CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Erick Garcia-Oliva has always loved to draw. He sees it as a way to express himself.
“It was something at first I wanted to get for attention, but immediately I fell in love with drawing, because it was my form of expression and my imagination,” he said.
He likes to draw anything, and will draw whatever inspires him. As a freshman at Collegiate High School, Garcia-Oliva joined the mock trial club.
“The teacher, he knew I really liked art and drawing, and he was like, ‘hey, would you mind being our court artist?’ and I was just like, ‘I didn’t even know you had a court artist position, but okay!’” he said.
Over the next four years, Garcia-Oliva grew to love his position in the mock courtroom.
“I really just liked sitting there in the courtroom, and just watching all the other students bite their heads off, while I was just there with my colored pencils,” he said.
As a senior, Garcia-Oliva competed at the state level. The state competition was held over zoom, which presented a unique challenge for him.
“They’d always turn their cameras off when they were done talking, so I had to race to draw their face really quickly, and then they’d turn off their cameras and I’m like, ‘dang it! Got ‘em next time,’” he laughed.
His finish product gave him a third-place finish, earning him a college scholarship, which he will use as he heads to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi in the fall to study digital design. Garcia-Oliva hopes to one day work in animation.
“I’ve loved cartoons since I was little, and after a while I found out what animation was, and what their main job was, to create cartoons. I immediately wanted to get into animation. It was sort of the upper version of letting your imagination loose, and just bringing it to life,” he said.