The Srewball Confidential Interview – Gustavo Rimada

One of the best things about doing these interviews is that it gives me an excuse to get to know artists that I havn’t met.

I have not met Gustavo Rimada in person but when I started seeing his work I was immediately taken by it’s haunting beauty.

Gustavo was gracious enough to share a bit about his working methods, process and inspirations.

Let’s get to it.

James Owens – Lets start with where you’re from and where you call home now?

Gustavo Rimada – Well I was born in Torreon , Mexico moved to the states when I was 7 and I’ve called Indio home ever since.

J.O. – How would you describe the art you create?

G.R. – It’s a mixture of Dia de Los muertos , pinup , tattoo and with a little edge.

J.O. – How about a little about your journey, did you go to art school? What was your first art job?

G.R. – Well I have been active in art ever since I was a child but started taking it a bit serious in high school but could never really find myself, afterwards I did attend an art school in LA, the Art Institute for Computer Animation. I dropped out to join the military after 9/11 in December of 2001 with the intentions of doing something great, god only knows what I was thinking then. I served my Time in Alaska with no deployments not by choice but because we were training with new equipment the military hadn’t used in combat so therefore we were non deployable. After I stayed in Alaska and years later dug into my art chest to only rekindle the passion I felt before after a 6yr absence. I worked at a tattoo shop became super inspired and that leaves us to today.
My first art job was actually doing a commision  painting for a salon my wife worked at even though I didn’t get paid it was a job cause it felt like work

J.O. – Ah yes the old “I’m not paying you but it will be great exposure for you” job. We’ve all done those. Were there artists in your family growing up?

G.R. – You know my father has really good skills in carpentry my mom was artistic but no real artist.

J.O. – It was the same way at my house. I think my dad could build anything out of wood and my mom was very artistic but had no formal training. Obviously our parents are our first influences. Who were the artists that influenced your work the most?
G.R. – Well at first it was definetly Frida Gil Elvgren , Alberto Vargas, Olivia , new artist like Sylvia Ji and Joshua Petker. Now I am really studying the work of Robert Williams , Todd Schorr , Mark Ryden , Henry Lewis , Shawn Barber , Tom Bagshaw and a ton of others my new work will really speak volumes at what direction im heading in.


J.O. – Tell us a bit about your studio set up. Is it in your home or a separate building?

G.R. – It’s a very simple set up I have an easel, lots of light sources, which is key cause my house is kinda dark, a desk , 2 pin boards for references and a computer desk w/ printer. Trust me I wish it was way more fun but with a kid I gotta hide things.

J.O. – Do you use the computer as a tool in creating your work, if so how?

G.R. – I don’t utilize a computer at all only to use facebook or run my website it’s actually my wife Kerrie that does all the dirty work on the computer. I wish I knew more.

J.O. – So do you prefer an easel over some kind of table?

G.R. – I use an easel alot, sometimes I’ll hang it on the wall, very few times I’ll paint straight up on the floor

J.O. – I find your work striking in its design. Please share your thoughts on your design philosophy.

G.R. – You know I come from a tattoo background when it comes to my work and when a good tattoo artist thinks of placement of the tattoo they always find the perfect place were the tattoo will flow with the curves of your body and look the best I take that same approach when it comes to my paintings it’s all about placement and flow.

J.O. – What is your favorite medium?

G.R. – At the moment it’s acrylic but I am switching to oils because of the richness and deph of the medium so I will say acrylics now but ask me in a year I’m sure the answer will change.

J.O. – Yeah oil will also do things that acrylic just wont do. At least I could never get it to do what I wanted. What average size do you prefer to paint?

G.R. – I always prefer large the bigger the better but I’m finding out a variety of sizes is better for not only collectors but for the flow of things , see everything comes back to flow haha.


J.O. – Do you work with models as reference for your paintings?

G.R. – Yes sometimes I skim through portfolios and magazines in order to find the perfect photo I find it very hard to ask a model to take a photo for you. It very rarely happens, she will always forget and leave hanging. I prefer to find a photo that has already been taken

J.O. – What is the one piece of equipment you couldn’t do without?

G.R. – This really has nothing to do with painting but I love having the tv on while I paint I am not good at sitting in silence or just music it’s kinda my get away when I get stuck

J.O.- I dont think I know of one artist that prefers silence while working. Choose one, “talent” or “hard work”?

G.R. – This is a tough question. But I will always take hard work I feel as if talent is something that is natural kind of a gift and hard work is something you earn . Hard work I can relate to the most even though I have a talent the hard work I have put into it has made me a better artist than what my talent would have done for me without the hard work. I am a firm believer that you can have no talent but with a true effort and passion you can become a great artist talent is overrated.

J.O. – What advice do you have for young people interested in being artists?

G.R. – Work hard don’t let the set backs hold you down , don’t let the negative critcism affect you in a negative way take it all in and use it to better yourself as a person and as an artist. How you treat people is key treat them with respect you never know who you are dealing with it may bite you in the ass one day trust me.

J.O. – Gustavo thanks for taking time to be a part of this. It was a pleasure to meet you and I look forward to seeing more from you. Where can people find your work?

G.R. – You can find my work on my website www.artedegustavo.com on facebook and Twitter  just type in my name and I’ll pop up. There aren’t too many with the same name so it shouldn’t be hard to find me. I work a lot with Cannibal Flower and C.A.V.E gallery. I just started showing at La Luz De Jesus Gallery , The Hive Gallery and London Miles Gallery. To purchase prints and such go to my site or Posterpop.com or Black Market Art Company. I post all the shows and gallery dates on my site or like I said follow me on Twitter or Facebook thank you.

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