The Art of Redemption

Armando and Nathaniel at the hour of darkness (2:45 AM) Phoenix Greyhound Station
What a whirlwind of emotions this lat week’s journey held. Nathaniel and I traveled 33 hours by Greyhound to Baton Rouge, LA from Phoenix, AZ to create artwork from the flood debris. Our goal was to offer hope to the flood victims as well as help raise funds for flood relief. Our host, Acacia Church, in Baton Rouge covered the cost of our tickets there and gave us a place to sleep and work in their awesome building.
We were able to create four pieces of art. Three of the pieces are symbols of the state of Louisiana, the black bear, the pelican and the magnolia, the fourth was commissioned by Pastor Russ Cripps, a cross representing redemption.
Our goal was to create art that did not memorialize the flood, but rather, celebrated the character of the state and its great people.
On Sunday, Pastor Russ Cripps and I shared the heartbeat of reclamation art with the church. The message of reclamation art is a visual representation of the gospel.
Here is a link to the audio from the service. There were a few technical difficulties, and there is a skip in the conversation. It may be a little confusing initially, but it doesn’t detract from the over all message.

The Redemption of the Broken

Below are pictures of the four pieces we created and a link to the silent auction. As of this writing, September 2 at 6:48 pm, we have raised $1,355.00 to help purchase drywall for families without flood insurance, priority given to single mothers and the elderly.
I will post a full account of our trip, and Nathaniel and I are working on a short video documentary.
A Pelican at the Dinner Table
Reclaimed Mix Media | 48 1/4″ x 19 5/8″
The Louisiana state bird is the Brown Pelican. The white and red are from a dinner set that was discarded in a pile of debris. To me, the ability to sit with family at the dinner table is very significant and vital to a family. The eye is a button from a little girl’s shoe, which was buried under an immense pile of everything she was probably familiar with.”

Louisiana Black Bear
Reclaimed Wood and Mix Media | 30 5/8″ x 54″

The bear is whittling from the slats of a porch bench ruined by flood waters and mounted on a discarded table top. Each piece of “fur” was individually glued.


Blossoms in the  Window
Reclaimed Steel Wire and Mix Media | 27 1/2″ x 69 1/2″

Strength. That is the word I heard and saw in the hearts, eyes, smiles, tears and sweat of are the people of Baton Rouge. We found this old school exercise device in a pile of flood debris. It took a bit of work to uncoil the springs to use for the blossoms.

Pure. The magnolia is the state flower, it represents purity and the blind used as the back drop represents the loss of privacy and security to protect families and children.

Redemption’s Cross
Mix Media | 24″ x 34″ (Unsigned) This piece was commissioned by Pastor Russ Cripps, from Acacia Church, host of this week’s art efforts. It is made from reclaimed decorative pieces from two different homes and represents the redemptive work God does in the hearts of believers.

View more images and behind the scenes of the builds here. The silent auction started on Wednesday, August 31 and ends on September 4 at 6:00 pm.

Starts August 31, 2016 – 05:00 PM CDT and ends on September 04, 2016 – 06:00 PM CDT
One of a kind pieces of art work created from the Baton Rouge flood debris by reclamation artist, Armando Heredia. 100% of the profit will be donated to purchase drywall for single mothers and elderly who do not have flood insurance through Acacia Church in Baton Rouge.

Heading to Baton Rouge

Photo by Russ Cripps
Photo by Russ Cripps

Recently, a friend of mine, Russ Cripps, from Louisiana, posted a photo of flood debris. In his comment he said there were miles and miles of trash piled on the side of the road, waiting to be picked up and discarded. I knew when I saw that picture that I had to go to Louisiana to help make a difference using art.

I will be traveling, along with my son, to Baton Rouge to create one of a kind pieces of art work from the flood debris that we will sell. 100% of the profit will be donated to the flood victims through our host, Acacia Church, who are already working hard to help those affected by the flood.

Acacia Church  in Baton Rouge will be hosting us, giving us space to work and stretch out our sleeping bags.

The funds we are raising are to help cover our cost in getting to Baton Rouge so we can create the artwork that will be sold to help flood victims. We have half of our bus fare covered and need help to cover the other half. We will also use the funds to buy gear (masks, gloves, etc) to keep us safe while we are gathering materials, and to cover any other expenses directly related to our artistic effort.

Our bus will leave from Phoenix, AZ on August 25, 2016 and leave Baton Rouge for our return on September 1, 2016. So, we need to raise these funds in the next two days.

I am so grateful to everyone who is able to help and/or participate in this effort. Art is not a hobby for me, it is the passion that drives me, and using art to make a difference in our world is my ultimate goal. Please help us get to Baton Rouge by donating to our account. Thank You!

If you are an artist, and you would like to participate, please contact me at Armando [@]

Keep Your Hopes Up Available Today!

Keep Your Hopes Up by Armando Heredia

“I wish I had the guts, sometimes, to just take all of the stuff I’ve made out into an empty field, and light it up. I’d invite the whole city and have a million dollar bonfire, or a fifty thousand dollar blaze or, alright, maybe about a two hundred dollar weenie roast.”

Support independent publishing: Buy this e-book on Lulu.

Reclaimed Wooden Sketchbook

Each Tres Clavos sketch book is completely unique. Since the books are created using reclaimed lumber, each piece takes on a different look and feel based on the wear, type and color variation of the wood used. This Tres Clavos wooden sketch book is 10″ x 8.5″ x 2.5″. The drawing surface is 10″ x 6.5″.

It contains 35 sheets of Strathmore (c) Premium Recycled Drawing Paper which is acid free, heavy weight, durable, and medium surface. This bright white paper is ideal for all dry media. It is suitable for pen and ink. Contains 30% Post Consumer Waste Fiber.

This sketch book has a beautifully worn cover and is embellished with the Tres Clavos maker’s mark on the back.

The books can be customized for writing, watercolor or any other medium. This would make a great gift for the artist or dreamer in your life, or for yourself. Starting at $45.

I Wanted To Change The World

Everyday was a straight leap, full on, into trying to make a difference. We spent all of our time, energy and the little amount of money we had above existing pouring ourselves into our church, community and as many people as we could come in contact with.

Armando and Tinakay with Jonathan. Circa 1995.

For as long as I can remember, art and creativity have been the most valuable tools that I could bring to the table, and I have had the opportunity to partner with some amazing people and organizations over the last twenty five years to put them to work.

I don’t know if I still want to change the world, but I do want to continue to shape the narrative as much as possible. Art and creativity are still, if not more so, the best tools that I can bring to the table, but I am at the stage in life that I want to build the table and set the course.

June 12, 2016 is the last day of my current position, because I am a dreamer, I am trying to raise funds to be an independent artist. An artist that can everyday straight leap, full on, into the multitude of impacting projects and exhibits that are in my mind and heart, but I don’t have the time to create because I have to as Tyler Joseph from Twenty One Pilots says, “wake up, you need to make money.

However, as a realist I am spending many hours scouring the internet, looking for a job, because there’s bills to pay. Still right here:


If you would like to be a part of this journey with me, you can go to my page. There are fabulous incentives.

1971 Coleman & Crate Acoustic Guitar Amp

Coleman isn’t typically a brand you think of when you say guitar amp, but it was definitely the first thing we thought of when we stumbled across this gem on Craigslist.


The original owner said he first used it in April of 1971! This 45 year old metal Coleman ice chest, in all of its red and cream glory, had certainly passed its prime for dispensing cold drinks, and it was due a new lease on life.


This is definitely the amp you want to play at the next bonfire, picnic or venue that is needing that acoustic sound. You literally can’t get any “cooler” than this.

Live Submissions on Threadless

These submissions are live on right now! As an artist that works a “regular” job, this is one of the avenues that will help me support myself and family with my passion. So, if you would be so kind, please visit the link and score the designs (a 5 out of 5 would be very nice).

Swing Swang Swinged Swung... Whatever., a cool t-shirt design

Let’s not get too hung up on the details. There’s nothing like swinging, feet stretched to the sky. At the end of the day, you swang, swinged, swung until your little heart was content, and nothing else mattered, not even grammar. This image is based on a picture of my daughter-in-law.

Aw, Snap!, a cool t-shirt design

Way out in the desert, there are some creepy crawly creatures. Keep your eyes open and watch your step!

Snake!, a cool t-shirt design

This is part of a series called “Flow”. It’s an abstraction of patterns that emerges on it’s own. The snake said hello after the design was done.

Umpire, a cool t-shirt design

Hey, somebody has to be in charge. We might never score a home run, but if we say so, neither do you. You’re OUT!

Bicicleta de Trabajo (Working Bicycle), a cool t-shirt design

There’s something heart warming about an old yellow bicycle. While doing a photo shoot at a huge refinery I came across a couple of these working bikes. The workers would ride these to be able to get around quickly. Imagine men in cover-alls with hard hats, riding these rusty old yellow bikes, not for fun or exercise, but for good old fashioned work.

Bicicleta (Bicycle), a cool t-shirt design

I did an industrial shoot in the early 2000’s at a plant somewhere out west. I came across this amazing old yellow plant bike. The workers would ride these bikes all over this sprawling steel and concrete jungle.


Save The Planet, a cool t-shirt design

Gramps was using paper bags before it was trendy. You’ve heard it over and over, recycle! Dude. Save the stupid planet, already.


Do You Feel Lucky, a cool t-shirt design

Sometimes you stay up all night trying, but the question still comes down to this classic, “Do You Feel Lucky, Punk?” Well, do ya?

I Will Cut You, a cool t-shirt design

Some crabs are crabby, some crabs are straight up GANGSTER! Watch out for a crab with a knife, he will cut you!

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