By Frank Portillo
Student David Queponds has been using the E3 building as a canvas for his chalk artwork this semester.
Currently, the artwork features characters from his favorite television show titled “Rick and Morty.”
The animated sci-fi comedy shows the smartest scientist in the universe, Rick, taking his grandson Morty on wild adventures deeply embedded in the best aspects of science fiction.
The characters are used to putting their lives at risk on their adventures, but Queponds’ depiction of the dynamic duo has them traveling to In-N-Out Burger for a 20-minute adventure.
Queponds captures the frustration of Morty perfectly in his mural, and he hopes it remains up for the rest of the semester.
His first experience creating a mural on campus came during the winter semester, and he used the same characters in a different situation.
His decision to use the wall in front of E3 came from his interpretation of what the wall stands for.
“I had seen other people do their art up there with chalk, so I thought (I) might as well. It’s kind of like a self-proclaimed freedom-of-expression wall,” Queponds said.
“I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback from it and people are encouraging me to do it again.
“Everyone is always very supportive of it. Faculty has told me to keep it up and campus security tells me it’s pretty good. I think the only people that were kind of negative about it were the custodians because it’s their job to clean it up,” he said.
Queponds has spent most of his life drawing.
His mother saved one of his drawings from kindergarten, which shows Spider-man vs. the Green Goblin, and was amazed at his skills at such a young age.
Having attended East Los Angeles College for two years, Queponds is focusing on three majors: Child development, English and Art are the choices that he is focusing on.
Outside of school, he spends his time working as a substitute teacher’s assistant for special education in second and third grade.
As an assistant, he is tasked with taking students to and from the bus.
One of the children he assists has an eating disorder and coaches him on proper eating.
“He’s really finicky with eating, so I give him rewards for trying new foods,” Queponds said.
He was introduced to working in the special-education field by his wife Milena Queponds, who is a special-ed teacher.
He also cites his wife as his reasoning for receiving his GED.
In the future, he hopes to become a teacher, but hasn’t decided on a grade to teach yet.
The two met in middle school and dated briefly until Queponds moved away.
This began a cycle in which his family sold all of their belongings and moved to a new state.
Places he’s lived include Hawaii, Colorado and Florida until finally coming back to Los Angeles.
While in the second grade, his family spent three months living in an 18-wheeler.
Having moved around so often, David Queponds can’t say where his home lies.
His favorite places that he’s visited are Colorado, Los Angeles and Hawaii.
He appreciates the artsy culture that is prevalent in Colorado and the easy-going nature and vibe about Hawaii.
While on the road, Queponds established a relationship with Milena and the two became close over the phone.
“He was on the road for two months before we saw each other. Every time we would talk, it was about what he was doing on the road and what he saw,” Milena said.
She said it was weird when he moved back to Los Angeles because he moved so close to her.
The two dated for two years until getting engaged in 2015 and waited until February to get married.
David Queponds used a Build-A-Bear cat in a wedding dress and wolf in a tuxedo as a gift to propose to his fiance.
Besides his love for drawing, Queponds is also the bassist for a band called “The Wandering Gypsies.”
The band consists of his sibling Damian Queponds, friend Giovanni Barahona and performs a mixture of psychedelic rock, blues and alternative rock.
Queponds has a Halloween-themed Rick and Morty drawing that will be on display during an art walk at The Shop skateshop.
His piece will be on display Nov. 5 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. and is inspired by the poster for H.P. Lovecraft’s “The Animator.”
His work and hobbies can be seen on his instagram page @dqueponds.