October 17th, 2017
Jesse Gussow

Today we are sharing some work from a self-taught artist, Ruben Ramirez. When I first saw his work I didn’t really know what to think of it. Now the more I look at it, the more I get lost in it, seeing all kinds of different things. It’s a very neat style. At first the image you think you're supposed to see jumps right out at you, then you focus on the line work and that’s where it gets a little freaky. Which is what makes Ruben’s work so enjoyable.



Where are you from?

Born and raised in Santa Fe Springs CA, no it's not by Palm Springs nor near any type of springs actually lol, it’s a city right in between Whittier CA and Norwalk CA.


How did you get started in Art?

I can't remember the exact point I started doing art (for pleasure). I always used to be the kid in high school who would doodle in the corner or back pages of worksheets so I guess that's where I started.


What inspires your work?

I love looking at photography, whether it's of musicians, actors or just great shots of significant events taking place, and pictures are worth 1,000 words so it's only right I recreate it with 1,000 lines.


How long does a piece usually take to complete?

Each piece takes 3-8 hours depending on size. The biggest piece I have completed so far is 14 x 23.


What is your complete process from start to finish?

First I look for reference pictures. I usually try to look for black and white pictures because I only draw in black and white so the contrast on what I have to do is already there. If not I turn them into black and white pictures in Photoshop. I create my outlines and number sections and each section is a different pattern I need to use in order to give people the idea I'm making "shading" and from there I fill them in with dots, curved lines, or cross hatching.


The more I look at your work the more it becomes a little macabre and seems like worms or snakes are everywhere. What have other people said they see in your work?

A lot of people just see the lines at first till they notice the grander scale of things. I also like to throw in hidden images like, eyes, peace signs, and weed leaves, anything to see if they find it.


What do you see in your work?

What do I see in my work? If I told you, you wouldn't believe me lol.


Do you listen to music while you work? If so, what do you like to listen to?

Yea, I try to listen to music that gets me in a groove and hyped. I need this to keep me awake! lol! If I'm drawing a musician I try to listen to their music and get a feel how they must have been feeling in order to give the drawing a type of look, other than that I listen to artists like Kid Cudi, Kendrick Lamar, Rage Against the Machine, etc.


How have you grown as an artist from when you first started to now?

My lines have gotten way cleaner and my hand and eyes are trained to be able to stay focused while drawing.


What would you like to be more proficient at?

I would like to be proficient at learning still life and actual shading and making realistic drawings.


What challenges do artists face today that artists didn't face 60 years ago?

Maybe getting exposure. The DIY scene is extremely big now and everyone is trying to sell art.



Would you rather fight 1 horse sized duck or 100 duck sized horses? And why?

Haha, maybe 100 duck sized horses. I feel they won't try to peck me; maybe just wear shin guards in case they buck at my legs,



What materials do you use to create your art?

Just paper and Micron pens; maybe a ruler.



Do you prefer Oreo or Fudgee-O cookies? Or some other sweet snack?

Chewy Chips Ahoy  


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