Katy art teacher becomes social media star after Houston Texans masterpiece goes viral
In December 2011, award-winning Katy ISD art teacher Anthony Escamilla, posted a picture of an empty woodframe on his Facebook page with the caption “Future Houston Texans Mural”. The posting kicked off what would become a two year project and turn Escamilla into a Houston social media sensation.
Escamilla has been a die-hard Houston Texans fan since 2002 and names JJ Watt as the player he’d most like to have at his BBQ.
As both an art teacher and football/coach at Seven Lakes Junior High, Escamilla concentrates on his students’ progress during the school year and doesn’t have a lot of time for personal projects. He worked on the mural on-again, off-again for over two years. Escamilla wanted a quality piece and had to get the shades just right to avoid copyright issues.
“The (online) picture is nice, but in person, its details are more visible,” said Escamilla.
When the 3 ½ x 7 foot oil on canvas painting titled “Road to Superbowl” made its Facebook debut, Escamilla and his girlfriend thought 100 likes would be ambitious. In the last 24 hours, the picture of Escamilla standing next to his painting has reached over 80,000 people and garnered approximately 7,000 likes, comments and shares.
“I knew I was going to change the world with this one, but wow I never thought it would go viral and get this much attention,” said Escamilla.
It took some urging from family friend, Hector Montes, to convince Escamilla to forward the photo of his painting to local organizations so they could share it on social media. Go Tejano and Tejano Music Fest both shared it on their Facebook pages where it was an instant hit and comments started pouring in from even Dallas Cowboy fans.
“Nice work.. well respected for your great skills. Wish it was a Cowboys drawing though. lol,” said Kevin Lee on the Tejano Music Fest fan page.
Escamilla has been offered between $100 – $10,000 for the painting since it went viral but has mixed emotions about selling it.
“My dream would be to have Bob McNair post it in Reliant Stadium for others to admire because Reliant is my second home,” said Escamilla.
Escamilla wants the painting to inspire others and would like to see it displayed at a game during Hispanic Heritage Month in a manner that promotes art careers.
If Escamilla decides to sell the painting, the money from the sale will go towards paying off his student loans and helping his family. His father is one of his “ultimate” role models but is currently having health issues.
The response from family, friends and fans has been overwhelming. Escamilla is currently considering replica prints and would love for this newfound exposure to land him a job with the Houston Texans where he can utilize his creative talents to help the team win a Super Bowl.
“It doesn’t matter where you start, it matters where you end,” said Escamilla
Follow Escamilla on Instagram to bid on his painting @escamilla_art.