Joseph Trejo’s commissioners have described his art as confident, radiant, and expressive, but he suggests that they don’t explain the full picture. Since the fall of 2015, Joseph has created personal art pieces from his bedroom desk. His initial inspiration came from Eastern and Western literature, animation, and film he consumed the majority of his childhood. ‘I thought, “Hey, I could do that!”’. But by watching professionals take themselves too seriously he decided to take his artistic passions on a different, non-self-engrossed path. “I’m really not that profound, I just want to have fun. Nothing I’ve ever made was designed to last. Honestly, I am doing it for myself.” Joseph also mentions one meaningful goal, to exude happiness through his art.
(Left-A digital self-portrait Joseph provided for the article)
A realistic portrait of John Frusciante (lead guitar of Red Hot Chili Peppers) made with colored pencils by Joseph Trejo
Joseph’s sketchbook has become “like a diary”, representing his authentic emotion through a visible statement. While he dabbles in almost every artistic medium, watercolor, colored pencil, digital art, and sketching, he has a particular disdain for acrylic paint. “Acrylic paint is the worst! It never seems to blend and I haven’t had any lessons with it.” Although he can’t seem to get over his dislike for acrylic, his art carries messages of comfort and holding yourself liable for your own happiness. Through bright colors, fluidity, and impressive anatomy, Joseph is able to maintain integrity in his pieces while knowing that, through time, his art will fade. “It’s about bringing emotion and ideas that last, not an image you’ll remember me by.”
A digital piece of Joseph’s OCs (original characters), possible comic characters “Oswyn” and “Dean” (left to right).
The fall of 2020 marks Joseph’s entrance into his Junior year. Already looking into his future as an artist at 16, he expresses that SOAR has shown him authentic self-confidence and the importance of his voice. “I mean, I’m still a pushover, but not to the degree that I was. SOAR has a lot of confident people, they strut their stuff and are still somehow chill about it. Self-assured I guess, not trying to be better than anyone else. Before high school, everyone was embarrassed to be authentic, but seeing everyone being themselves right now reassures me.” He described himself as nervous yet excitable, with an overarching tone of consciously bringing humor and joy to the lives around him. When asked to advise fellow SOAR students looking for a career in the arts he responds, “Just put yourself out there. Steal what you love in other art and make it your own. It really depends on what you want to do. If you’re doing it for fun, you’re already winning.”
A pencil sketch of young David Tennant by Joseph Trejo