In our new "A Word from the Artist", we asked, Ruben Hiraga, the artist behind the exclusive limited edition artworks City Noises, Onward, Jungle Steps and Riverside Forest, 3 questions.
How did you come to digital painting?
I have worked in many jobs during my life: factory laborer, computer teacher, bartender, sales manager and as a crew member on a cruise ship. I have also lived on three continents: I was born and spent my formative years in Brazil, moved to Japan in my teens and spent part of my twenties in Mozambique. Experiencing life in various environments has given me my own unique perspective, which is reflected in my art.
I always loved art as a child. However, life intervened when I became an adult and I had to give it up. Fortunately, around 2015, a friend introduced me to the world of concept art in video-games. It blew my mind: I had no idea art could be used in such ways.
It prompted me to recall my childhood and how happy drawing then made me feel. I bought myself a tablet and started to learn to paint digitally.
I have never looked back and enjoy every minute of my time spent creating art that others can appreciate.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
In my early years, I was hooked on Japanese anime and its subcultures.
From there, I developed a keen interest in gaming and contemporary popular culture. These days I am deeply inspired by classic traditional painters, such as Gustav Klimt and also contemporary ones, such as Richard Schmid.
I enjoy visiting museums so as to appreciate the old masters. I also like to travel and I am always looking for new sources of inspiration. I view my art as an expression of my experiences, feelings and reactions to events around me.
Would you like to share a personal anecdote about yourself?
When I was a child, I always said I would like to someday become an artist.
My elder brother liked to draw and inspired me with his knowledge of knowing where to purchase art materials, magazines and setting artistic challenges for us both to complete.
At the start of each school year in my elementary school years, I would decorate the first page of my subject notebooks with artwork that I would put many hours of work into. My notebooks from various subjects would be filled with sketches I did during class, without my teachers' knowledge.
You can follow Ruben @hiragaruben