Artwork by Herman Santiago
My name is Herman, I am a U S Army Veteran with over 25 years of Service. I was working in the United States Postal Service in 2010 when the agency found me to be unfit to continue service due to my service connected conditions. I tried to get an accommodation but they denied it. So I found myself forced to apply for Social Security and VA has rated me as fully disabled.
In my search for giving my live new meaning I struggled with my reality. I decided to go to college and give myself a chance. At first I was enrolled in a civil engineer degree program. While I was doing my third semester registration I stumbled upon a Basic Drawing Course. I really enjoyed it the I took Drawing II and Basic Painting. I decided to change my major to Art with a concentration in Painting.
I was admitted to The School of Plastic Arts and Design of Puerto Rico. And it is a total challenge for me. I struggle through the coursework. I feel that I am missing information. And I am constantly seeking for better ways of learning techniques with little to show. I am doing this without the assistance of VA Vocational Rehabilitation. They have denied me the service. And as you are well aware the materials are costly. Then in 2017 we were hit with hurricanes Irma and Maria. The recovery has been a struggle. Funds are scarce and the labor cost has risen. Making it even harder on my self development in my new found passion. But I am determined to make it work. Because Art is my New Beginning.