New Mural on Sunset Blvd.

Not many people know that I spent sometime living in Echo Park. It’s a beautiful neighborhood full of life and struggle. At any given moment you can walk by a señora hustling by selling tamales and over hear hipsters talking about what coffee shop they want to hang out in. I got a lot of love for Echo Park, so when the opportunity to collaborate with Red Bull for their latagráfica mural project came up, I was excited to do it there. Echo Park has a long history of being a working class community. In the 60s, Cuban Refugees made it there home, along with raza in the 70s and 80s, but in the last few years, gentrification has changed it into a shadow of its former self.

Photo by Rob Zugala

Photo by Rob Zugala

I wanted to be intentional with the imagery for the mural and where it was going to be placed, that’s why I chose “El Centro del Pueblo”. El Centro provides social services to youth in the community to improve their quality of life, along with families living in Echo Park and the city of Los Angeles. They help meet the needs of the community in whatever shape or form that may take, which is why a lot of their programing is family inclusive.  I was also excited that the building had the words "El Centro" on it since I am from the small city of El Centro, CA.

Progress shot by Eduardo Yerena Montejano 

Progress shot by Eduardo Yerena Montejano 

I decided on going with my calavera (sugar skull) in the tradition and spirit of Dia de los Muertos/Day of the Dead. The calavera is a reminder that death is a natural part of our lives and not something that should be mourned, but celebrated. Teacher and elder Ofelia Esparza once described to me last tres muertes (three deaths) we all under go in our lives: the moment we take our last breath, the moment our spirit leaves our bodies and lastly and the worst of all is when we are forgotten. That’s why we celebrate and honor the lives of our ancestors, to not forget them and to continue breathing life into the traditions and history passed down from one generation to the next.

I originally created the image for a canvas and limited edition prints in 2011. I used imagery and symbols that represented figures like Oscar Zeta Acosta, but also as symbols that serve as a reminder that Chicanas/os are indigenous people as well. The sacred heart comes from Catholicism, as a reminder of how the Catholic Church re-appropriated indigenous symbols and icons for their own gains. Having heart also means having strength, while the fire represents the spirit of ganas, knowledge, and resistance.

Nick Bowers and Rob Zugala 

Nick Bowers and Rob Zugala 

The wall was painted on September 5th and I couldn’t have done it without the help of Nick Bowers and Rob Zugala. I have a fear of heights, so I relied on the help of my friends and co-workers, who have also assist Shepard Fairey on most of his murals around the country and abroad, to complete the mural.  

I’m grateful for the opportunity to leave this mural in Echo Park and to be working on this project. I can’t do this work on my own, and I just can’t talk about this project without giving thanks and shout outs to a few folks here and there:

  • El Centro Del Pueblo for the wall and their work in the community
  • Manny Rodriguez for getting the wall
  • My brother Eddie
  • My girlfriend Dolores for hanging out while the mural got painted
  • The homie Picazo
  • Tom & Billy for managing the Latagrafica Mural Project
  • Red Bull Crew (Christian, Paula, Malverde and the rest of crew)

My mural is number 9 out of 10 in this series of murals that are all over Los Angeles. I’m blessed to be a part of this and to be in such great company with all the other artist participating.


Welcome to the new Hecho Con Ganas website!

FINALLY!  After about 6 years of procrastinating and not working on my website I finally got it done!  Since I worked on it myself there may be a few bugs, typos, etc. so if you catch anything please let me know by using the contact page.  So let me get you upto speed.  In 2011 I moved to Phoenix, AZ, in 2012 I moved to Austin, TX, and late last year I moved back to LOS ANGELES.  This time I moved East of the river in Boyle Heights.  I dig it here alot, It reminds me a lot of where I grew up except without all the country but the RAZA is definitely in the building haha. It is very inspiring to be back.  I spent the last couple years enjoying living in the different parts of the country and just last month I finally made it out to Australia for about 3 weeks.  So now that im back and getting settled in I decided to not sleep for about 5 days and knock out the new website start to finish. CON GANAS!  I put all of my work up here (I might have missed some) and wrote some descriptions for selective works.  

We have some very exciting projects and print releases coming up in the near future so stay tuned.  If you wish to be kept up to date on print releases please subscribe to our newsletter here.

I really hope you enjoy check out the site and going through the work if you have any questions please feel free to contact us using the contact page.  We go through all the mail that comes in as fast as we can.  Thank you for your interest and your time. - ernesto