Efren Andaluz III, better known as Andaluz The Artist, was born on October 8, 1986 in Queens, NY. Growing up in the cultural melting pot of Richmond Hill Queens he was introduced to an array of beliefs, backgrounds and multi-cultured people. Being half Dominican and half Ecuadorian his latino upbringing focused on family and work ethic. A major part of growing up in the boom bap borough of Queens was the influence of Hip-Hop culture. Andaluz would wake up to the muffled bass sounds protruding from his uncle’s room as his uncle was producing instrumentals. This love for Hip-Hop was heightened by the fact that Efren grew fond of the graffiti tagged walls in his neighborhood. Graffiti, one of the four elements of Hip-Hop, would play a major part in his future art style.
Andaluz was inspired by saturday morning cartoons and superheroes. He found himself sketching these characters at a very young age. His grandfather, Efren Andaluz, was also an artist and would teach him different drawing techniques and buy him art books. Both sides of his family had very talented creatives but none would make it a career.
At 10 years of age his parents would move him and his brother to the starkly different suburbs of Long Island. Everything he knew had changed including the way his peers thought and looked at him. Here he had a difficult time adjusting and making friends. He was an outkast. Instead of hanging out with friends he would stay inside and sketch. Creating comic book ideas and honing his drawing abilities.
By the time Andaluz was a senior in high school his parents bought him an airbrush kit. These tools changed his life. He taught himself how to use the airbrush and quickly started taking orders from his classmates. Painting their t-shirts, sneakers and even designing whole outfits for different school clubs. This is when he realized he could make money from his unique talent.