The Downey Legend

Master of all trades

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Master of all trades

Rosa Ramirez

Rosa Ramirez

Rosa Ramirez

During third period, senior Andrew Umaña works on his latest project the mask in Ms. Durkee’s ceramics class on Oct. 19. Umaña also enjoyed drawing, painting, and graphic design; Ms. Durkee and his dad inspire him.

Julia Ruiz, Sports Editor

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A skateboard and a pencil are senior Andrew Umaña’s only tools. He translates his life experiences into illustrations, adding what his imagination provides him with. He receives inspiration from various sources; however, it was his mother who first introduced him to art.


“When I was younger and I didn’t live with my mom, she would send me letters and on the envelope she would draw really cool things,” Umaña said. “I loved it, and I remember thinking ‘I want to draw like my mom so I could send her stuff too.’ I think that’s where it all started.”


Now, as an older teenager, Umaña rides through Los Angeles neighborhoods in search of inspiration and motivation to continue his work. His skateboard is his companion as he meets new people and comes across things people normally ignore on an everyday basis.


“I get to see random events happen and weird things and different people [when I skateboard],” the illustrator said. “I remember one time I saw a duffle bag in a bush and me and my friends were like ‘grab it, see what’s inside,’ and so I reached in the bush to grab it and then all of a sudden there’s a guy and he’s like ‘Hey!’ and we freaked out and ran across the street. I never thought there’d be a guy living in a bush. I would have never experienced that if it wasn’t for skating. [Then] I start drawing or painting these different human characters and different personalities, and I’ve met a lot of people through skating that also influence my thoughts.”


Umaña’s work solely reflects his personality as his main inspiration comes from various life experiences. His work consists depictions of influential people, memories, abstract figures, and words and can at time be fictional.


“I’ve known Andrew for some years and I’ve seen some of his work,” senior Jake Perez said. “I like how he incorporates reality and his imagination. It’s like he creates his own world where he feels more comfortable.”


This year, the artist continues to create his own world in Mrs. Durkee’s Advanced Ceramics class, where he experiments with a different medium other than paint or charcoal. In Durkee’s class, Andrew thinks through his projects adjusting them along the way, in contrast to usually drawing the various thoughts that enter his mind.


“Andrew spends time thinking about each project,” Durkee said. “He plans out all aspects of his work and produces quality pieces. Usually I just need to ask Andrew a couple of questions about the direction he is headed with his work and he goes above and beyond his original goals.”


Mrs. Durkee’s guidance, along with his previous art teachers, has helped Andrew grow as an artist. Before, he thought art was to be perfect in order for it to be considered “amazing,” and now, he is able to find beauty in raw and abstract creations like his own.

As college applications approach, art is a possible major for Umaña who would like to approach every possible style and form.


“It might seem bad to do everything ‘cause you know that saying ‘Jack of all trades master of none,’ but I think with art there is no master,” the sculptor said. “You can’t master it so I think I’d like to do whatever I feel like in the moment. I’d do everything.”


An AP student, an illustrator, a painter, and a sculptor, there is no doubt Umaña has talent. He succeeds in his endeavors despite his hectic schedule. Art opens up a new world for him in which he is able to grow as both a person and an artist.



About the Writer
Julia Ruiz, Sports Editor
Current senior, Julia Ruiz, is The Downey Legend’s new Sports Editor for the 2011-2012 year. She considers herself an art enthusiast but claims she isn’t particularly good at art. In her spare time Ruiz enjoys reading and watching her favorite soccer team, F.C. Barcelona, play. She also likes running and spending time with her family. Ruiz is an AP student who works hard to get a high GPA and excel in her favorite subject: English. For Ruiz, the greatest motivation to join The Downey Legend was to, "gain experience as a journalist and get and idea of the career." With her experience here, the promising writer hopes to eventually become a successful journalist. She hopes to attend the University of Chicago and double-major in English and Journalism with a possible minor in Art History. It is evident that Ruiz is hardworking and determined to better the sports section of The Downey Legend.

1 Comment

One Response to “Master of all trades”

  1. genesis montoya on November 5th, 2011 8:18 PM

    congratulations nunnnnnniesssssssssssss. you’re my favorite artist in the whole entire world. and i love the things you make me in cenanics. hopefully one day ill be as good as you. <3333333

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Master of all trades