Growing Up With Violence, Dallas Artist Wants to Inspire Kids to Persevere

As a kid, Arturo Torres had no way to completely avoid the gangs and violence in his neighborhood. So he would crawl under his bed and draw comics as a way to escape.Torres, who grew up in Garland, has come a long way since then. He illustrated The Rap Year Book, a New York Times bestseller by Houston writer Shea Serrano. He’s nearly finished the edits for artwork on Basketball (And Other Things), Serrano’s new book, which comes out later this year. Thousands of pre-orders are already in place for the book, which won't be published until October.Torres, 26, who now lives in Oak Cliff, is making a living off his art, but that’s not what’s really important to him. He is quietly committed to making the lives of Dallas kids better by sharing his stories of perseverance.He’s not into money or fame or being seen as a cultural icon. “That whole ‘Do it for the culture,’ that’s stupid,” he said. “Like, no, ‘do it for the culture’ is stupid. Go out into these kids and do something for them.”Growing up in Garland in the '90s, Torres remembers gang-bangers roaming the streets outside his family’s small home. The house was smack in between the territory of two feuding sets, but Torres’ family was able to stay out of the drama for the most part.   Continue reading...

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