On a horizontal piece of wood there is a drawing of a big cockatiel birdman. Taking a closer look it's full of lines, all in different shapes and forms, but perfectly drawn, stacked on top of each other, giving it a 2-D look.

The artist is Jacoub Reyes, a UCF alumnus with a bachelor's in drawing and printmaking.

Even though Reyes graduated in 2013, he's still involved at UCF as much as he can be. He enjoys using art in hands-on ways to get people together at different community events.

When Nepal's earthquake occurred in April 2015, Reyes put together a charity event that ten people participated in, including UCF professor Larry Cooper. They each created a piece of art to sell and raised money for Nepal.

Cooper said that through the years he's worked with Reyes, he's seen him go above and beyond to express his artwork in larger or more plentiful ways.

"Jacoub is passionate in his beliefs and integrity. He strives to express this in his art," Cooper said. "Like any artist, this does not always come forth successfully, but he does not let it stop him."

Adam Wade Lavigne was another contributing artist for Nepal's fundraising event. Lavigne met Reyes in a drawing class when they were both pursing their bachelor’s degrees at UCF. He said their connection was first artistic, but it developed into a very good friendship.

"He's passionate, prolific, he's dedicated to making work, and that's really what I respect much about him," Lavigne said. "He's trying to affect the world in a positive way."

When Reyes was still enrolled at UCF, he mentored other students who were struggling. Expanding his teaching experiences, he taught several elementary printmaking classes this year.

"[Students] show me things I've never though of," Reyes said.

Some of the lessons have been about the importance of details in artwork, which is something that Reyes implements in his own work after spending time with the students.

Reyes is also involved with the UCF School of Visual Art and Design. He recently took part in a show called “Step Right Up: Art of the Sideshow.” There, he showed his drawing on actual wood block.

Reyes enjoys finding treasure among trash that he later incorporates into his artwork.

"All my stuff is recycled. I find all this stuff in the trash," Reyes said, as he sort through various wood blocks.

He often lets the condition of a wood block shape his final art design. If he finds a wood block with a hole or another imperfection, instead of removing it, he incorporates it into the drawing — making each piece unique and special. This is the case with the cockatiel birdman drawing; the wood had a hole, and he made it part of the final piece.

"That's what I love to do; I love transforming," Reyes said.

Reyes finds the wood to be a metaphor of life. He tries to be diligent when working on them, because marks are permanent.

"Everything you do in life is obviously going to shape you in certain way[s]. You can't reverse the things you've thought and experience," Reyes said. "The wood is unforgiving — once I make that mark; it’s just permanent."

Reyes's only formula for success is hard work and determination. He spends about eight hours a day, every day in his studio working on his art.

"I love drawing, it's just such a process. It's really funny because it's the most malleable part of everything," Reyes said. "I can draw you wrong and then erase it, but still see the drawing that I did wrong — it's all about failures."

To make his art more readily available to the public, Reyes recently started working on his marketing campaign, and he's in the process of building an online store for his website.

"Every piece that I'm doing, I'm pushing myself to do something new," Reyes said.


Interested parties can visit Jacoub Reyes' website.

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