We had the good fortune of connecting with Renato “Ren Amor” and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Renato “Ren Amor”, how do you think about risk?
Risk is scary, risk is unpredictable, but risk is always worth it. Bad or good, it is an experience, something you learn from and something you can use to propel you forward. Without risk, my career or life would be non existent. It would be at a standstill, unmoving, unhappy, and unmotivated. My personal life path has always been a risk considering the structure I was raised in from my culture. I grew up in a full Mexican catholic household as a gay latino male who pierced his own ears when he was nine years old, dyed his hair, and lived against all male gender stereotypes I grew up learning. That launched how I would approach and view risks in my career later in life. It continues to be a journey because my business life is newer and has different aspects to it than my personal life, but I continuously learn that with risks there are mistakes, and I welcome all mistakes in my life because it is always when I learn my biggest lesson. Without them I would never get to experience life to the fullest. So long as I am breathing and alive, I want to make sure, no matter how hard, to keep exploring, learning, and growing from all risks, mistakes, and experiences.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Being an artist/creative is hard. You will be continuously challenged and going against the grain of most. What has allowed me to overcome this feeling of defeat, is the feeling I get when I achieve a goal, the feeling I get when I learned something new about myself or the world and the feeling I get knowing I have the power to choose what I want to be in life and what I want to represent through my values. It has provided me a platform to grow spiritually/mentally, it has brought awareness to my weaknesses and strengths, it has allowed me to see a big chunk of the world, and it has given me the opportunity to meet the most amazing humans on this earth.
My brand and story has always been heavily relied on expression. Since I was a kid, I felt the need to express my individualism. Compared to old standards of how I grew up, I was the rebel child. Piercings, dyeing my hair, putting on heels and wigs when no one was home, coming out as gay at 13, etc. I’ve explored many avenues. In high school, I went through a whole other phase. I thought that because I was gay, I had to be feminine/flamboyant and that I would only be seen like that for the rest of my life because of what people would say about me and the gay community. It made me feel like I had to retract, and I reached out to everyone in H.S. and wrote an informal letter stating I was straight and wanted to be able to date girls without pre-judgement. As I’ve gotten older, I live for the expression! It was what created the birth of “Ren Amor”. Ren Amor is someone who defies all gender stereotypes and lives his life of complete freedom no matter what the odds still say. I identify as a male and have learned that I can express myself however I want, and it does not change my gender or make me any less of a man. I learned that everyone is just following gender stereotypes that we grew up learning, that none of it is real and only made up by a human to put us in a box.
That’s the message that I want people to know when I portray my art. I want everyone to know that they can express themselves however they want regardless of what gender you are. There is no right or wrong when it comes to expression. No one should make you feel any less of a woman or a man if that is how you identify. It doesn’t make you weak, or any less than anyone else. I’ve finally been able to let go of all standards and that is what I am most proud of through this journey.
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?
Ooo this is fun because Los Angeles is so big and there are so many places I haven’t even gotten to explore. I would for sure have a beach day. I love starting out in Santa Monica, picking up a bike or skates and going to will rogers beach. We would also hit up Malibu for a more quiet relaxing beach vibe. I love exploring and seeing houses so I would definitely take a drive down Laurel Canyon into Beverly Hills to do some house viewings and then make our way to Pasadena for more. Favorite current restaurants we would explore would be Pink Pepper for amazing Thai food, Salsa and Beer for Mexican, Sage Bistro for a vegan goodness vibe, Jinya Ramen in Toluca Lake, Ca De Sole for yummy Italian food and an amazing happy hour, 8OZ Poke on Ventura for a great poke bowl, and Acai Jungle for the best açaí bowl. We would also have to have a night in West Hollywood and go to Roccos (also has an amazing burger), Beaches, and play on the whole strip! If we wanted to go on a hike, I would definitely take us to the Wisdom Tree hike which is my favorite because you get a 360 view of all Los Angeles at the top. It might be the only place you can see the valley, and over the hill to downtown/century city/hollywood at the same time. When shows open up, I would love to also take us to the UCB Theatre for some amazing Improv Comedy skits.
I am probably leaving out a lot but this would be a great start haha.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I am nothing without the people and the community around me. Everyone that has been around me has, in one way or another, inspired me, taught me, and pushed me to keep fighting for what I want. My closest group of friends , you know who you are, has been the biggest light in my life, and they have provided me with constant encouragement. Shoutout to my family, to the skating and dance community in LA and AZ, to those who I met briefly in life but supported me as if I was family because you believed in me. Last but not in the bit least, shoutout to Kat Cheng who has been through thick and thin with me. Been dancing together now for 8 years and you still are THE one for me, the one who always inspires me, the one who always pushes me to be my best, and always challenges me. We’ve gone through so many experiences together and for that I am endlessly thankful for your help, your love, and your support.
Jia Ling/Kat Cheng Michael Tari