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When Creative People Hang Together, Magic Happens.

By: Ruarri Serpa

Oceanside CA- Frank Lopez has papered the walls of his narrow studio with abstract fusions of cultural, and natural illustrations. Dried paint splatters cover most surfaces, but the black and white tiled floor, and the sink with a scooped out head-rest give away the transformation of the space from hair salon, to edgy art studio.


Frank Lopez teaches art skills to young students.

In the three years that Frank has run “The Artcadian,” he has brought Oceanside’s artists together, while honing his own craft.

Acrylic on canvas, black pen on paper – his style is chaotic, but therapeutic for the construction worker-turned-teacher. The pixel, by pixel attention he gave to illustrations of an earlier era – mouse in MS Paint, was the medium – demonstrate his process of years long dedication to a method. “It’s just that focus,” Frank says, referring to the way he takes on new skills.

Now Frank brings that focus to his students in his studio, as a teacher of a collaborative creative process. The idea for his studio was born from his desire to bring different people, and their visions to one place. “When creative people hang together, magic happens.”

The third Friday of each month, he invites adults to socialize at The Privateer, before heading to his studio across the street for an “Art Night” session. They each unite three ideas, drawn from different people, into an illustration.

It’s a unique concept for Oceanside, Frank says, with a burgeoning arts scene that is still small compared to San Diego. Art studios are on the rise in Oceanside, cropping up along Coast Highway, and in the resurgent Artists Alley. And on February 4th, Mainstreet Oceanside will host Mainstreet Mixer, bringing together artists, musicians, local food, and beer.

Before hosting classes of his own at the studio, Frank taught after-school, and charter school programs in the area. Now, he brings people of all ages into his own creative space, and helps them put their visions on paper.

Art Night – third Friday of every month. $15

Military Spouse Night – fourth Friday of every month. Free.

Youth classes – run for four weeks, in one hour sessions each week, for $75.

The Artcadian
1745 S. Coast Highway, Oceanside


Ruarri Serpa is a freelance reporter from Oceanside, CA. You can contact him directly at RuarriS@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter: @Ruarris

Photos: Steve Marcotte / OsideNews