Miguel Angel Camarena was born and raised in the Tarahumara Land, in the Sierra Madre of Chihuahua. He moved to Southern California at the age of 13, where he started school. In the first year of junior high he took art classes, which he enjoyed so much he excelled at them. The principal of the school approached him and asked him to design the year book cover, which became his first printed illustration. Soon after that he was encouraged by his other teachers to get more involved in art classes, but it wasn’t until after high school that he was approached by an International Production Company. Camarena was asked to illustrate a movie poster, which was the beginning of his career as an illustrator.
During his early career as an illustrator, Camarena was being challenged by more difficult projects. At that time he met a very popular Hollywood movie poster illustrator, Morgan. Morgan recommended that he attend the California Art Institute, specializing in Cinematography illustration. There he learned under the top Hollywood illustrators, including Morgan.
Camarena began illustration projects with companies such as NBC, T.V. Guide, and Warner Brothers. He also traveled to New York to enroll at the Art Students League. While in New York he illustrated several book covers including the new edition “BenHur”. Camarena moved to San Diego where he met the famous European Painter, Sebastian Capella, and was taught impressionism and classical European painting.
Camarena felt he needed to make a change in his career. He then remembered his early childhood, the people, the traditional fiestas, the ceremonies at Easter time, the traditional customs of the Indians, the dances and the Tesquino. He remembers vividly the people playing the fiddle, the ladies dancing at the rhythms of the flute, the men proudly celebrating by playing the drums. How they enjoyed Tesquino and danced all night long. He still feels the drums in the beat of his heart. Camarena went back to the Tarahumara Land, and started his career as a fine artist. He now spends most of his time painting the people of his childhood that inspired him so much.
Camarena enjoys teaching art part time to disadvantaged youth and sharing his ideas to help them express themselves in positive and creative ways.
Camarena currently lives in Arizona where he has his own art gallery where he continues to paint as well as teach.