Picardo has participated in various local art events including UICA’s Live Coverage, the Creston Neighborhood Association’s Art Battle for Community, and Avenue for the Arts, Folkloric and Traditional Afro-Caribbean Dance and many others. He has been a leader in the arts community representing West Michigan’s Caribbean community on a national and global map. Art has been an integral part of Picardo’s life and he decided to choose it as a career to bring about social changes in the Caribbean community. He has also been working actively to create a space in West Michigan for upcoming artistic talent and recognizing them for better future of art.
FarandulaMag: What’s been your greatest artistic success?
Picardo: I found ways to overcome all of these challenges to pursue my passion for arts while doing it, but I’m very aware that the challenges you face are daunting and very real. I truly believe that it is one of the current art murals that I am working on at Metro Hospital Byron Center.
FarandulaMag: What is your creative process like?
Picardo: Every art project begins with an idea, then I pick the subject based in these ideas. It is usually something that gets my creative juices flowing. Often I use to work on some sketches where I see the composition. The main idea is trying to create something outstanding, so I like to see colors and shapes to make sure the scheme works. After that, I have a really strong idea about how it is going to look. One important element in my work has to be colors. The right color makes the difference; for example, the entire painting can fall apart because I didn’t take the time to develop good structure.
FarandulaMag: What is the most challenging part about working with painting?
Picardo: The challenges that an artist face are many. It often takes years of education and practice to gain a good skill.Producing a piece of art is an experiment that requires research, insight, review and to repeat the process. The next step is believing that YOU are the one that can make it better.
I believe it is a combination of many things. For example: making a living doing what you love; create a piece of art. Then getting them shown or finding people interested in buying your art. The next big challenge is gaining publicity, to attract attention from potential buyers and art collectors. The journey wasn’t easy.
I’ve been fortunate enough, as the son of an artist and the owner of a gallery, to see artists who have found ways to overcome all of these challenges to pursue their passion and make a successful living while doing it, but I’m very aware that the challenges you face are daunting and very real.
FarandulaMag: Do you do anything in particular to sell your art?
Picardo: I am always busy working or creating a project based on music or art. Selling limited edition prints or any form of physical art can be profitable if you have an engaged and supportive community.
I got to mention that our local community does not support local arts. Building that community is the actual challenge. One important element is to build a website, online portfolio and also monthly mailing list.
FarandulaMag: Can you tell us about yourself and how you became an artist?
I was born in Santo Domingo, the Dominican Republic; moved to Catano, Puerto Rico when I was sixteen with my father family for a few years. I attended school for about seven years in a university in the Dominican Republic for Art and Design.
In 2001 I decided to leave my land country and come to the United States looking for a better opportunity and running away from a corrupted country. For sixteen years living in West Michigan now. I am doing what I love to do; I became a full-time artist and fulfill part of my dream of focusing a lot of percent of my time on creating art or cultural event for the community.
The journey still and I’ve been here ever since. I have done a lot of great thing in here including the first Latin American Art Festival for three years and the First Caribbean Art Festival for three years also among of a lot of cultural and event like GR Latin Music Awards. I have been function as a mentor for a few emerging Latinos and non Latino artists, thing that produced a lot of personal satisfaction.
More About Erick Picardo
Erick Picardo in ArtPrize >> www.artprize.org/picardo-erick
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