Up and coming artist turns life-long passion into profit


Justin Traylor

Daniel Galindo displays his artwork on a bench outside of El Camino College’s Schauerman Library on Thursday, Sept.19. Justin Traylor /The Union.

Backpack strapped tight, he slowly approaches his favorite spot on campus accompanied by a large bag filled with canvases featuring his artwork and ideas for future projects.

Daniel Galindo, an 18-year-old art major born in Inglewood and now residing in Hawthorne, is a middle child with two sisters.

Galindo first began drawing in middle school using markers and pencils to sketch out his ideas. During recess, instead of playing, he chose to draw. He eventually developed a knack for creating personal stickers for himself and others, selling them for $3 each.

Galindo’s entrepreneurship began at a young age.

He derives inspiration from the animation of old cartoons like The Simpsons, Rocko’s Modern Life, The Rugrats, and other vintage shows.

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Gir, left, from the Cartoon Network show “Invader Zim” and The Powerpuff Girls on display at El Camino College Thursday, Oct. 9. 18-year-old Daniel Galindo painted these images of childhood cartoon characters. Rosemary Montalvo/The Union

“He really listens and makes an effort to apply the concepts and techniques that I’m explaining, showing and demonstrating, art professor Nicola Vruwink said. “He is open to feedback and is willing to pretty much start over if he thinks he didn’t do it completely right.”

After years of drawing, his eye for art heightened as he began to fall in love with painting in the 12th grade. His experience allowed for growth from novice painter into somewhat of an expert. He noticed his work getting better, so he began to promote his paintings on Instagram under the name DanielGalindoDeras.

Most of his artwork is created on campus. He can be spotted working in the ASB building or sitting on a bench in front of the library perfecting his craft.

He proudly displays his artwork, propping them up on both sides of the bench allowing passing students to catch a glimpse, possibly taking them back to their childhood.

Being more of an introvert, Galindo uses his paintings as conversation pieces, forcing him to indulge in dialogue with random strangers. Once he begins to talk about it, his passion exudes through his facial expressions. He has a true love for art.

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Rem and Stimpy, left, and Homer Simpson on display at El Camino College Thursday, Oct. 9. Galindo says he hopes to someday work for Pixar or Dreamworks. Rosemary Montalvo/The Union

Galindo takes his craft serious and is always looking for ways to improve.

Galindo takes request as well, one of his most recent requests was a Kobe Bryant mural. Customers tell Galindo what they want, and he adds his own creativity to the backdrop.

“I could do about anything, but for now, I do cartoons, video games, anime, movies, superheroes and what people like to see. Well-known characters,” Daniel said.

Currently, Galindo is working on a portrait for a friend who he went to Leuzinger High School with and is a computer science major at ECC.

“At first, I saw him drawing all the time in high school,” freshman Derreck Hawthorne said. Hawthorne noticed that Galinelo was taking pictures of people for possible sketches and asked that he take his.

Hawthorne enjoyed the sketch so much that he asked Galindo if he could turn it into a painting.

Daniel took on the challenge and is looking forward to having another satisfied customer.

Daniel is a full time student. As a student, Daniel makes sure that his business does not affect his education. He arrives on campus at 7 a.m. and leaves at 7 p.m. Monday-Thursday, and leaves at 5 p.m. on Fridays.

Daniel uses the time between classes to do his homework so he does not have to do it when he gets home.

His schedule includes human development and drawing fundamentals, which are both three hours long. He is filling out his general requirements with English and math.

Daniel plans to graduate from ECC in two years with hopes of transferring to a university, where he will pursue a degree in art. He has dreams of working for Pixar or Dreamworks.

“He’s a good kid. He’s been in class, shows up on time and works hard,” said Vruwink. “I can tell that he genuinely wants to get better.”

Daniel sells his artwork at the affordable price of $20, but has plans of charging more in the future, like a true entrepreneur.

Editor Note: Cutlines were updated Tuesday, Oct.15, at 1 p.m.