“My name is Hugo Leonel Pichaya Tuyuc. I was born in the beautiful municipality of San Juan Comalapa in the district of Chimaltenango. I am dedicated to the art of painting.
“I am very fortunate to have been born in a beautiful part of Guatemala, where art breathes. Here, we have various painted murals, and the streets are full of color and harmony. It is impossible not to fall in love with this art.
“When I was one year old, having just taken my first steps, I suffered a terrible illness called poliomyelitis, which left me in the hospital for six years. It was a very difficult process for my mom, who had to take care of everything in our home. At the age of seven, I finally beat that terrible disease, but unfortunately the consequences were devastating. I was left with paralysis in several parts of my body, and to this day I cannot walk very well.
“I have always thought that there is no better form of expression than art. People ask me how I began painting, especially due to my health complications. My aunt’s husband always painted, and one day I decided to watch him paint. In this way, I was able to observe each individual stroke and the mixtures of paint and the techniques with which he worked.
“I never asked him to teach me, but one day I decided to paint El Calvario, a very famous church in Guatemala. I was very happy to have done it, as it gave my uncle an opportunity to see my work. He did not say anything; he just stayed quiet. But, one day, at a family gathering, he started saying really bad things about my painting! This immediately shattered my confidence, but something in me said that I should not feel bad; I was just starting out, and I knew that very soon I would be able to perfect my technique.
“Those bad comments only fortified my faith and knowledge that God would provide for me. I continued painting and painting. The practice helped me a lot, and little by little my paintings became prettier. I became more relaxed, and each new piece was like a challenge.
“Painting inspires me in a big way; the satisfaction of seeing a completed piece fills my heart with joy, and I know that despite the roadblocks along the way, I was able to lift myself up. Life goes on, and you have to learn to live with your problems. It’s all in the attitude and in the desire to do things, but above all else, it’s in trusting that God will never abandon us. I dream to be able to continue my work, and that my paintings will become renowned around the world.
“Being affiliated with Novica fills me with happiness. I know that this is the beginning of something great, and I am thankful, because these opportunities vindicate my work. Every one of my paintings is inspired by the beauty of Guatemala and is created with a lot of love and dedication, so that in your home you will have a small piece of my country and of my passion.”