We had the good fortune of connecting with Megan Rose Ruiz and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Megan Rose, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
I think a lot of my ambition comes from naivety. I made the decision to go to art school when I was 17. I was far too young to understand what choosing this career path would mean. I was idealistic. Growing up in a small town, I didn’t have a lot of resources. The difficulty of making a living off of being an artist completely flew over my head. All I needed to do was work hard, go to college, and that would make it easy to become a professional artist, or so I thought. No one ever sat me down to explain that my dream was near impossible. I didn’t have any financial support for my education. College, for me, essentially meant gaining a lifetime of debt. Because I was young and naive, I figured I might as well be doing something I love if it would cost me so much. Math and science bored me. Normal career skills didn’t come as easily to me. All I wanted to do was create. While I was young and naive when I made the decision to pack my bags and move to art school, the reason I continued my pursuit is a little different. I’ve always been a very emotional person. There aren’t a lot of socially acceptable ways to let out or express emotions. Art seems to be an accepted way to express yourself, though. I definitely think that art has helped to release and heal. Art is also a really interesting way to connect with people. I can sit down for five minutes and draw a portrait of someone. What seems like a mindless doodle to me, is often a treasure to others. I’ve had friends frame my sharpie drawings that I would have otherwise thrown away. I like that I can make people smile. It makes my job and life feel more meaningful.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My artwork is deceivingly simple. Though seemingly uninvolved, my illustrations actually take a very long time to make. I put a lot of thought and care into my images in order for them to be instantly recognizable. Behind one final illustration, there are hundreds of unused doodles, studies, and research. I like creating characters that look dumb, lifeless, and cute. I think we find things cute because we know they cannot hurt us. I paint silly faces to fuzzy bulbous shapes, to make the most harmless creatures. Nature is also a huge inspiration for my work. I grew up in Colorado. Almost every day, I encountered some sort of wildlife. Deer would visit my bus stop. I had to cross a field full of prairie dogs on my way to work everyday. I spotted coyotes every once in a while. I like to add memories or my forest nostalgia to my work. My road to becoming a professional Visual Development Artist and Character Designer was not an easy one. I didn’t come from money, and that put a lot of obstacles in my way. Art School is enormously expensive. Living in LA is expensive. I had to take a lot of risks when it came to money. I had to keep in mind that it was no one’s job to advocate for me. I needed to speak up for myself. I had to learn to rely on myself. In my personal work, I’m just trying to have fun and brighten people’s days. Professionally, I will add appeal, whimsy, and unforgettable imagery to any project I’m apart of.
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?
Pre-COVID, I really enjoyed bar hopping in Hollywood! I wouldn’t come with any plan. I just made my way down Hollywood Blvd and would walk into any establishment that interested me.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I owe a lot to the incredible people in my life. I would be nothing without all of the support my friends, family, and mentors. Many people have lifted me up and made me the person and artist I am today.