Art has always been a passion of mine. The mere prospect of creating realistic images on paper with only small flicks of the wrist still stirs up a child like excitement in me. My name is Ali Barajas. I'm 34 years old and I'm from San Bernardino,California. At the moment however, I find my self in Big Sandy, a federal prison in Kentucky where the walls are high and morale is low.
Art, as is often the case, has helped me cope when times get hard. With hope and regret in equal measure, I try and direct my usually astute attention towards my drawing pad and pencil. Because I'm in high security I often get frustrated with the restrictions of very essential art material which hinders me from taking on certain projects. Even so, I once took first place in the "Low Rider Arte" magazine with a portrait I drew of my niece using only a standard #2 pencil, tissue paper for shading, and for an eraser I used a small piece of rubber cut out of an old sandal.
She may contend that it was her stunning good looks and NOT my lucky sandal that won us the victory. But an uncle out ranks a niece so all credit goes to the lucky sandal. With out family or friends, and above all God, this ordeal would be mine alone to bear. And with out Art, perhaps I wouldn't be able to stay sane; for my surroundings seem to just vanish when I pick up my pencil and begin to draw.