Luis Ledesma is an artist. I knew he was because his high school principal, Chad Gee, told me so. After Luis showed me his portfolio, I knew that Mr. Gee had not exaggerated. Luis has an incredible talent. I was there to talk to him about his role on the metal art project, but my mind could not quite shake the idea of a small mural that I believed Luis could create. I did start with metal art, however.
“I worked on this project as a grind, and I pretty much grinded on every single piece.”
And then, my mind wandered back to the mural, and I asked about his art.
“I’ve been drawing for about eight years. I first started off by printing off ½ of a picture and then seeing if I could draw the other half. Then, I started trying to draw the whole thing myself, and it turned out that I was pretty good at it,” he smiled. “I really need a picture to give me the insight to draw though.”
Luis is in a high school art class, and he jumped at the idea when I mentioned the mural to him, and then we turned back to metal art once again.
“When I first came to this class, Mr. Beard told me that it was going to be very difficult for me because I am a beginner in an advanced class. Within the first couple of days, we were cutting out buffalo, and they handed me the grinder. I’ve been working ever since. I have learned a lot…how to weld, how to use the plasma cutter…well, I’m not very good at that yet, but I’m getting better!” the slow smile came again.”
Then, Luis brought up a subject that almost made me cry.
“There are some pretty horrible people out there, aren’t there?”
Of course, I knew exactly what he was talking about and yet, I wasn’t sure I wanted to respond…but I did.
“The thing you just have to always remember is that for every negative person you meet, there are a hundred great people ready to cheer your work. If you will notice, the negative comments come only from those who never lift a finger or donate a dollar toward anything that makes the community better. When you step up to the front, you make a lot of people jealous. You just have to keep your eyes on the goal.”
And with that, the smile returned to the young artist’s face.
“I learned a lot about team work with this project. All of the people you see in here have really helped me. Plus, we had a lot of fun!”
Here at TU, I’m thinking that you have not heard the last of Luis Ledesma, not by a long shot!