El Chuco Inspirations: An El Paso art legend: ‘Nacho’ Garcia Jr.

Chuco Inspirations Category

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — You may be familiar with the work of Ignacio “Nacho” Garcia Jr., by just seeing his signature at the bottom of his drawings, which many have recognized and remembered in the local newspaper many years ago.

“I was the editorial cartoonist for the El Paso Times for 17 years,” Garcia said.

Nacho is a long-time and appreciated illustrator and artist in El Paso. Starting from scratch, his work is crafted from the basic principles of fine art and close attention to detail.

“I was a fine arts major, I got a BA in Fine Arts at UTEP,” he said. “There was no computer art, there was no graphic art — it was all fine art. So I had to learn all the facets of art, including jewelry, sculpture, ceramics. So I did a little bit of everything. Painting, that was the art at that time.”

After retiring from the Times, he had no hesitation to put his pencil or paintbrush down. Garcia has done several commission pieces throughout the years including portraits, caricatures and more.


“I work at every medium you can think of. I do oils, watercolor, pen and ink,” he said. “You name it — pastel, charcoal — I work in it. Everything is illustration more than painting or artistic. People want landscape or flowers, but I like to paint people and creatures.

Without a doubt, Garcia has experimented and developed his craft with various types of drawings and paintings. He’s used pastel, watercolor, pencil, charcoal, wash acrylic combinations and has collaborated with others in books and coloring books.

He said with consistent practice and commitment to pursuing art, it’s sharpened his skills through the years,

“My talent is from the heart and from the hand. It’s hard for me to convey that to a kid — you either have it or you don’t have it,” Garcia said.

Growing up, he had the support to keep him going and not let his passion slip away.

“My mom was an artist, so she was there constantly so I think I owe it to her for staying with it and developing it because a lot of kids, there’s nobody around to push them and all that,” Garcia said.

When asked what has been his most prized possession or piece he’s worked on, he shared that it’s simply the appreciation that comes from the community.

“When I do a portrait or caricature of a person and they like or love it, that’s when I feel proud. I pleased my customer,” Garcia said. “I enjoy doing it and they show their appreciation.”

The ultimate goal for Garcia is to be appreciated and be remembered.

“We’re all here to work for our fellow man for one way or another. You’re performing a service, I’m performing a service and that’s what we’re all here for,” he said.

He added that he would one day like to create a book of his own and illustrate it.

To contact Garcia for commission pieces, you can email him at nachoo9@yahoo.com.

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