The Color Blind Artist | An interview with Rain Ramas

Rain Ramas

   Rain Rivera Ramas continues to influence through his art. I always admire his creative energy and how he radiates positivity to other people. Rain took up Bachelor of Interior Design at the University of the Philippines (Diliman). This multi-hyphenated name always makes a mark on everything he touches. 

   In an interview, he shares his creative process, his artworks and his exhibit at the Southern Brew Café

Yadu Karu: When did you realize that you love art?

Rain Ramas: I've always been crafty and creative as a child, but I mostly did 3-dimensional works like making my own toys. I did notice that I loved scribbling on almost everything, but I was weak in drawing and I wasn't really good at painting back then.

I had the opportunity to take formal lessons on painting and fashion illustration as a teenager, but it was when I studied architecture and interior design that I really started developing my appreciation for arts of different sorts.

I did not pass the talent exam for the Fine Arts course in UP. So it really pushed me to prove that I can still be an artist on my own standards and not theirs. 

YK: Who is your inspiration behind your artworks? 

RR: I have many inspirations and motivations in my art:

As a thrifty toy collector, I had to learn how to make my own toys in forms that I want. It's fun!

I used to be insecure about my color blindness, and that has motivated me to face it head on and prove to the world that I can be good at working with colors and design in spite of the condition. My favorite line now is, "I'm colorblind, but I'm not color dumb." I think showing my art can help people understand color blindness more and stop seeing it as a disability.

Fashion and feminine forms have always influenced my art. I want to capture both grace and strength in my work.

YK: Can you share with us your creative process.

RR: I have two creative processes: 

When inspiration strikes, I make something out of it right away regardless of time. I “play” with my medium to create the look, the feel, the emotions, and the story of my ideas. That is why I always have stocks of materials at home. I call this my random informal process.

When I decorate a space, I carefully analyze the area I need to put an artwork on. I take note of the colors and textures, the other design elements, and the personality of the users. I then come up with the form plan of the artwork according to these considerations and work on it. This is my more formal, customized process. 

As an artist, though, I work according to my own style and preferred media. I have stepped away from working on the dictation of others because it devaluates the artistic process. That is one thing I want people to understand. 

YK: Can you tell us about your exhibit at South Brew Café? 

RR: I am thankful that there are business entities like Southern Brew Gallery Café that support artists and the arts. I am also thankful for being given the opportunity to do this exhibit with them.

My show is called Sleepless Midnights and I wish to share to everyone what I do late at night. It's the time when I am the most creative, and I make sure something manifests out of it. Otherwise, I won't be able to sleep. 

This collection of works are inspired and influenced by different emotions, experiences, and philosophies. Each piece has a deep story and meaning. 

All these works are done with airbrush techniques with acrylic lacquer. It's a little more challenging for me because there is very little room for mistakes and medium handling time is quite fast. To bring out details and textures that make sense can be quite tricky. I'm one not to back out of a good challenge.

{Note: You can see his artworks at Southern Brew Café, South Osmeña  St., GenSan. “Sleepless Midnights” runs until February 25, 2018.}

Sleepless Midnights by Rain Ramas

YK: What are the challenges you’ve encountered as an artist?

RR: Since my art is a hobby, I do not encounter many challenges. I do feel it when materials I want to use can be quite expensive, or when they are not available at the time I want to use them. My principle is to always let a momentary inspiration or vision manifest right away no matter what. It does push you to be resourceful. 

Maybe another challenge is finding the space to keep my works. My bedroom is practically a bodega of works now. 

YK: What’s the best thing about being an artist?

RR: The best part of being an artist is the satisfaction one gets when he manifests his thoughts into an actual piece. Being an artist also gives you a deeper sense of understanding of things and a higher philosophy unbound by "reality." I think it's healthy for the mind and the soul. I'm the happy type of artist, and I do believe in the saying "Creativity is intelligence having fun."

Another value of being an artist is the influence you have on people. You make them happy and you make them appreciate. You make them feel and you make them think. Isn't that beautiful?

YK: What made you decide to venture into furniture business? 

RR: I enjoy building 3-dimensional art like sculptures and miniatures, and with my technical know-how in furniture design, I have found it to be a very exciting platform to express creative treatment in a practical way. Think of it as functional art. 

YK: What’s your advice for aspiring artists in the region?

RR: My advice to aspiring artists in the region:

- If it feels right and the moment is right, just do it!

- Learn new things and techniques every day, and never be afraid to make mistakes. Oftentimes, the mistakes turn out to be the best works.

- Develop your own style. 

- Create out of the need to express, not out of the need to earn. Make that a mindset. If you're lucky, you can earn out of your works. 

- Never believe in the saying that there is no money in the arts. Architects, Interior Designers, and decorators are examples of creative careers that can bring in good finances. Advertising is also a good avenue for creative work.

- Never stop creating.

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