We had the good fortune of connecting with Ramiro Fauve and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ramiro, why did you pursue a creative career?
Well, hmmm, “pursue”. Well, my dad being a professor at Rutgers, we kids could study tuition-free. I was about 15 then, already working and eager to see the world. The idea of a life spent treating illness made teen-me queasy, so Doctor was out, and arguing the problems of strangers seemed like way too much drama, so Attorney was out. I started taking weekly, hour-long bus trips from Jersey to New York to study opera and to Herbert Berghof to study Method Acting. I think my genetic commanders had plans. Now I call that more “avoiding” distasteful careers than “pursuing” them. It’s an important difference. It’s about hanging back and making life sell you on paths it has to offer, and basically forcing fate. People really agonize over what to do with their lives, what to study, what to major in. The system demands you make your choice. Well, I’ve never liked confinement or labels, so maybe being a creative in some form was just inevitable.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Well, I see all art forms as media for story. It’s all the same to me, just different sets of technical parameters for execution. This is not to brag, but to inspire anyone who wants to try something new to go for it. So many people have told me they can’t even do a stick figure. I always reply with, “have you ever reeeaally tried?” I mean, we all have to crawl first, or mumble through a new language till we’re fluent — it takes time, patience, determination, but we do eventually grasp it. So please let my mad amassing of formats and outlets just be a call forward, my way of saying, “don’t bench your dreams”. Invest in you, your ideas, your abilities. If you’re not strong in an area, collaborate with someone that fills it in. The rewards for laying it on the line are indescribably priceless. Ok…so, a small painting, a giant backing, or mega-mural requires a library of techniques and tricks for prep, application and durability. You just have to do it to know it. Watercolour, airbrush, sculpture, marker art, charcoal, pencil, and faux finishes — they all require mastery of a million ins and outs, shortcuts and pitfalls, formulas and methods. These are all things I’ve done and been given the opportunity to deliver for clients. I have definitely been lucky that way. I’ve earned a reputation as “the fixer”…I mean the things I’ve been asked to create! Disappearing people to camera, 13 bust sculptures for NBC’s The Contender, creative direction, conceptual art direction for a pretty dizzying array of project challenges. There’s nothing like the feeling when you’ve totally wrapped yourself around any particular mode and “get it”. For example, to able to do faux marble you have to touch to tell if it’s real or not, or to be able to totally forge a masterwork (don’t tell anyone). You just don’t stop short if it’s something you really want to understand. If you’re into it, trust me, you won’t stop till you’ve explored every crevice and call it your own. In pursuit of being an effective vessel for story, I dove deeply into computer graphic design, banging my head against the wall many times as dawn came up, till I learned more apps than anyone should care to. Story had me creating ad campaigns, building html and Flash websites, making Photoshop and Adobe-everything dance the Watusi. This widening of my repertoire took me into ideation, concept and theming projects of all kinds, including web-ventures, waterparks, museums, libraries, ultra lounges and restaurants like the Edison and Clifton’s, and themeparks, like Universal Studios, Singapore. Musically, I never wanted to be a virtuoso instrumentalist like Herbie Hancock or Hendrix or anything – I just wanted to tell my stories, so I wrote lots and lots of songs, studied opera so I could sing them better, studied Method acting so I could express them better. As a matter of “must”, I learned guitar, piano, bass, percussion, mandolin, and harmonica…plus — whatever I needed to be untethered. Those songs had to be recorded, so I became an engineer and producer. Those stories suggested visuals so I inevitably directed my own videos, wrote scripts, and for my own fine art, I got very into photography. It’s all the same — just differing sets of rules. Am I unique? Not, me thinks. I know so many insanely gifted and able creatives in this town. Maybe I’m a little less concerned with limits and labels, maybe a touch more insatiable.
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?
Oh, goodness…food with friends is my all-time fave — you’ll want to copy these. Take your hunny or bestie tonight, don’t wait: Malibu Cafe or The Old Place (wine tasting nextdoor at Cornell) in Agoura Hills, Inn of the Seventh Ray (Topanga Canyon), Pace (Laurel Canyon). You can’t go wrong and will thank me, no doubt. For drinks, may I suggest Cole’s (Downtown, 6th & Main). You’ll have to check for Covi-doable-ness. Went to the Inn recently and it was a perfect dinner out.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Suni Paz – my mom, singer/songwriter, Smithsonian Folkways recording artist, National Heritage Fellowship Award recipient 2020, author and educator. Tough act to follow– why try 🙂 She got me up on stage at age 7, taught me to be fearless and dogged. Both, my dad Dale Johnson and Suni instilled in me social awareness, consideration of others and that all work is noble. They deserve statues. Charles Nevad – incredible New Jersey fine artist, and friend. He introduced me to oil painting and long talks over coffee — soul connection and the stuff of art. Now deceased, I’m wondering at this moment what a Google would find. David Larks – truly amazing artist, former partner. He decoded painting, murals, art for me — made it seem easy and dragged me head-first into mega-murals. Incredibly generous with his talent and knowledge, he allowed me runway and wingspan. A truly boundless creative, I think he’s focusing on his love of illustration and sci-fi these days — worth looking up. Milica Jelisavcic – fine artist and dear friend. Her work is rich and immediately draws you in — and a real inspiration to dig down and reach as an artist.
Other: https://linktr.ee/ramirofauve For those deep sea explorers. My amazing mom, Suni Paz: — http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suni_Paz