruz


Born in Oaxaca, Mexico, Angel came to the US at the age of 2.  Growing up in a one-bedroom apartment in single mother household, Angel leaned to be on his own as an inverted being. He didn't quite grow up into his culture but into the melting pot of various cultures LA had to offer. Check out our Q&A with Angel... 

Q & A with Angel H. Cruz

XZBT: How would you describe your artist style?

AHC: Detailed. I like overthinking it. Before I execute it.


XZBT: What is your favorite medium to use?

AHC: So far as of now, every. But the second best is digital.


XZBT: Did you always want to be an artist?

AHC: No, I wanted to be a poet. But before that, I wanted to be a singer.

I guess after failing at everything I decided to relearn something, which in turn was art.

XZBT: What reaction do you want from the viewer when they see your work?

AHC: Notstagic and emotional. I would like it if they go home and get so inspired they try something new.


XZBT: What advice do you have for someone who is shy to put their artwork in a gallery or exhibit?

AHC: Don’t be, if I learned something from doing art is you can never go wrong.

You can just fail to understand it, if you make it offensive and harmful to those voiceless.


XZBT: Describe how art is important to society?

AHC: It teaches you survival, work smart not hard. Making self improvements through a movement.


XZBT: What's your tip or best way you maintain a live/work balance? And when do you know you're lacking balance?

AHC: When you forget to sleep, and rest. Sometimes you gotta understand that art will always be there so just make time for yourself and everything you can handle. Support always helps, you can never achieve anything alone. I know from experience from those who have used me.


XZBT: What are your thoughts about the art world? Is it hard?

AHC: It’s a cut throat, worse than corporate jobs. You have to understand you will never be the only one with that “Idea” everyone somewhere has had that same idea. Just take time to develop it and make sure if you do have support it’s mutual, but once you find the right space or community it's safe to say it becomes easy at that point.


XZBT: How has your style changed over time?

AHC: I can say I have developed a technique to make it my own, if that's the question. I have always mimic, copy, trace, project, or even replicate everything I have learned. I tend to now understand what everyone who does art knows, just now I am smart about how I make my art my own. There's no masters, just teachers and students.


XZBT: What motivates you to create?

AHC: As of now, my daughter Angeline. But before that it was the love and support of my wife. She has been someone that really has shown love from my failed poetry to silly sketches and dumb ideas. Now my art reflects all that support I see but never gets talked about.


XZBT: Tell me about your techniques for overcoming creative blocks.

AHC: I can say I have never had one, just moments of clarity where I can say I can understand my strengths and weaknesses and acknowledge that I don't know everything and some things need studying before trying it.


XZBT: How do you define success as an artist?

AHC: An artist once said if you sell a painting, you're an artist. If someone compliments you for your hard work you're an artist. 

But success itself is all based on your comfortability in living without the need to overwork.


XZBT: Do you sell prints of your work? Where can we find them?

AHC: I do, as of now it's only at pop ups and galleries. I try to keep it as a momentary thing where you have to be there to obtain it.


XZBT: When do you know when an art piece is done?

AHC: The moment your idea feels complete. Remember that art will never be finished, it can be complete through the idea of the creator but someone will always want more. It's up to the artist to determine what enough is.


XZBT: Where do you find inspiration? And do your other interests influence your art?

AHC: Life, looking outside the window, experiencing living.


Flannery O' Connor once said:  “Nothing needs to happen to a writer’s life after they are 20. By then they’ve experienced more than enough to last their creative life. 

I took that quote to heart, since I could, I always wanted to make something for others to appreciate whether I was known for it or helped in it. I just wanted to leave something behind.

XZBT: When is your favorite time of day to create?

AHC: Any, as long as I'm surrounded by what I need to make it happen.

No excuses, just doing.


XZBT: Does art help you in other areas of your life?

AHC: It keeps me more grounded, builds criticism amongst my own thoughts on how to make it better and top my last work.


XZBT: How do you develop your art skills?

Same way I put my shoes on, one foot at a time.

Make sure I take my own time to understand what I want to accomplish.




XZBT: Which art trends inspire your current work?

AHC: Life! Memes at times.


XZBT: How has your style changed over time?

AHC: Just the technique in which I want to create. From words to imaginary.


XZBT: What are your favorite and least favorite parts of professional art?

AHC: Making art for others, and trying to get paid. Besides finding the right gallery that would approve of you without the hype or fame you may already have or may not have.


XZBT: Do you have a network of other artists, and how do they support you?

AHC: I do, but it's all a bartering system where as artists we acknowledge our strength and weakness and that's how we proceed to work.


XZBT: What have critics and collectors said about your work?

AHC: I can lie and say “that they haven’t seen anything like this” but the reality of it all is they noticed the amount of detail and also the amount of attention i put into my art pieces.


XZBT: Is there a specific environment or material that's integral to your work?

AHC: Collage, making more of what’s there. Chaos within the mess.


XZBT: Describe your dream project.

AHC: Making something without interpretation, in other words a book.


XZBT: Do you collaborate with other artists? How?

AHC: I do, by helping them execute their ideas in any means necessary, only as long as I'm capable and within my reach


XZBT: Do other interests influence your art?

AHC: Yes, being able to absorb life and its flaws.


XZBT: Describe the best piece of art you have created

AHC: It's still a project, but I'm happy with everything I have created.

Follow Angel on Instagram @angelhcrux to see more of his work. 

Q & A  curated in collaboration with Nancy Gonzalez 

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