Good mornin ya'll y buenos dias. I am so excited to share a Central American artist with ya'll today. I have interviewed Baggio Ardo from BaggioArdonDesign and am thrilled to share his beautiful work.

I found his page on Instagram and absolutly feel in love. I felt an overwhelming sense of pride when I saw his work. It enbodied so much of my love for my culture.  Please check out his shop here for more amazing art work.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Baggio Ardon, a graphic designer by trade and illustrator by design. Everything I draw is reflective of my obsession with culture and heritage, with roots running deep into the hearts of Mexico and El Salvador. 
Few things, I've found, inspire artists more than the persistence of hate and bigotry. And with what our nation faces currently, I insist on showing the world the beauty of my countries and my people as a gay Latino. The main goal of my work, however, is intended to educate and empower. I want to be able to teach and inspire through my illustrations, to help broaden the perspective of what it means to be "Latinx". 

When did you know you wanted to "become" an artist?
I'm not sure I ever really decided to become a creative by any means. It was something I just, always did. As far as I can remember, and even before that, I was always making something. I will say that I hadn't figured out my voice and creative identity until mid-way through college when I fully came to embrace my roots and culture. That's when things really began to blossom. 

What inspires you the most?
I'm inspired by the work of a few of my favorite artists and by my cultures. Fernando Llort, El Salvador's National Artist, dictated my use of geometry and color. Fernando saw beauty in his country above the war and poverty, the very same beauty I see still. Etré, Father of Art Nouveau and queer illustrator, inspired my desire to tell stories in a dramatic and colorful fashion. Erté epitomized fashion, extravagance, and class – a standard I want to elevate the subjects of my own work too. Classical Maya vase paintings and the murals of Bonampak are also heavy influencers. Classical Maya art is regarded as equal to the art of the Ancient Greeks and I fully intend to draw on their use of geometry, color, and composition to continue improving my craft. 

How do you think art impacts our world today?
If all my work ever did was help someone see the beauty that I see from my two countries, I'll be happy. Mexico and El Salvador, along with the rest of Latin America, holds an incredible bounty of truly amazing people and cultures. Too many people have only been exposed to or only speak of poverty, drug cartels, and gang violence. I hope my work contributes to changing the conversion from Latin America's hardships to Latin America's extravagance and empowerment.

Who is your favorite artist?
1. Fernando Llort
2. Erté
3. J.C. Leyendecker

What are your goals for 2019? 
I have a creative goal and a career goal, both dependant on one another: 

1. I'd love to really push my work further in terms of detail, creativity, and storytelling. I've been exposed to so many fantastic artists with so much talent and support and I can't help but feel I could be there too. With hard work, dedication, and a consistent drive to educate and empower my peers, I think I can make it. 

2. This is the year I attempt to fully support myself as a freelance designer and artist. I feel like a crazy person and the entire world has so far told me it's an ill-advised idea, but if I really push myself I'm confident I can make it work. I'm striving to prove any person wrong whoever told me there isn't an audience for my work, that my work was too "Hispanic", or that I need to settle on a job I'll hate. Fingers crossed.