KILLEEN, Texas – As friends and family cope with the new developments in the Vanessa Guillen case, others are using their talents to honor the 20-year-old Fort Hood soldier.
Talented hair artist Roberto Ferrel is known by most as Rob The Original. He is no stranger to head art.
“Back in 2008, I started doing portraits, hair cuts, trying to challenge myself. Because I was doing a lot of art work on hair, and make it harder for people to imitate what I was doing. But you know, fast forward to now, 15 years later, it’s definitely become a world-wide trend. So people do these portraits on hair all over the world, but that is in fact why my name is Rob the Original – because I originated it,” said Rob The Original.
He posted an image yesterday on social media – a portrait honoring Fort Hood soldier Vanessa Guillen with the caption, “You will not go unnoticed #vanessaguillen#justiceforguillen let’s make noise! @nuvia.magdahi for getting this meaningful portrait.”
“I wanted to pay tribute to her family and to her, and also bring awareness to what’s going on,” he said.
Rob says as a Latino living in Texas, enough is enough.
“I even changed my picture on my profile just because I want people to see, see who Vanessa is. The more they see her face, it’s just like what happened with George Floyd – the more people posted about it, the more people understood and heard about the story and supported. So we wanted to do the same thing with Vanessa Guillen,” he said.
The portrait took him about an hour to complete on his model Nuvia Magdahi, who is also an artist. She says since they are both creators, they thought it was the perfect way to honor Vanessa.
“Nuvia understood, you know, what the cause was, and she supported it 100 percent. And she was able to get this portrait on her head, and I’m so happy that we got together,” said Rob The Original.
His post has now over 1,000 shares and a combined 52K likes on social media.
“Blow it up there. Put their face out there. So people see that these people did exist, and they were victims,” he said.
Rob The Original says he didn’t create the portrait to get likes or shares – he died it to bring awareness and demand justice for Vanessa Guillen.