As an undergraduate at the
Pragmatism won out; after earning his graduate degree in architecture from UCLA, Suarez returned to
A self-taught painter, Suarez creates what he calls “abstract paintings with a tinge of realism, evolving around biographical stuff, images of my travels, my family, my friends.” The first time he sold a piece, he remembers, “I didn’t know whether to sell it or not. I got really attached; it was hard to let it go. [But] you sell one or two and it gets a little easier.”
Suarez has slowed down a bit from his prolific pace of creating as many as 20 paintings a year. Instead, he’s focused on getting his architecture license and raising a family with his wife, Liz. (They have a four-year-old son and a newborn daughter.) He recently completed a large triptych for his parents of their three grandsons, and he’s been working off and on for several months on a portrait of his wife.
Like father, like son, Suarez says that little Javier Eduardo, wearing a painter’s smock that was a gift from his grandmother, loves to draw beside him as he paints.
In the end, “It worked out for me,” he says. “I still pay the bills and I’m still able to do my painting. If I didn’t do it, I’d go bananas.”