When I was fourteen years old, I started a duo with Dave Hada. It was my intention to have us sound like a Mexican Hapa Simon & Garfunkel. When we were 16 years old, we played one show with a singer named Aaron Broering at the Irvine Bowl in Laguna Beach. Afterwards, I begged both of them to allow my vision to lead this band, Laliahounds, into the music industry in Los Angeles. Neither of them showed any interest but fortunately, they did help me record a handful of my songs in my garage. Listen to songs from the catalog.


My love for literature started with SE Hinton and her books, Tex, Rumble Fish, That Was Then This Is Now and The Outsiders. For a few years after reading those, I was bombarded with atrocious required reading that almost turned me off literature completely until 11th grade when I read Siddhartha and Narcissus & Goldmund by Hermann Hesse. In 1991, Dr Susan Derwin introduced me to Toni Morrison and Miguel Cervantes and I began to conceptualize my own story given those influences. In 1997, I published this illustrated novella about a canisman fighting for love. I went into serious debt attempting to support this book from my studio in Bel Air. I did my first book signing at Midnight Special on the Promenade in Santa Monica. My next book signing was at The Armadillo Ale House in Brentwood on San Vicente. In retrospect, I didnt have the requisite knowledge to know what to do with this book as a business and I don't think I was able to give this book the reception it deserved. But, I tried. View samples of artwork from CH.A!


After my first book was supported by the Mexican Consulate in Los Angeles, they asked to publish my second book through their Cultural Consul, Mercedes Gertz. I wrote and illustrated a story about an eleven year old Puerto Rican girl who invents human wings. Then, we had a reception and gallery exhibit at the Consulate in MacArthur Park. I followed it up with Creativity Workshops for young children at LACMA, the Bowers Museum, the Palos Verdes Library District, Seed & Weed in Long Beach, Libreria Martínez and dozens of middle schools in southern California. Read the PDF.


I wanted to develop a Mexican character for my next book so I invented this Jaguar in the Mayan region named Dolarote. (For the US market, his name was changed to Yee.) Dolarote works as a security guard on a Quetzal farm. When the most precious Quetzal is stolen, Dolarote has to travel Mexico in search of the thiefs. I told this to a group of middle school children at the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity and I asked them to help me manipulate the story. We went through writing, illustration and computer exercises until we were able to put together an entirely new story. Richard Koshalek and David Walker were very supportive of this work and provided the children to scholarships at Art Center College of Design. Read the PDF.



Juana Vázquez-Gómez wrote this book in Spanish. After 12 publications by three different publishers, she received a request for an English language translation. I was contracted to put this project together and then I eventually became the publisher of the final bilingual edition. This project allowed me to better understand my country of birth. I believe that I have the ability to put together a comprehensive history of Mexico for the young reader so that it makes perfect sense given all the chaos. I hope to one day utilize this material for the benefit of young Mexican Americans in the US that would like to better understand their ancestors in Mexico.


I met Michelle Burton at Casa Oaxaca in Santa Ana. She contracted me to write a cookbook for AltaMed on a selected group of chefs and restauranteurs in Los Angeles. They include: John Sedlar of Rivera, Hugo Molina of Setá, Betty Porto of Porto's Bakery, Jaime Martin del Campo and Ramiro Arvizu of La Casita Mexicana, Jesse Gómez of Yxta, Jimmy Shaw of Lotería Grill, Rocio Camacho of Mole de los Dioses, Rogelio Martínez of Casa Oaxaca, Ricardo Diaz and Armando de la Torre of Guisados, Blair Salisbury of El Cholo, Pati Zarate of Homegirl Café, Daniel Salcido of Sal Sizzle and Teresa Campos Hernández of Teresita's in East LA. I paired all the dishes in the cookbook to wines from the Mexican American Vintners Association in Napa Valley. I casted their food and wine festivals for East LA Meets Napa and OC Meets Napa and Baja. And, I secured Ozomatli as the house band for their fundraisers. I am very proud of the work I did with Michelle, Cástulo de la Rocha and Joel Lara to make an impact in Women's Health Initiatives at AltaMed in Los Angeles and in Orange County.


There are moments in life when you think: Dios Mio, I think I was just asked to swim with a whale! Michelle Burton called me and asked me if I knew who Jeff Jacobs was, I said, no. She told me that he was looking for a Spanish language translator for his wife's book, The Silver Lining. I took the appointment and landed the contract. Jeff was Oprah's lawyer, manager and COO of Harpo. I thought for sure that this would be the critical project of my lifetime. Unfortunately, they never released my translation. AllState Insurance supported the release of the book in English and Spanish and there is a site dedicated to supporting women worldwide. Hopefully, you will never need it but here it is if you do:


In 2008, after producing The Story of Yee, I was educated about the life of immigrant children in my community of Santa Ana. This was seven years after the first Dream Act was issued in Congress. What followed was an excruciating decade to come fighting for stabilization. As I was swallowed up in all of that suffering and sadness, I wrote and illustrated this animated short. Read the PDF.


I met Ricardo Robles through my work with AltaMed. He told me that his father, Mauro Robles, needed to have his story written. So, over a span of time, I interviewed don Mauro at the age of ninety-four and he told me his inspiring story. It is currently only being distributed privately among the family but I hope that one day, a generation of entrepreneurs can learn about don Mauro Robles.


As I was publishing with Poder Hispanic Magazine, I needed to find an outlet for all the material that I had produced but had not been utilized. Dr José Moreno called me and asked me if I could produce a radio show or KBeach/KKJZ FM at Cal State Long Beach for the majority population of young Latina/os. I am now in my eighth year of cloudcasting and my talent list is enormous. Since I began, a whole industry has popped up around podcasting and every Tom, Dick & Harry has been able to find a way to turn it into a moneymaking business. I have not. I publish original content with no format and I dont have any sponsors that tell me what to do or how to do it. Special thanks are deserved for Grant Dull at ZZK Records for providing me with the majority of the beautiful music that you hear on my show. Also thanks to Dr. Karen Fields for the Racecraft season and Dr. Craig Wilder for the Ebony & Ivy season.


I wanted to find a way to penetrate the atmosphere around Conde Nast so I brokered a recipe from Nancy León at Chan's Bistro in Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico to Betty Liu. Nancy prepared a delicious oxtail barquette and then Betty "re-mexed" it. Click on the link to see Betty's photography and post: Recipe for Oxtail Barquettes.


After I produced In Their Own Words Vol 2 with AltaMed, I received a phone call from a publisher of cookbooks in Vancouver. They asked me if I would produce a cookbook for chefs in Baja California. After I spent some time understanding the industry in Baja Norte, I financed and produced the cookbook myself with a contracted photographer. I also began a collaboration with Ana Laura Martínez of the Culinary Art School and Dra Gloria López Morales of the Conservatorio de la Cultura Gastronómica Mexicana. Together, we share an idea for how to support the next generation of female entrepreneurs in the kitchens. Visit our microsite for MXCNAS.


I was born in Mexico City. I lived in Las Lomas de Tecamachalco in Estado de Mexico until I was three years old. I was moved to Huntington Beach, California at the age of three. I was raised in Mission Viejo, California. I started playing the guitar at the age of seven. I had paper routes and I loaded Christmas trees in the winter but my first job at age sixteen was at The Pageant of the Masters in Laguna Beach. I worked as an usher and I was the personal assistant to Thurl Ravenscroft who was the narrator of the show. At the age of seventeen, I was sent to UC Santa Barbara. The next six months were the ultimate in highs and lows. I left UC Santa Barbara for a year and I went to paint murals with Willie Herrón in Los Angeles. In 1995, I graduated with my Bachelor's degree. I rented a home in Bel Air, California in March 1996, aged 23. I began to work full time during the day and at night, I wrote, illustrated and published my first book. I stayed in Bel Air until 1999 and then on a whim while talking with Joe Phelps, I relocated to Montpelier, Vermont. I found a beautiful flat behind the Inn at Montpelier and lived there for three years. Words cannot describe the beauty of Vermont, especially in the Mad River Valley. After 9/11, the fintech industry froze, so I left again, first to LA, then Girona and Ronda in Spain, then to Guanajuato, Mexico, and then to Seattle, Washington. I stayed for a summer in Seattle and then came back to settle in Laguna Beach. In 2010, I fell in love and married my wife and in 2017, we welcomed our child.