Today we’d like to introduce you to Gerardo Yepiz.
Hi Gerardo, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
I’m a visual artist, and graphic designer, I am a vegan and I love all animals. I started to paint cats as a tribute to my beloved cat Nini Binoche who passed away in December 2004. At first, I wanted to create an abstract portrait of her but then I started to get commissions for dog portraits too, I needed money so I added the pet portrait service to the list of services. At this point, I’ve painted hundreds of them, mostly dogs, and cats but there are some rabbits a parrot, and a bear that I’ve been requested to paint.
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Like most independent artists I know, we often live on the edge; “Feast or Famine,” good and bad business seasons, cancellations, etc. I compensate my income with graphic design, illustrations, murals, and the occasional visit to a classroom as a guest speaker, etc.
Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I paint simplified portraits of cats and dogs that are inspired by graffiti, I often use the crosshatching technique to achieve shading and depth, those portraits are less traditional and more dynamic, I mix it up with stencils, and stamping, and silk screening. I’ve done illustrations for beer labels depicting dogs. I guess the influence I had creating portraits as I started in 2007, there wasn’t really much of it with the Street Art feel, Now I browse around, and I can tell that somehow, I’ve made a dent in the way others create their portraits. I’ve even seen the term “Urban Pets” also used widely, I guess it has become a thing. My style has evolved over the years; I’ve flirted with different angles in pet p0rtraits. I’m old school, I can work with or without computers, I have an extensive background in drawing, but I choose Sharpie pens for sketching, I use grids for my portraits, and I try to connect with the client and their pets if possible. It helps me to enhance aspects of the pets’ personalities.
What do you like and dislike about the city?
I currently live in East Cobb, Georgia (a 20-minute drive from Atlanta). But at heart, I consider myself a San Diegan. I like the climate and the fact that you can go to Tijuana or Los Angeles in the same day. The city is great for bike riding, and I also love the communities that I’ve been part of for decades. The effects of corporate greed in Southern California and the pacific rim in general; homelessness for example. People lose their jobs (because ageism, sexism, etc.), and jobs sent to other countries; this causes to lose their homes, then depression leads to drugs and alcohol, and all this to crime. Lack of social programs enables people to get back on track and mental health! Lastly, the cost of living.
- A 12 x 12″ portrait starts at $250 (shipping not included)
- Website: urbanpetportraits.com
- Instagram: urbanpetportraits
- Facebook: urbanpetportraits