Arnulfo M. Jacinto, Jr. - Painter
Arnulfo, aka "Arnold", is a native of Santa Paula, California, which is located about an hour north of Los Angeles. He has had multiple successes in both the athletic and art fields. He competed in the 1984 Olympics in Sprint Canoe Kayak and later went on to become a National coach at the Olympic Training Centers in Lake Placid, New York and San Diego, California. After working as a firefighter for 7 years, he decided to return to school and graduated from the University of Southern California's Roski School of Art and Designs with a bachelor’s degree in fine arts. Arnold went on to work on set designs and became the airbrush supervisor for the motion picture "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" and billboard campaigns such as "Godzilla", "The Mask of Zorro", "The Gap", "The Chevrolet Corporation", and "Wells Fargo". Arnold was also an art teacher in California. Because the State of California does not have a structured curriculum for studio arts and art history, Arnold designed a curriculum to prepare students for the college level of education.
He and his wife Alisa moved to Lynchburg, VA in 2011 where Arnold is working toward MFA and MAT degrees from Liberty University. He is also currently working as a set designer/scenic painter for such clients as Opera on the James, Academy Center of the Arts, Masterworx, Brookville High School, Liberty Christian Academy, and Forest Dance Academy. Arnold enjoys working with different mediums, including graphite, Pen and Ink, Watercolor, Oil, Airbrush, etc.
When did you know you wanted to be an artist?
I can remember being about 4 years old sitting on my father’s stool admiring a still life he was painting. He had instructed me as he left the room not to touch it, but the apple looked so lifelike I could not resist. When he returned and saw what I had done he just grinned, fixed the apple, and laughingly asked, “Couldn’t resist, could you?” From that point on I was determined to follow in my father’s footsteps and become a great artist just like him. Even though he never became a famous artist, he will always be my greatest inspiration. I truly believe many of his teachings have resonated with me over the years. In many cases during my years of education in the arts, I have had professors try to confine me into a box. They would tell me that I would have to develop a “style” to be recognized. I was told that no “true” artist goes from one style to another. Then I was challenged to mention an artist, any artist that jumps from style to style. I left my professors silent when I mentioned The Color Purple, ET, Poltergeist, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and Animaniacs –all different styles, all developed by the same artist Steven Spielberg.
How does your personal story/background influence your work?
Growing up I was bullied by teachers and students alike. I was told that I was unteachable, uncoordinated, could never make a living as an artist, and would even fail as a bum if I attempted a career out of that. Even though I had many successes an athlete in swimming by setting my high school record, which still stands today and Olympic level athlete in kayaking, graduated from the University of Southern California and establish myself as an artist and teacher, these words stayed with me for over 40 years. It has only been in the last several years that I feel I have truly broken free. Over the years I found solace and comfort in my art. Some of the most influential and well-educated people could not see the light and shadow of things, color, and historical accuracy in the works I produced. In the summer of 1979 I created my cartoon characters Rollerbot. They reflect my love for sports and education in a world in which both children and adults can relate. Many of my illustrations and painting have depicted subject matter related to events in my life.
Which of your works are you most proud of?
The work of which I am most proud is a recent self-portrait done in oil on canvas entitled “Enduring and Strong.” This piece depicts the struggles of coming out of the darkness with my imagination intact, my self esteem more confident than ever, and a commitment to never ever let anyone who I teach or just come into contact with go through what I experienced. The Rollerbot leading in front of me represents not only my imagination that God blessed me with but also the sports and athletics in which I participated. This piece truly reflects my style and technique.
What is the hardest part about being a professional artist?
I have found that because our current society does not value the arts, as is evident by the number of art programs being cut from schools across the nation, it is difficult to find clients who are willing to pay what I consider “appropriate compensation” for my art. It is difficult to find a balance of making my art affordable enough that people will buy it or my services, while not devaluing it by charging too little.
What are the names/URLs of 2-3 other artists that inspire you?
Other than my father, Arnulfo Jacinto, Sr., the artists I am most inspired by are the Masters, including Rembrandt, Monet, da Vinci, and Vermeer. This has been intensified since my recent visit to the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. http://www.nga.gov/content/ngaweb/exhibitions/current.html