“My name is Manuel Cruz; I was born in San Agustín de las Juntas, in the state of Oaxaca. Since I was very young I received from my parents a beautiful teaching that to this day accompanies me faithfully every day--the art of alebrijes.
“I can't remember a single day when I didn't help my parents paint the pieces; it was precisely how I learned to love this art and its details. I was ten years old when I painted my first alebrije. I remember how my parents expressed their passion and charm from day to day when creating these beautiful pieces. They told me what their origin and their legends were.
“Alebrijes were first created by Pedro Linares, who, while in a coma, saw these magical creatures that showed him the way back. This story that seems fantasy inspired me to create a magical touch in the decorations of my pieces.
“My inspiration itself is my life, as each piece has a meaning and a mission. Each piece has a degree of commitment and difficulty that is revealed in its decoration and in its forms. Not to mention a part of me and my family.
“Starting this adventure has required a lot of focus and commitment that comes when you love what you do. That has also allowed me to share my experience with those who want to learn from the heart and dedication. I want each of my pieces to transmit the magic of Mexican traditions, as well as the dedication of my family.”
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