By Victoria Cepeda
They say that the apple does not fall far from the tree. This statement could not have been more accurate than in the case of Jennifer Vigo. Her father is the one and only spoken word artist Mark Anthony Vigo . The same Mark that can be found just about anywhere, from Brooklyn to the Bronx, supporting up and coming artists, his peers as well as beating down the the mic with his unique poetry style that is inspired by many things but mainly about the love for his wife, Marylin Vigo.
Jennifer, a self defined quiet kid, who has a geeky love for books and 90’s video games, admits to “have been picked on relentlessly in middle school for drawing (like that’s a bad thing)” so she developed somewhat of a shell to keep people out. It was in high school that she started opening up somewhat since “I was no longer the only kid who liked to draw”.
Yes, she has been scribbling on paper since she was old enough to hold a crayon. “I didn’t start drawing for real however until around the first grade.” Most of her drawings are inspired by cartoons she watched growing up in the 90’s that often featured animals as main characters and playing video games such as Sonic the hedgehog for the Sega Genesis.
“That’s what sparked my fascination with animals that I still hold today. To me, drawing is a temporary release from the confines of reality. It allows the mind to wander free on the page uninhibited. Reality can be very boring sometimes, and it helps to always be able to rebel against the norm and let my ideas come out. Due to my love of all animals and even insects, they are the form my work most often takes. My favorite animal is the armadillo, and this is most evident with my favorite character, Archie. He’s a blue armadillo that I’ve been drawing for years, and he’s the ultimate symbol of what I love to draw, particularly late at night.”
This very talented young girl’s work ranges from comic pages, colored works of animal characters that pop up in her head, design sketches, and character design that are void of violence and ooze with vibrant colors that capture your senses. One cannot help but marvel at the perfection of her tracings, lines, and delineations.
To foster her innate talent for drawing Jennifer attended the High School of Art and Design in Manhattan where she learned several artistic principles such as the values of light and dark in a drawing, courtesy of two of her teachers. One was her art teacher during sophomore year, Mr. Cordero who is no longer at the school, and Mr. Pasetski who taught her how to arrange the layout of comic panels in a page.
While she cannot name one particular artist whom she’s followed, she draws inspiration from fellow cartoonists that she’s befriended and the works of art throughout New York City where she says that “it’s difficult to venture anywhere without seeing some form of art, be it in advertising, local museums, or other forms.”
“My drawings are almost always of various cartoon animals and insects, and some characters I create end up being subconscious caricatures of people I know, their personalities represented by the little guys on the paper. A lot of my drawings are based around the idea of friendship as well, something that should transcend race, ethnicity, and gender. To illustrate this, many of the characters I draw are friends with completely different species, often varying greatly in size, shape, and color. A recent drawing of mine depicts an enormous rhinoceros beetle and his friendship with a tiny mouse. It sounds funny I know, but that’s the sort of thing I enjoy.”
We are just really glad to have Jennifer as part of the Pa’lante family. She exemplifies the unwavering determination of a young woman to make it, on her own terms, while counting on her parents’ full fledged support as well as this community of artists, writers, poets, journalists, bloggers and innovators that will gladly attest to the fact that our kids are more like Jennifer Vigo than the negative stereo types the media wants to portray of Latinos.
Jennifer Vigo is a real positive role model and an inspiration to all our “chicas and chicos“.
Pa’lante Latino showcases current events in the arts, entertainment, politics, and culture as it affects our community. Above all, we are ferocious advocates of the contributions that Hispanics/Latinos have made to the United States and feature articles based on historical facts to reaffirm our relevance.Please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.