Meet the Artist: Adam Gonzalez

 

Name: Adam Gonzalez aka Pancake Picasso

Age: 32

Town/Neighborhood: San Tan Valley/Magma Ranch

When & why I moved here: I moved here three years ago to spend more time with and be closer to my daughter. I now share custody with her mom. Back then I hardly got to see her so I always made sure we had quality time since we didn’t have quantity of time.

What I like most about living here: I love the small town atmosphere. I was born in California but grew up in Parker, Arizona, so it’s somewhat reminiscent of my hometown.

What I do: I paint and maintain sports fields for the Florence Unified School District.

What I like most about what I do: I like that I am outdoors and once in a while I get to use my artistic abilities. I don’t make a lot of money but I get a lot of time with my kids and family and you can’t put a price on that.

Changes I’d like to see in this area: I wish there was an In-N-Out Burger closer to my house, LOL. If I were Superman, it  would be my Kryptonite.

My interests and hobbies: I love playing basketball, running, making my cool pancakes,  drawing, painting, doing salt art and hanging out with my kids and family.

The pancake thing: About five years ago I made my daughter Mickey Mouse pancakes — you know, the ones where you pour three little circles. I thought I did pretty good but to my surprise my 4-year-old’s response was, “I want Tinker Bell pancakes.” It’s all funny to think the Pancake Picasso thing — that’s what I go by — was born and I didn’t even know it. Fast-forward four years and my oldest stepdaughter shows me this video on YouTube of a guy making pancakes that look like Olaf from the movie “Frozen.” I said, “I can do that.” Always one to take on a challenge, the next day I started trying and steadily improved until I attracted media attention from different news stations, newspapers. I’ve done ones of Larry Fitzgerald,  Kobe Bryant and a lot of super heroes. I’m a big Batman fan. What just started as me being a good dad has now spiraled into me doing parties and events. I do birthday parties, corporate breakfasts, sleepovers, basically any event you can think of. I’ve even been asked to start doing weddings. It is amazing how far this has all come in the short span of a year. I’ve also given back with my pancakes. I’ve donated my time and made pancakes for a class in the Florence district as a reward to improve their grades and behavior. This is a class of at-risk teens who may have a hard home life so if I can come through, make them smile for a few hours and influence them in a good way, well, that’s what giving back is all about. I’ve always thought the world has enough villains; we need more Batmans. I try to be Batman.

The trait(s) I admire in others: Honesty, humility,  respect and dedication.

People who inspired me (and how): A few come to mind who really stand out. Kobe Bryant. I try to bring the same heart, drive and intensity to my art and life that Kobe did to the game of basketball. Another would be my grandpa who had passed when I was young. Everyone says that I’m just like him and that he was an artist. I feel as though he has been watching over me these last few years and has had a hand in my recent success. Last but not least, my neighbor Mike who is terminally ill of cancer. Up until about a year ago I didn’t see myself as an artist, but my neighbor always did. He saw some of my early pancakes and knew that I had talent. He believed in me since day one and I will never forget that.

My guiding philosophy: I believe in putting my all into all that I do, I am very competitive and whether it’s making great pancakes or painting a sports field, I believe in being the best, because if we’re not doing that then why even try to begin with? Other people may be smarter, better looking, faster or stronger than I, but I’ve always refused to be outworked. I also believe in making ordinary things extraordinary.  “Life’s too short for boring pancakes.

How to contact me: I can be reached on Facebook at Pancake Picasso, on Instagram at pancakepicasso, by e-mail at pancakedad22@yahoo.com and by phone at 480-436-3018.

Meet the Artist is a feature of the Independent that introduces readers to a community member. To receive a profile form or to nominate a neighbor, send an e-mail to qcnews@newszap.com.

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