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Made in the 956: Edinburg art teacher uses 'Smarty Cartoons' to connect with students, community

2 months 1 week 6 days ago Tuesday, April 19 2022 Apr 19, 2022 April 19, 2022 8:47 AM April 19, 2022 in News - Made in the 956

An art teacher in Edinburg is doing more than just teaching art to his students.

Ramon Ramirez has been able to connect to the community by creating his own brand of cartoons. Some of his work has even been recognized by some big-time Hollywood names.

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Ramirez is the man behind "Smarty Cartoons."

"My story began in Del Mar College in Corpus Christi,” Ramirez said. “I wanted to publish my work and my friend suggested to take it to the newspaper at the college and they gave me an opportunity."

That one opportunity led to all of this.

"That's where Smarty Cartoons began as a comic strip,” Ramirez said. “Later I used the title to be the title of my work. And I've been using it since then since 1987."

Art is something Ramon has always known he's wanted to do, and he does much more than just putting pencil to paper.

"So one minute I'm a puppeteer. The next minute I'm a political cartoonist – an editorial cartoonist,” said Ramirez. “It's just brought on a different menu on my pallet that's been more fun."

"It's fun to say, ‘Well I did this and I've done that. I even did the court sketching for the Selena case back in Corpus Christi."

He's even done projects with actor and comedian Marlon Wayans and other high-profile names.

It's through his Smarty Cartoons, specifically a project called, "Teacher Toons" that's allowed Ramon to connect with his students and the community.

"A lot of the Valley, a lot of the community life is my inspiration for my art,” Ramirez said. "It's fun because people need to laugh and that's my goal to get a message across through humor."

Ramon Ramirez: Made in the 956.

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