Eric Avila, 18 My favorite mediums are graphite, charcoal, and watercolor. I’m still learning color theory and how to use acrylic and oil paints. I go to Purchase College where I study graphic design, painting and drawing. People always ask me why I wear hats all the time – I just wear them. They’ve become part of my identity – easier to distinguish. I love working with Cre8tive YouTH*ink because it has opened my mind to new ways of thinking – and gives me practice in doing public art. Painting the group mural along the Bowery has been my favorite experience so far because I was able to apply my studies to real life – and have a good time with my fellow artists. Eric Avila is an afro-hispanic artist from East Harlem  **

Monique Campbell, 22 If someone were to have asked me while I was in high school what I wanted to be when I got older, I would have said, without any hesitation, a filmmaker. Missing Melodie, is a bio-documentary I worked on with my professional mentor, Hannah Weyer, and is about me moving to the U.S. and how I adapted (or at least tried) to my new surroundings, and how the new friendships I formed with girls who were in similar situations – living in a new place, without a mother – also helped me deal with some difficult times. I am extremely proud of this film because it gave me a voice and I was able to tell a story that I wanted to tell.  Monique Campbell attends Brooklyn College and is majoring in Communications. She is also an intern at ARTnews  **

Crystal Gonzalez,  My name is Crystal but I go by the name Hiraku; HIRA for short.  I’m a local Williamsburg artist – and come from a Puerto Rican family. I’m your average bubbly girl, with a loud imagination. For a living I work real hard to make people smile and show them how to never give up on something they love to do. Crystal Gonzalez was born and raised in Brooklyn   **

Alvaro Ceballos Guzman, 20 I’m a senior, about to go to Pratt Institute. I came to the United States in September 2009, from the Dominican Republic with the hope to learn as much as can. I have discovered new passions- painting, drawing, photography and film – and take each art form seriously. I like to paint with watercolors and black ink. I believe that art can change the world.

Alvaro Ceballos Guzman works at the Bronx Museum of the Arts   **

Moise Joseph, 21 • Origin: Haitian descent • Alias: Nebulous In the form of a cloud or haze; hazy.(of an idea) Unclear, vague, or ill-defined/vague – hazy – misty – dim – foggy – obscure – cloudy • Art: self-taught/inspired from observation and science fiction comics/movies/novels  **

Edwina Lightwood, 20  I hibernate next to a window on rainy days reading books, painting, watching anime and reading manga. Edwina Lightwood lives in Brooklyn  **

Cynthia Martinez, 20 I was born and raised in Brooklyn. I am the second child. I’m very hardworking and humble. I like art – especially drawing, sculpting and painting. I enjoy going to museums and taking on new challenges.    **

Vince Fernando Carretero Cortez Maximin, 19 • Place of origin: Unknown • Interests: music, art, food, culture • Need to know: dedicated individual, passionate about art and trying new things. Tries to exceed in everything he does. Plays 4instruments (guitar; acoustic & classical, drums, piano, flute) tri-lingual French English Spanish.  • Winner of the p.s arts scholarship (show at the Met) 2012 1st place winner of the 10th congressional art award 2009(show at cannon building Washington D.C, winner of 4 arts connection awards 2009-12.  • Loves to skate bike and ebdulge in intellectual conversations about the life religion and art.  **

Joygill Moriah I am a student studying Space and Virtual Space in Contemporary Art at the CUNY Baccalaureate for Unique and Interdisciplinary Studies. My works engage reflections of the Internet within Art and Art within the Internet, dealing with experiences such as the Ever-Changing Image and the Ubiquity of the Face.  **

Shahnee Naftali, 18 I’m entering my sophomore year at the Fashion Institute of Technology, and I am studying photography. Art, especially photography, is not a hobby for me, it is my life, and I plan to make a living making art. I also paint, draw and sculpt.  Shahnee Naftali was born and raised in Brooklyn   **

NaikyParadis,18 I fall in love with faces; everyday on the train, at the corner store, on the streets of Brooklyn or simply wondering school hallways on lazy Fridays. I am an aspiring architect who came to New York City only to discover new passions and inspirations, like painting. In my recent work as a portrait artist, I have studied the image of the modern teenager, their insecurities and their struggles with the world and with themselves. I portray their image how I see and interpret it, often using my classmates as subjects. In this new series (though a work in process), I am using religious paintings of great periods, such as the renaissance in Europe, as inspiration, mixing old concepts with modern interpretations. Naiky Paradis is a painter from the Dominican Republic  **

Alicia Elena Prieto I like to connect my artwork back to my multicultural Cuban, Russian, and Mexican roots, and I hope to one day start my own socially conscious advertisement company. For now, I mull over the idea of making comics and go to Pratt Institute for Communications Design. Alicia Elena Prieto was raised in Mexico City  **

Frank Rodriguez, 23 I graduated from Stanford with a degree in Comparative Literature. My main interests are photography, film and comedy.  Frank Rodriguez has performed at the Bronx Museum of the Arts  **

Virginia Lee Sanchez, 14 I like to paint – mostly skulls for now. I like to listen to music in my free time – normal stuff. Being the youngest member of Cre8tive YouTH*ink is sometimes intimidating because I want to prove myself as an artist – to the older artists, but I also learn from them – both during and outside of projects. Virginia Lee Sanchez is a freshman at the High School of Applied Communications in Queens  **

Lalita Santos, 19  Free spirited, adventurous, absolutely awkward, proud nerd, future crazy cat lady. That’s me in a nutshell. • Sophomore • Illustration • Parsons The New School for Design  **

Chris Serrano, 21  I was born in Brooklyn, in a neighborhood filled with negativity, violence, drugs gangs, – the whole nine. But, I was raised by my mom – in a home filled with music, creativity, love and compassion. I had 3 sets of grandparents (long story), a father who was always around, a mother that always supported me and a great group of friends.    I was lucky to have a strong family and the will to stay positive and stay away from ignorance.  I was a terrible student, school was always a struggle. In junior high, I was always trying to be a cool kid but I was just lame – so were my grades.  And, even though I lost a ‘lil weight and the girls came into the picture… I was still lame. The usual. Everything got in my way. Report day was bad! Abuela was pissed!  I turned it around in my junior year and graduated – although a year late.  This is my 5th year in Cre8tive YouTH*ink. I’ve gained so much here – I have a mentor, my skills are stronger and I’m doing things I only dreamed about – I even joined a band.   Listening to what people say is only half of what you need.  You need to act on it. You need to bring it to life – that’s what got me to where I am today. It’s a struggle, but it’s not impossible. I’m proof. Chris Serrano is Cre8tive YouTH*ink’s mural crew chief

Cre8tive YouTH*ink is a New York City-based, nonprofit creative-arts youth development organization that supports the developmental of a creative, ethical, critically thinking, and socially engaged urban youth constituency. 

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