We’re back again with another smashing interview for you guys. This time we are with a stunning illustrator we have been keeping our peepers on for a number of months now. Whether you are a Copic marker aficionado, a fan of wicked anime drawings or just someone who enjoys a good sharp line, we are pretty sure you have heard of the great JRuffhouse. Here at Utopia Playground we’re always the biggest suckers for clean strokes, bold colours and rich textures. JRuffhouse provides all of these qualities in abundance and has pretty much put a saddle on the illustration game and rode it downtown. As pretty big fans of anime ourselves, we can appreciate the effort he puts into each piece and understand the skills necessary to execute countless iconic anime scenes with grace and finesse. So without further ado, lets get right down to it!
Where and how did your journey into the arts begin?
The earliest memory of my art journey I have is when I was in 1st grade. I remember my mom would draw stuff out for me and let me color it. She would always emphasise to color inside the lines and to make sure I had nice even fills. She would always draw out scenery of nature. Regular notebook paper with the blue faint lines going horizontally… ill never forget.
Tell us a little about your background and culture?
I was born 1991 in Mexico in the state of Morelos. I only lived there up until 1998, my dad moved my mom, my brother & I to the states & ive been in Austin Texas ever since. Im a pretty easy going guy, quite, & observant when I am in public. Im somewhat of a nerd but if you saw me in public you would never know. I have a strong passion for good animation, 90’s animes & good music. I feel like those 3 are key components to my style.
Up until 2011-2012ish I always drew but never really took it serious… there were even times in High school were I never drew. Around 2012 I was really struggling with what I wanted to do for the rest of my life & then I finally decided to stop denying my “talent” and just say fuck it and pursue it on a serious level.
Anime and cartoon seem to be an important pillar in terms of inspiration in your work. What is it about anime drawing that keeps you coming back?
Anime is just badass! well… the 90’s era for sure, the new stuff I cant really get behind so much with the exception of a few here and there. I always get inspired & get different ideas depending on which anime or cartoon I am watching. Things like character designs, backgrounds , fighting scenes & good animations definitely inspire the hell out of me. Another cool thing about anime is that, honestly theres some really good life messages and lessons in them, Its like sometimes I learn more about humanity through anime than through actual humans.
Of all the easter eggs in your latest ‘Troublemakerz’ piece, evil Morty and the reward for the #1 DragonBall were my favourites. Are there some others in there you would like to take us through?
I feel like most are pretty self explanatory, The Blinky fish Wanted poster I thought was pretty funny. I added “S rank” in reference to how they based a missions difficulty in Naruto. The other two I am very fond of is the tribute poster to ATCQ and Freddie Gibbs album Pinata. Oh and theres a few Cowboy bebop title end cards as tags on some of the rubble here and there.
Recently, anime has made a big splash in the west. With the Ghost in the shell remake and the Death note Netflix film. Do you have a top 3 Animes you’d like to put out there? And what sets them apart for you?
When it comes to anime, I am very picky, I mean extremely picky. So much that I would probably disappoint a lot of your readers if I start naming animes im not too fond of haha. My number 1 anime of all time would definitely be Cowboy Bebop. Its a cult classic. I remember when I was in middle school trying to stay up late on Saturday to watch it, it was like nothing I had seen before. The action, the characters, and of course the music, especially those sax riffs.. how I love those sax riffs. 2nd on my list would be Samurai Champloo, which shouldn’t be a surprise. The story, the music, everything is well made. it has enough action, really good character development & just the right amount of comedy. The 3rd spot is always hard for me, bc Initial D, Princess Mononoke, Rurouni Kenshin, Nausicaa of the Valley of the wind could all easily take the spot, but the one that stands out a bit more to me than those is Yu Yu Hakusho. Its anime in which I personally cant pick a favorite character, all of the main characters are badass. I love the story, the fight scenes, the comedy and the character development.
Definitely my mechanical pencils! My favourite size are the 0.03 which are a super fine lead. Recently i’ve started to collect different brands for whatever odd reason. The most expensive one in my collection so far is one I paid $17.00 for!
I feel like they are necessary, any app that gives you the potential to reach more people with your art is a good thing! even if its only a few people. I see them as tools myself, I only wish that I had apps like these when I was younger. Young artists are so lucky now a days to have these tools at their disposal, I can only imagine how much better I would be if I had a smart phone back in middle school… all the youtube tutorials I could of watched…
What can we expect from you in 2018?
The dictionary defines ‘Utopia’ as an imaginary place or state in which everything is perfect. What is your own personal utopia?
My personal Utopia….All I simply want is for mankind to stop destroying itself, the planet & to coexist in true peace. Simple right?