I grew up in the barrio of Pinedale, California, a suburb of Fresno, and later in the Fig Garden area. I was one of six Latinos in my graduating class at Bullard High School. Experiencing at a young age, the juxtaposition of these two distinct cultures-- the traditional Latino, Catholic culture and the bourgeois white culture would magnify the isolation experienced in my adolescence. Later, when synthesized and internalized, it would give me the fluidity and grit necessary to break through social and artistic barriers in adulthood.
It wasn't until I was in my twenties that I began to day dream of becoming a visual artist. It was then that I decided to take an art class from an artist who was teaching out of her garage. I had little self-confidence and low self-esteem, but I knew that I could do "garage" as opposed to taking an art class at an academic institution. I painted a vase and flowers on the first day of class. When I arrived at home, my roomate greeted me. I showed her the painting and said, "Look what I painted!" My roomate looked at the painting and then at me and said, "You liar. You didn't paint that." I didn't GET angry because I could hardly believe it myself. I learned how to paint with oils, but I tired of copying photographs of mountains, oceans, and florals. My paintings reminded me of the art that was sold on street corners. I then enrolled in a figurative class at the Clovis Adult School. I found it difficult and frustrating. There were times after class that I would cry all the way home. "Was I ever going to be able to draw and paint?" I would ask myself. But in my frustration. I promised myself that I wouldn't give up.
During my pursuit, I married and had a daughter named Lauren and a son, Ross Makasian. The marriage lasted fifteen years. I've been single since. This seems to have worked out the best for me and my artistic pursuits because creativity demands solitude.
I've been fortunate to have exhibited works from Fresno to Florence, Italy. Some of my work has been published in the San Francisco Chronicle's Datebook and in Comstock Magazine.. In 2000, I began to dream of becoming a published poet and writer. In 2007, I graduated from CSU, Fresno with an MFA in Creative Nonfiction. My essay, "See How Vanilla Runs" was anthologized in the textbook, Introduction to Mexican-American Studies, which is part of the curriculum of La Raza Studies Program at Fresno City College and at CSU Fresno. Another essay, "How I became a Chicana Feminist Artist," was published in 2011 by Routledge Press and will be included in the book "Entering the Picture", which documents the feminist art movement which began in Fresno in 1972. My poetry has been published in the San Joaquin Review, Pachuco Children Hurl Stones, and The Grove .
Currently, I am teaching English at Fresno City College, and I am managing an apartment complex that my children's father and I own. It's been very challenging to say the least, but I'm beginning to think that it is the sand in the oyster that has inspired me to begin a new nonfiction book that I have titled , The Apartments and the Children of the Corn. I'm working on a new series of paintings and also been working on a nonfiction novel on Pinedale and hoping with each day I'll have the courage to tell it the way things are.