Profile: Artist Avin Alvarez: From Rugs to Riches

Ernesto Leon, Multimedia Editor

Avin Alvarez, surrounded by his rug pieces. Photo provided by Alvarez.

According to Avin Alvarez, a 19-year-old who displays his art through rugs, any artist will tell you: you can find inspiration from anything. Art, to Alvarez, is a gateway to escaping the stress that comes from the real world, and he puts it as easily as, “I like to make cool things. I love how stubborn I am and how the most random things can inspire me and make me want to create.”

Alvarez explains that his art style matches his personality and bounces off pop culture and artists he looks up to, like Andy Warhol (who he was drawn to because they share the same first name). He elaborates that he gravitates toward primary colors, red, yellow, and blue, and how one will find a lot of celestial motifs in his art pieces. In terms of how he found this medium of showcasing his artistic self:

“I wanted a rug, but a very specific one, a Naruto one, but the only one I could find was online for $180. I knew I could try to make it for cheaper and the TikTok algorithm helped lure me more by showing rug-making videos on my for you page. I talked to a local artist to get more questions answered, and that’s all it took.”

Rebeca Fruto, a 20-year-old art student at California State University, Bakersfield, goes deeper into what art can do for one personally.

“Art brings out what sometimes people don’t even know about themselves. For me, it brings out my more delicate and feminine side even though I’ve felt my whole life I was far from that… The way you think matters in

art. Your mark-making matters, the colors you use say something, the subject matter you tend to choose, and everything is self-expression.”

Alvarez’s view on art is similar to Fruto’s seeing the self-care aspect of creating art. He also explains how he creates his rug pieces. It starts by finding a stock photo and utilizing his projector to display the image on a canvas cloth, using a yard gun and the recoil to trace and design his art. He says it’s a very similar process to embroidering. How expensive is it for Alvarez?

“Definitely depends on the design. Two bundles of yarn are usually good for three to four rugs, but there are a lot of other factors, like making the frame, the cloth, and the actual yard gun,” explained Alvarez.

Alvarez would like to start selling his rug through personal orders to evaluate if he would like to create

the rug and have a more personal connection with potential clients. He would like to keep them at no more than $100 for larger rugs and his smaller coaster-style rugs for around $20. He wants to clarify that his art is predominately created due to his passion for it, not because he wants to monetize off of it, but he also sees the opportunity to make some money off of his hobby.

Fruto also explains that art is meant for anyone and has no gatekeeping to what is beautiful and who is allowed to create it.

“When people question starting art, it’s because they only see other artists post their work after years and years of practice, so when they see their work, we don’t get to see the hours upon hours that it took for them to get there… art is for anyone that willing to dedicate themselves and understand that it does not have to be the most detailed.”

Alvarez also explains that art can seem intimidating because there is a stigma around it having to look a certain way. Still, he emphasizes the idea that art is genuinely a reflection of what the artist loves and that it is subjective for everyone.  

 Alvarez pushes anyone to enter art if they have an interest, “I think anyone can do art; you just got to find the right medium.”