Artist Christopher Z. Lopez at Nob Hill Tap Room


How did you artist career begin? 

Born and raised in Northern New Mexico, where I learned how to farm, raise animals and grow food. I come from a long line of educators and artists. This has helped shape me into the person I am today. I am an active artist, and I incorporate my education as an artist to set a positive example for anyone who is working on the path of art or creativity.

VISIONES y RECUERDOS (VISIONS and MEMORIES) is the title I have chosen for my arte. I feel it represents the work as a visual history and visionary formalities that have come into play as dreams, faith, family and experiences to guide and form me into the person I am today.

Give me 3 words that describe your art as folks witness it today?

Dreams, Faith and Family

How has your art evolved? 

I learned to draw at the age of 5 but did not know how to compose my ideas into stories that could be conveyed from ideas or experiences. When I was younger my work was dark and conflicted. I have always used art as therapy to work out issues that might be bugging me. Lately I create more about my positive experiences since now I am now married with children and my outlook has changed immensely. I have also found inspiration from my family to push my work to represent the culture and values of my state of New Mexico and where I grew up and where I am at now. I also have tried to portray my dreams and realities into imagery that gives the viewer insight to environmental, personal insight, relationships good or bad, and moments that impacted me to want to create an image to represent what I felt at that moment.

Where do you think your art will take you? 

Wherever it wants to go…I have control of the tools but the journey for me is the fruit of my labor. I have been able to meet and share my work with people that I am so different from and similar too. I would love to travel further and learn more about myself through other artists and in the sharing grow to become an amazing artist.

Who is an inspiration for your work? 

I have a lot of influences, family, culture and artists who tell stories that are gorgeous even if the subject matter is not. Picasso was my first true inspiration, Salvador Dali and his ability to engage you into the art even if you did not get his message right away. Frida Kahlo, Orozco, Siquieros and Diego Rivera, three Mexican Muralists they all have this pain and power in their work that spoke for those people who may not have had a voice until these artists represented their fight and struggle through their imagery.

Local New Mexico artists Luis Jimenez dynamic color and his ability to sketch out the work and leave the sketch marks as part of the work to accent whatever he was creating is amazing to me. Jim Vogel lives in Dixon, NM and has this amazing style and color sense that is so unmistakably represents New Mexican culture and it’s people. Paz is an artist from Albuquerque that has created pretty much the majority of ceramic mosaic murals you see around town. Paz also is an amazing jeweler that I have the privilege of owning some his work, in fact he created my wife’s wedding ring that I was able to design with him. Ray Martin Abeyta is from Santa Cruz up near Española New Mexico, my home town. Ray Martin now resides in Brooklyn, NY and is an amazing fine artist whose work is magical realism at it’s finest. Edward Gonzales is known for his depiction of life in New Mexico and his art can be seen on the walls at the Barelas Coffee house.

What is the goal when you set out to create? 

The spirituality of telling stories I feel is important and moments in time that represent my visions and memories. I also work out my problems and feelings in the work. We have felt pain, pleasure, stress, love, happiness, sadness…normal emotions that we all share, some more powerful than others. I create because I have to, it spills over into my life and all I do. If I am working in the garden, I think of what I can do to make these plants beautiful and how can I treat them so they in return to share their sustenance with me. When people look at my work I hope that they feel and remember things that relate because I feel we all want to relate in one way or another that is why I create.

If you could give young artists a piece of advice, what would it be? 

Do art, dance, sing, act, paint, write, sculpt, craft, build because you love it and for the gratifying feeling it gives you for doing it. The passion you put into it will pay off with satisfaction knowing you are able to speak a language of creativity. Practice the same thing 1000 times and you will master it, it becomes yours and no one can take that away from you!

What is next for you in your career?  

I am currently illustrating a children’s book and it has been a great challenge but I have learned a lot from something as simple as a sweet story and how to make the words turn into images so that you can see and read the feelings the story is trying to convey. I also want to get a website going so that I can connect more people to my work.

I am also planning to build a larger studio on my property so that I can do more work and have a space solely designated to pushing the boundaries of my creativity and make lots more work. I want to show my work in other states and eventually other parts of the world!!!