Inner City Teens Get Inked This Summer

Former Simpson's artist Carlos Nieto III helps youth use their hiking experiences to create nature-themed comic books

By LatinoLA Contributor
Published on LatinoLA: September 3, 2014

Inner City Teens Get Inked This Summer

Created by former Simpson's artist Carlos Nieto III, Think It Ink It: Nature Comix was an intensive summer long comic book making workshop where inner city teens learned the basics of creating a comic book from writing the story and creating the characters to drawing the images adding the dialogue.

Through this program the teens used their hiking experiences to create their own nature themed comic books, as they partook in weekly meetings on Mondays at The Benjamin Franklin library during the summer to write and draw their comic book.

The closing celebration where the teens showcased their final work took place at the legendary Meltdown Comics in Hollywood, 7522 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90046 (323) 851-7223

The artist Carlos Nieto III hand-picked 12 teens as part of a residency with the Santa Monica Mountains National Parks. Together, they explored Los Angeles mountain ranges on 3 day long hikes. The first, to Malibu State Creek, the second
and urban hike to Griffith Park and the L.A. River then down to the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook and the third to Franklin Canyon and then to Vista Hermosa, just outside of Downtown L.A as inspiration of the creation of these comic books.

Throughout his art, Carlos Nieto III combines the traditional theme of Mexican skull with modern themes of diverse cultures such American pin up girls of the 50's and the Japanese Anime, his mission, to break through the stereotypes of segregated cultures, showing that without borders, cultures and their influences can be mixed freely creating a global culture.

His artistic style is influenced by visual themes of the celebration with bright colors, lively compositions and comparisons of opposing ideas: life and death, mourning and celebration.

Carlos Nieto III is a young talented artist of Colombian roots born and raised in Los Angeles; growing in the Hispanic area of Silverlake /Echo Park. At a young age, he had the opportunity to discover the colorful mystical tradition of the Mexican culture of "D?¡a de los Muertos" Day of the Dead.

Carlos Nieto III currently works at the Children's Hospital of Los Angeles as "Artist in Residence" with children and their families who come from different cultures, focusing on their similarities that have had influence over his style and creation. Here, Carlos works with children on hands-on projects on three levels: in the waiting rooms, in the hospital playrooms, and at the bedside of the more sickly children.

In the waiting rooms, the artist provides projects to children who are waiting to see the doctors (which can take up to 3 hours at times); this allows the child who has not eaten since the night before escape from their pain as well as letting their parents get a chance to rest. Art activities in the hospital playrooms allow patients a chance for the norm, playing with games, toys, reading, etc. While at their bedside, Carlos provides the individuals an outlet for creative expression and tailors projects whether it is painting, jewelry making, sculpting, or making a comic book.

Aside from having taken some basic classes of art in high school, and evening classes, Carlos has acquired his knowledge in art, mostly on his own, without earning a degree due to his low financial situation.

After high school, his artistic talent led him to a job on the Emmy-winning show "The Simpsons" as a Layout Artist where he had the chance to work with directors to draw scenes for the show. He's also worked as a Visual Consultant for Disney and Universal where he created sketches for set designs at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim and artwork for Universal Network Television on the series "L.A. Dragnet" starring Ed O'Neill; respectively.

Living in Los Angeles as a Latino, Carlos Nieto III has experienced the traditional and the modern culture of his generation, incorporating both in his art. The mixture of opposing ideas, playful and somber, old and new are combined with issues of American popular culture to create a unique artistic voice.

Author's website

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