Manuel Laranjo About
I'm a second generation Portuguese-American, born in Santa Clara, California. Both my parents are from the island of Faial, Azores of Portugal.
Since I was a kid, I had loved to draw. Mostly, nowadays, it's things that really interest me. A big percentage of what I draw is comic book characters...especially Spider-man. But I've delved into other types of subject matter, like still life and scenery. It's just that comic book characters are what really intrigues me.
My father was really supportive of me, about the only thing he was proud of and talked about to others was my drawings. When the subject of art came up, he'd say to people that you could put a piece of paper in front of me, tell me to draw anything, and I would.
Back in the day, TV Guide would occasionally feature an advertisement of a contest worth $10,000. The contest was to draw, as accurately as you could, the pictures they had pictured in the ad. Usually it was a cartoon turtle head (I think his name was "Tippy") and a pirate face.
Every time they had that ad I'd draw, as perfectly as I could, one of the pictures and my dad would send it in.
One day, we received a response to it, and it was an offer to join the Art Academy of San Francisco. This, my friends, is one regret I can never live down. My father wanted to pay for me to do it, he was really for it. Without even really considering it, I turned it down.
I'm always learning; I really don't think I'm up there with anyone in the penciling genre of fine arts, but someday hope to be. I keep on practicing and hope one day to make my dad proud.
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