We had the good fortune of connecting with Ramin Nazer and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ramin, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
I pursued a creative career because Art was the only thing I ever really cared about. All my heroes were all some kind of artist. And if they happened to be a scientist or engineer, they were definitely a weirdo creative-type.
It’s a scary career path for sure but if you avoid your true calling you’ll find that the regret can be scarier. Like many, I felt unsatisfied in the world of professional Serious Work. I didn’t want to have to wear a tie, go to a building, or even be around other people when I didn’t feel like it. I know that Mike Rowe says to not pursue your dreams and that you should go to Welding School instead, but I wanted to be an exception to his statistics-based advice!
It’s not all fun. There’s always the business side of things no matter what career you choose. But I believe that the creative act is in itself a healing act. Even if you aren’t sharing your work with others, creating something new is a journey of personal healing.
What I like a lot about having a career in the arts, as opposed to just a hobby, is that I’m forced to share new work regularly. If you’re not generating new stuff, then you are easily forgotten in today’s world. Nothing personal, it’s just the current state of this phase of humanity. So thank you everyone who looks at my stuff!
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
One of the great things about the internet is that it records my art’s evolution through time. You can see what I was up to in 2016, or 2010, or 2002. Some of my older stuff still resonates with me today. Some of it I look back on it and cringe. Finding a way to truly articulate your voice is a challenge. Once you’ve found it, then expanding out of your comfortable patterns is a challenge. But there are always challenges otherwise you’re not growing. Doing art for a living is amazing if it’s what you believe you’re meant to do and you’re okay with tons of unexpected setbacks!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Hmm.. I’m not sure what’s open right now, but in a non-pandemic world: I like Griffith Observatory. It’s got the stars, the big open outdoor space, a great view of the city, the museum inside. Dynasty Typewriter is a great place for live comedy. Venice, Malibu, any of the beaches are good. Huntington Gardens… Korean BBQ… I’m tired, let’s go back home now.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’m going to Shoutout my mom and dad cause they read articles about me and it’s more fun thank them here than in real life. Mom is the worrier and made sure I learned to stay on top of finances, health, etc, so that you can actually sustain yourself in the real world. Dad is the dreamer who is always generating new innovative ideas and instilled in me that any goal is attainable if approached correctly. They gave me the right balance of fear and confidence to do what I do today. I’ve scared them a handful of times along the way, but nothing too bad I hope. Also, I will Shoutout my partner Katherine who is a great editor. I often show her my stuff and ask “Is this something?” before I share it with the public. She didn’t write this part, I promise.
Photos of Ramin by Kim Newmoney Illustrations + Photos of Books by Ramin Nazer