Saturday, August 13, 2011

How do you deal with this when you draw outside &/or in a public place?

Sorry my last post cut off, I was gonna say I find it weird to draw from life outside, and have people crowd around to look at what im doing. I m pretty sure its just my insecurity. How do you deal with this when you draw outside &/or in a public place?

Actually, I am a very shy person but I believe in turning my insecurities and inadequacies into motivating factors. Along with my irrational fear of messing up in front of people, comes a shot of adrenaline and some sort of perverse excitement that most often leads me to perform at my best, I'm drawing scared and excited at the same time.

Knowing that at one point or another I will have to draw in front of people, makes me want to learn and practice even more. It's not that I have a lot of confidence, it's just that I don't want to look like I don't know what I'm doing.

As a young adult living n NYC, I used to love the subways as the best place to draw strangers. I never had a problem in there because New Yorkers don't bother you, they don't care what goes on around them, they mind their own business. If you see someone staring at you while you're drawing, there's a good chance that person is a tourist.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Alberto, I love your works. But as a teenager...

Alberto, I love your works. But as a teenager, I am just not so used to the "F" and "S" words that you put here without any discretion. Do you always expose those words to your loved one too? You did something that question askers here never did.

Well, isn't this interesting?

First of all, if you love my "works" and are offended by my words but not by the sexual nature of the images I draw, there's a serious flaw in your character. I don't believe you are a teenager because a teenager drops more "F Bombs" than most adults I know, any time. Even if you were such a proper and model teenager, you have got a lot of growing up to do; you should not be visiting my pages or reading the answers I provide to the dopey questions I receive.

If you were a smart teenager, you would be able to discern between my responses to idiotic questions, which are given in jest and in an almost "cartoon violence"-like tone and the semi educated answers I give to serious or legitimate questions. Read the different replies to the many different questions and then tell me to my face that I don't show any discretion.

If you ask a stupid question you'll receive and even more stupid answer. If you ask an intelligent question, you might get an intelligent answer or at least an honest answer which can only be as intelligent as my intelligence (or lack of such) can allow.

Secondly: That's the beauty of a free society. You don't have to read all the "F" and "S" words. You are free to change the channel. Stop reading me altogether. What I give to you comes free of charge, unfortunately for you, the naked girls come with the foul mouth. If you don't like it, tell me how much you paid for my content and I'll give you your money back.

Thirdly: I am an artist, as such, words to me are tools and symbols of self expression, no different than lines on paper. I don't think you are an artist, either, your asking this very question proves to me that you are a fake and a fraud You are not who you say you are, you hide behind the dark veil of anonymity, you are a coward and a failure as a parent and as a human being. If you really want to censor what your children read or watch, cancel your cable TV subscription.

I feel your attitude is somewhat hypocritical in that you don't mind the full nudity being displayed at will on my blogs, but rather you focus on my apparent use (or abuse) of the english language. At worst, you are a self-righteous phony and extremely ignorant in the matters of the arts. At best you are a genuinely clueless person with good intentions; I believe in people so I'll give you the benefit of the doubt, I'll go with the latter.

Remember this: There is nothing an artist cannot express, no subject is taboo and there are no limits to his/her methods and tools to achieve that self-expression. It is up to you, the viewer, the reader, if you feel offended by the art of others (in this case by the art of written self-expression) to not allow it to corrupt you and offend you, it is YOU who has the self-responsibility and the power to not continue to be a patron of my art and of my written art, in particular.

Notice that no "F" or "S" words were used in this reply, so far.

Btw: I do understand human protocols of behavior and I also know when those formalities do not matter. I do not curse in front of my clients or in front of my young children, even though my children curse like sailors when they're among their peers (not in front of me, though) and seldom in front of my wife. However, in the presence of my brother—whom I love deeply—I sound like a motherfucking truck driver. Go figure!

Anyway, thanks for the question. Now turn off the computer and go to sleep, it's way past your bedtime.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

I wonder why you love to draw women?

What exactly do you find inspiring in them?

A woman —any woman— is the most beautiful thing on this or any other planet. If this fact is not apparent to you, you and I have less in common than you think.

What inspires me is that despite having pretty much the same basic structure, they are vastly different from men.

Even women artists themselves love to draw women, ask them why and they will tell you the same thing. Women are beautiful.

Besides being living, breathing works of art, they are difficult to draw; drawing men is easy, drawing animals and flowers and buildings is even easier. I don't enjoy doing things that are easy, anyone can do that. I love animals and buildings and men but they're a bore to draw, there is no challenge in that whatsoever.

I believe at the very core of my being that if a person is to be called him/herself an artist in the true sense, in the human sense he/she must come to the understanding that only by mastering the human form, in particularly the female form, he/she can become an artist. This is my personal believe, furthermore, I don't give a shit if others think differently; I know they are wrong and deep inside of them they know it also :)

For men, women are complicated to figure out as individuals and they are even more complicated to draw convincingly, that's why most male artists treat women as objects. They don't understand them and that frustrates them, so they draw what they perceive as opposed to how women really are, they think drawing women is all about sex so they draw women how they see them or wish to see them, not what they look like in real life. I'm not saying that women are not sexual, I'm saying that's one small part of what makes a woman, well, a woman. I don't try to understand them, they were not made to be understood so I made it my job in life to try and figure them out artistically. I may never be entirely successful but I like to think I'm onto something.

It's not a sexual thing for sure, I like porn but I hate artistic (erotic) porn. Women are by default sexual beings in ways that men can't match. In the end, things are never that simple, I attempted once to explain my fascination with women but I fell short, let's just say it's complicated.

What do you try to accomplish with each piece you create

Hope this isn't sound weird but when you are creating a work of art. What do you try to accomplish with each piece you create. Do you hope to learn or have you learned something new artistically with every endeavor? (Two questions, I know, my bad!)

All I do is draw poses of naked women, am I consciously trying to accomplish anything? The answer is NO.

I do hope and want to learn but I don't approach it from that end. Mostly, I want to enjoy drawing the form, it really is a lot of fun to draw women in the nude, it makes me warm all over.

I know through previous experiences that the best way for me to learn is to draw really fast, pose after pose, after pose and so forth. I can't quantify the learning. I don't know how much I'm learning or if I'm learning anything at all; all I can feel is a sense of orientation in regards to my position within the the female body as if it were the map of city with landmarks, I don't know what the names of the streets are, I just know I am not lost. Likewise, I don't know the names of all the bones and muscles —just the most prominent ones— but I definitely know where everything is and the shapes they adopt given a particular light source or pose.

I tend to subconsciously choose what I consider challenging poses (at least for me they are) Poses that offer an opportunity to draw the things I have problems with.

For instance: since I have trouble drawing hands I would pick a lot of poses where hands are prominently displayed, not hidden behind the back of the head and such. So I go after them with vigor, sketching mad like it's 1999.

Like I said earlier, I don't know if I'm making immediate progress but with each new drawing I feel more and more comfortable as if I know my way around a city that once felt totally foreign to me.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

El Meollo Del Asunto
The Core of the Problem
A Simple Solution

I am going to sound like a big asshole to some of you for saying what I'm going to say here but I don't give two shits, I'm going to give you the secret of life right here and right now, you better take notes.

Disclaimer: Now, I am not saying my personal life is great, far from it -—at this point it's a manageable chaos—- or that I'm free of problems because I know The Secret of life; this solution has nothing to do with attaining perfection or the elimination of all your troubles but rather a way to approach life so all this relationship garbage can be managed from a safe vantage point, just so you can enjoy the peace of mind necessary to navigate through this fucked up experience we call life and the assholes in it. Maybe some opportunistic self-help guru already wrote shit like this but I'm giving to you free of charge and based on my own life and personal experiences; we, humans are pretty much alike so if you see yourself portrayed in this note, don't take it personally, THIS IS NOT A PERSONAL ATTACK ON ANYONE but a general observation.

Many of my friends and relatives find themselves in very similar situations, when I hear and read their stories, I always say things like: "Your case is different", "You have different needs", "Not everyone has the same problem as you" or "Your situation is unique" and I really do mean that; no two problems are ever alike but that's mainly because the people involved in them are different, but the overall issue, the core of the problem is always the same.

The Problem: People are by default mental midgets; they are indeed mentally lazy and lack self responsibility, if you know me some, you have heard me say that a lot. They love to blame others for their own suffering. Nothing is ever their fault. They also love to place their sentimental, artistic and economic health in the care of other people, who in turn are doing exactly the same to them, so now you have two problems!

People get together, get married and have all kinds of relationships, but most often than not, they hand the keys to their own individual happiness to their partners and spouses. They wrongly believe that they need to let others make them happy. They have not developed the tools to make themselves happy, why? because to do that requires real effort and a deep understanding of oneself. Most people don't like themselves and never really got to find out what makes them tick.

WE DON'T KNOW OURSELVES VERY MUCH Years ago someone sent me a list of really good questions for an interview, not the ones in these internet games. At that point, while answering —or rather, attempting to answer them— I realized a lot of things about myself I didn't know, or perhaps I knew but weren't clear. In my attempt at finding honest answers for these guys and not the usual self-congratulatory artist's bullshit like: "I've been drawing since I was 3 months old" and nonsense like that, I began to dig deeper and deeper to expand on my answers and to reinforce the views on myself I've already held as truth and I have to tell you, some of the shit I unearthed was very revealing and not too pleasant to come to grips with. In fact, a bit of it was really ugly and vile, there is a darker side to me I didn't think I had and which I have grown to despise.

If those guys never would have asked those questions I'd probably still be as ignorant about myself as I was before the interview. This is because I would have never asked myself those questions. We don't ask ourselves certain questions, we rarely interview ourselves in an truly inquisitive fashion and when we do, we rarely reply with brutal honesty; we tend to generalize and sugar coat everything because we don't like ourselves very much, not the real self, anyway and we're ashamed to show that to the world. During the course of our relationships, our friends, partners and spouses will eventually find all this and that's when the proverbial shit hits the proverbial fan. We want to present ourselves in the possible light, it makes sense but it doesn't help in figuring out who we truly are. "How could I have married that psycho?" well, now you fucking know.

SELF HEALTH Giving your life to your lover does not mean dumping your shit onto your lover and building unrealistic expectations around him. It means giving of your SELF! The self is at the core of the issue. It is OK to give oneself to others but you are always yourself and you remain yourself forever and with the self comes the responsibility to its well being. You must feed and nurture your SELF and keep it healthy and independent so when you give it, it doesn't overburden the other person and if it's not accepted or if it's given back to you all fucked up and abused, you can nurse it back to health with minimum loss and minimum pain.

The SELF is then at the heart of the dilemma.

I know what some of you are thinking, you're saying: "this is nothing new" Now, if you said that and haven't done anything to improve your condition, then stop reading this because you're a total moron and you deserve to remain miserable for the rest of your life. This is a world-wide disease, most everyone does it. This Facebook shit hole is full of the same story with different players; everyone thinks their story is different, guess what Jack? IT IS NOT!!.

It is the same old boring story and I'm sick of it!!

I'm so sick of it that I'm doing something about it. Easier said than done, right? but doable nonetheless. No one is free of an accident or some random act of violence but this is not what I'm addressing here, that stuff is only a tiny percentage of what occurs to us on a daily basis, I'm only concerned with the stuff you can control. Stop being the victim, that gets old pretty quick.

The Solutions: Take two or three minutes of your time, maybe when you're in the crapper, taking a healthy dump and tell yourself the following:

"I am the captain of my own ship, I am the master of my own destiny, my life belongs to me and as such, I am solely responsible for it and for everything that happens to me".

"My decisions (which are based on my personal needs) dictate the course of action I decide to embark on".

"That being the case, from today on, my needs will change; I will make myself and not others, the center of my emotional, artistic and economic needs"

like I said, people undoubtedly (and mistakenly) lay all of their hopes and dreams in the hands of others, instead of their own hands, it is a very human thing to do but it's also NOT the right thing to do, unless you want to suffer, which I gather, you don't want. The fear of suffering is another stupid human trait and a problem for another time.

Only YOU can make YOU happy. Lots of people say that because it sounds nice, but why is that so fucking hard to understand??!!!

I don't know and I don't care and neither should you. Just fix the fucking problem and move on with your life!

The happiest and most successful couples and partners I know, and I do know some, are the ones who are fiercely independent and individualistic in their pursuit of their own personal goals (and I don't mean selfish or egocentric either)

When people like that get together, they are in concert with each other and they are at peace with themselves because they don't carry the heavy burden of "making somebody happy" and they don't put that burden on their partners either; that doesn't mean they're perfect or that there's no room for error or that they don't love each other as much as irresponsible people do or anything like that, but it does eliminate the disappointment issue, which is the outcome of the core of the problem. There is nothing stopping you from becoming self sufficient and independent. Just YOU!

DO NOT LIE TO YOURSELF The main complaint is disappointment; you married or got into a long term relationship with someone you love deeply and you know they love you back, with two main issues in mind: The unrealistic expectation of having a wonderful, blissful life full of love, sex, happiness and understanding and most of all, the delusional thought of leaving it up to him or to her to make sure your needs are met. BIG MISTAKE!!

When your needs stop being met you can't understand why. Why? people ask, 'Why? Why?" "if all I did was to love him/her", "I put all my trust in him/her! and he/she let me down" "I gave him the best years of my life"

I never hear: "Shit, I shouldn't have overwhelmed this man/woman and expect him to make me happy, that's my responsibility" or:
"I didn't meet his/her crazy expectations and I just couldn't make him/her happy all the time, I was too busy placing the weight on him/her to realize my mistake"

Same goes for business, friendship and everything else. YOU put your life, your livelihood and the key to your personal happiness in the hands of another person and later you complain. To the same person! That's real dumb! Accept responsibility and you'll begin to see things differently.

"He betrayed me, he destroyed me, I was devastated!" No, fool! you did it to yourself! Where is your responsibility in all of this?

I said to a dear friend who loves me very much: "Don't come too close, I don't want you to get hurt" She said: "You can only hurt me if I let you", I love that!

NO ONE CAN HURT YOU unless YOU let them, YOU also are in this, do not give up the responsibility to your actions just because you are in love.

DO NOT put yourself in a position where you can get hurt, because undoubtedly, YOU WILL! and if you love so much that you must remain at peril, perhaps because the payoff is so handsome (I can definitely understand that, been there myself many times) just don't act surprised if your heart gets broken, as simple as that!

DO NOT say to anyone: "I'm going to give it to you but you have to promise me you won't hurt me, because that would break me in two" Man up and take it, enjoy the madness and deal with the consequences later or leave it and face being alone but for the love of god, SHUT THE FUCK UP!

DO NOT say to anyone: "I trust you would do what's right" Make sure you do what's right for YOU, not what's right for HIM or HER.

DO NOT stay in an abusive relationship and don't rationalize fucked up behavior: "He can change, he says he doesn't want to lose me" or "That's the way he loves me"

DON'T DO THINGS FOR OTHERS, DO THEM FOR YOURSELF Relax, Chief! let me explain. It's great to share but you should also enjoy or take pleasure in doing it, perhaps the pleasure you take is the knowledge these things you do, can help, heal or make others happy. Mainly you should do them because YOU WANT TO.

Understand wholeheartedly that neither Life nor Love nor Happiness are guaranteed to anyone; The constitution unequivocally states that Man is guaranteed The Pursuit of Happiness, not Happiness itself! That's there for a reason.

People fall in and out of love all the time, there's not much you can do about that. Trust yourself to take care of the SELF to achieve personal satisfaction and peace of mind by developing your talents and pursuing personal excellence; these things are very rewarding to the self and in turn, they bring with them the confidence and strength you need to deal with the rest of the shit, and that in turn, reflects upon you as an individual and impresses those people that are worth being friends with or falling in love with; those who will respect you and admire you, and even love you.

DO NOT be afraid of being alone. Learn to enjoy solitude. Fuck whoever said being a loner is sad or depressing, being alone can be productive and wonderful. Fuck anyone who says: you need the company of people all the time in order to become a healthy and productive member of society! BULLSHIT! It's great to know and to love people but YOU are most important to yourself and if you're not, then, you're an idiot and you better change and soon.

DO NOT FALL PREY TO SEXUAL BLACKMAIL AND EXTORSION Everybody wants to fuck and everybody needs to eat, but as a wise man put it a while ago, fucking is not indispensable to our survival; fucking is no longer even vital for procreation purposes, you can go without having sex for as long as you want and you won't die but you cannot go without food or without taking a dump for very long. You don't even need two people to have sex in order to enjoy it fully, a partner would be nice but in the absence of one, god gave you two hands and something called imagination, use them, don't be a lazy fuck.

Sure it's OK to be alone. It's certainly better than to spend your life with an imbecile and to give him/her full control over your SELF, unless that imbecile is you, in which case I stand corrected. But you can change that if you want, it is up to you, as with everything else.

Love yourself.


Friday, August 20, 2010

You always knew you would be an illustrator?

I have always known I wanted to express myself in an artistic sort of way, regardless of the medium or discipline.

I'm no more an illustrator than a graphic designer or a sculptor or a book publisher or a person who likes to write poetry. When I'm putting a book together I feel the same joy as if I was drawing or sculpting or writing poetry. I don't claim to be good at any one particular thing, I might be better at one over the other but I do enjoy them all the same so they are the same to me.

I don't call myself an illustrator because that's not what I do for a living, I have done a couple of illustrations here and there, but not enough to deserve that title. An illustrator generally brings to life other people's ideas or writings, I'm not interested in illustrating other people's ideas, just my own.

I say I'm a person who loves to draw, mainly because that's true and that's what I do the most but if I couldn't draw, it wouldn't matter much, I'm sure I'd be doing something else, something art-related, though.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Scratching The Surface

Q: Any small tips you think are helpful to know in figure drawing? Like noticing the difference between the male and female torso, consistent curves etc?

Yeah, I have a tip. Not a technical one, mind you (although in essence it is quite technical)

Tips To Get Better at Scratching The Surface.
by Alberto Ruiz

During the hottest summer month of the year, draw 17 hours a day non-stop for 7 straight days and then go out to a busy corner of the city, if you live in a small town, go to the nearest mall and observe real women for 4 or 5 hours.

Now go back to review the drawings you've just made and come to the sad realization that you don't know squat and that your life is so insignificant against what god and nature had created; understand that you will never be able to capture the female form at its glorious best and accept with sincere humility the fact that you are only a meager tool, a clumsy instrument of the universe; a tool being manipulated by forces bigger than you and as such, all you can ever hope to accomplish is to scratch the surface. Realize wholeheartedly that only by drawing ferociously fast for ungodly amounts of hours a day you can make any progress at all and that progress is the closest you will get to greatness.

Anything I can possibly say to you has already been said and written by better men than I could ever hope to become. The information is out there, I believe it's useless, silly and downright arrogant for me to even attempt to come up with 'new' tips on how to get better at depicting the human form. There's nothing you can't find in anatomy books regarding figure drawing, NOTHING; no one has the secret pill or the magic bullet or that photoshop filter which can make your drawings shine like the morning sun. In the end, the responsibility for achieving some level of success in educating yourself in this or any other artistic subject rests entirely upon you, yourself, upon your ability (or lack of such) to observe life with an bias, discerning and critical eye and in your discipline (or lack of such) for consistently applying what you discover in the form of practicing until your arm falls off.

Anyone can teach you how to draw, no one but yourself can teach you how to see. Stop asking for tips, start having a life and observing life, I mean OBSERVING as in PERCEIVING, CAREFULLY ANALYZING AND REGISTERING, not just looking and drooling at it like a fool, so that you can make those discoveries and find those 'tips' you are so desperately looking for, on your own, which in turn can give you the necessary confidence to move forward. Get spiritually groomed, get mentally fit, acquire some good taste and good manners so you can attract the opposite sex, listen to and make love to a real woman and find out what that experience is really like, what flesh and bones (other than your own) truly feel like not just on the surface, don't just have sex with her, make love to her, watch her sleep, cook her a meal and once you've done all that, pick up a pencil and draw.

Alberto Ruiz

© 2010 Alberto Ruiz all rights reserved

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Thought of The Day Jan 28, 2010

Five-Step-Solution for those who find it intimidating to fill a 100-page sketchbook: 

Step 5- If after following steps 1 through 4 you don't succeed at keeping a visual journal, it's not the end of the world but it does speak loudly of your (lack of) commitment to the craft. 

Sketch compulsively and observe keenly if you wish to capture the figure with authority, anything less is a waste of your gift.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Thought of The Day Jan 27, 2010

Five-Step-Solution for those who find it intimidating to fill a 100-page sketchbook: 

Step 4- If you're just starting to draw the figure this may be your first sketchbook. It would be wise to NOT show it to working professionals at conventions. 

I understand you want feedback, the thing is most professional comic book artists HATE looking at beginner's work and they're not honest. 

A nasty or disingenuous reply from your hero can crush your dreams and your spirit.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Thought of The Day Jan 26, 2010

Five-Step-Solution for those who find it intimidating to fill a 100-page sketchbook: 

Step 3- Sketches are NOT finished illustrations; there's more pressure to perform if you're convinced each drawing must be a masterpiece. 

Jot downs ideas as well as quick live gestures. The main goal is to gain confidence and discipline but don't forget, you're not drawing for the mere sake of filling pages. Have fun!