We had the good fortune of connecting with Juan Ruano and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Juan, what principle do you value most?
I feel that most of my work and motivation is driven by being true and honest with how I’m feeling at any given moment. I know most would say that, but I do try to keep everything on a human level, so that what I do seems accessible and possibly relatable to anyone who might be interested in what I do. I wouldn’t want someone to see my art or lifestyle as something far from their own reach. There’s already way too many people on the planet that seem untouchable or like they have something that nobody else has. This is simply not true. The fact is, we all have the capacity to create or offer something unique to this whole experience. All of those artists or influencers that you may idolize are not as far from eye level as you think once they’re right in front of you. Ever have that moment when you realize someone you look up to isn’t as tall as you thought? Well, the same concept applies to ego and potential. We’re all the same. Most of this industry is smoke and mirrors and the formula for how you can portray yourself as someone important is laid out for everyone to see, if you’re looking for that. There’s a “how to” for just about everything you could possibly want to achieve. Just be careful that you don’t end up making a template out of yourself. It’s worth taking risks to make something new. I feel that even though you might not get immediate validation for those choices, they will eventually be seen and will stand the test of time. You can’t be phased out of relevancy if you were never fully relevant to begin with. Lastly, always put your message in the forefront of what you’re doing. The rest will follow.
Please tell us more about your work. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
If I had to say one thing about how I’m managing to continue creating, it would have to be constantly learning and updating my concept of Love. All kinds of Love. Romantic Love, self-Love, platonic Love, universal Love, etc. That’s definitely the single driving force in all of my decisions and the work that I do. I feel like if it ever were to come from another place, it just wouldn’t be as genuine or impactful. There’s already so much noise and output going on from all sides, so I try my best to only speak when I truly have something to say. Otherwise, I’m perfectly content with creating for myself and cluttering my own world with concepts until I find the “right” one to invite the rest of the world to feel. It definitely wasn’t easy to end up here with this perspective, and it’s still an affirmation that I have to remind myself of everyday. I am human. I am an artist. I feel, therefore I do. Move with Love, and the universe will respond with twice as much as you give.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I love this question! I would definitely have to set aside a day to ride our bikes around Victoria Ave. and some of the deeper streets towards the orange groves. I just love the small-town feel back in that area. Maybe pack a backpack with water, some fruit, and a little speaker to listen to some tunes. In the evening, we’ll find a higher altitude to watch the sunset over the surrounding mountains here. One of our most unique restaurants in this area is Oasis Vegetarian Cafe! We’d for sure have to stop there at some point and get a couple vegan carnitas burritos and some bevs. Maybe on another night we’d go to my favorite pho restaurant in downtown called Pho Vinam. They have the BEST bowl of vegan pho! Just go in and ask for the #22 with vegetable broth. You won’t be disappointed! Assuming there is no pandemic in this hypothetical, I’d love to take them downtown to see some art or local bands! There’s definitely some amazing artists in the surrounding area. Aside from that, I’d love to take my friend to my studio and hang out. Maybe make a song or paint together. Or just sit around and listen to music with my cat, Rivers! I try to keep my studio feeling cozy and welcoming. Not quite a bedroom, but not quite an office. Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would say the biggest shoutout I can give is to every artist that has made me feel something. Whether they’re playing the biggest stages on Earth, or setting up a table of prints in a parking lot on the first Thursday of the month, thank you. Every time I feel moved by a piece, I feel like I remember what this is all for. Life. Creation. The ability to feel emotion. Art, to me, has always been a vessel for receiving expression and recycling that energy into something totally new, filtered through you. The craziest thing about that is the fact that the artist that inspired you, was inspired by another. In a way, by creating anything at all, you’re participating in this large ever-changing consciousness of expression. That’s one of the most beautiful realizations I’ve had in my short time here in this existence. It’s given me endless curiosity and purpose for as long as I remember. The longer I do it, the more I see it’s importance. I feel incredibly grateful to know that some of my favorite artists are in my contacts list on my phone. If I’m losing vision or motivation, I see that one of my friends has a new project going on and I’m like “Oh yeah! Art! Let’s go!”