Former Elan creates inspired portraits

Nothing was the same —Guillermo Haro drew this self-portrait, titled “Nothing Was the Same“ after he found out his mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. courtesy of Guillermo Haro

By Melisa Valenzuela

Guillermo Haro’s love of creating art has helped him through hard times and has given him the freedom to artistically express himself.

Haro is 20 years old and was born, raised and still resides in East Los Angeles. As a child, he was first inspired to draw after watching some of his favorite cartoons. “What got me into drawing as a kid was waking up each morning and watching Mickey Mouse, Spongebob, Batman and so on,” said Haro. He credits his older brother, who is also an artist, with inspiring him too.

“When he would finish, I would grab his drawing and trace it over and try to get all the details,” Haro said. 

Haro’s brother and mother have been his biggest supporters since then. “My mother would always keep me company and would ask me what I was drawing. Whenever I was part of an event, she’d be there no matter what,” Haro said. 

2Pac—Guillermo Haro finds inspiration in his favorite rappers. Courtesy of Guillermo Haro

In 2017, he faced one of his toughest moments, when his mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. Haro said he was devastated, but was able to cope using art. It was during this time that he created his piece entitled “Nothing Was the Same,” which he dedicated to his mother.

The piece was meant to show his mother that she was not alone in her battle. It also gave Haro a way to express the emotions and negativity he was dealing with at the time.

 Times of struggle are not his only sources of inspiration. “I listen to a lot of music. It inspires me to keep pushing forward and helps me get ideas for my drawings,” said Haro. He has drawn portraits of rappers such as 2Pac and Lil Peep. He said  he sees glimpses of himself in these rappers and can relate to their lyrics and their journey to the top. Another thing Haro has in common with these rappers is talent. 

“When he starts to paint or draw, whether it’s with a pen, pencil or paint brush, and he plays some music… Man he’s in his groove. It’s like watching your favorite artist up on stage singing,” said Joshua Aguilar, Haro’s brother. Haro prides himself on being a “self-taught” artist, but has taken art courses before and wants to continue.

Lil Peep—Guillermo Haro relates to lyrics in the music he listens to. Courtesy of Guillermo Haro

During his time at East Los Angeles College, Haro took some art classes including an introduction to animation class and a painting class. He said that taking these helped him become more confident as an artist. “It helped me come out of my shell and show others what I am capable of doing,” Haro said. He attended ELAC from 2017 to 2018, but is currently taking a break from school. 

He plans to return soon to complete an associate degree in studio art but in the meantime he would like to help his mother and build his art portfolio by taking commissions. “At the moment I am creating as much art as I can to build up my portfolio,” Haro said.  

As far as his future, Haro is interested in becoming a tattoo artist who specializes in portraits. 

He said he looks forward to creating art on a person and loves the idea that his art will be meaningful to someone. 

To see more of Haro’s artwork, visit his Instagram @gharosart. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *