Artist Alert: Ruby etc.
The Internet is helping young artists find others who appreciate and connect with their work like never before.
Ruby etc. is one of these young artists. Ruby, a 21-year-old Londoner, creates distinctive sketches and drawings that have garnered a large following online. Her Facebook page has over 28,000 likes, many of her drawings have thousands of notes on Tumblr, and her art has been shared by organisations such as Buzzfeed.
Ruby didn’t receive a formal education in art, but instead turned to drawing to cope with a lot of experiences and emotions that she wasn’t able to verbalise, she told Youth Arts Online.
“I love laughing and being able to store thoughts and ideas somewhere other than my own head,” Ruby said. “I think getting things out onto paper can be both cathartic and often gives me a better perspective on my own struggles.”
It is this sense of humour and honest approach to serious subject matter, such as mental illness, that have helped Ruby’s art find a home on the Internet, where others can relate to her work.
“I’ve been posting art to Tumblr for about three and a half years now,” Ruby said. “As stuff’s grown I’ve also started using Twitter, Instagram and Facebook too to get things out there, and also make sure it’s easier for people to find me as so much of my work gets reposted here, there and everywhere without much credit! I like to engage with my followers because they’re a stellar lot, so I’ll answer questions from time to time and do little photo updates of what’s going on with me.”
Unfortunately, the Internet isn’t always a kind place. While Ruby said she’s lucky to receive many more positive messages than negative ones, she does occasionally receive rude or hateful messages.
“If I’ve made art that provokes any kind of emotional reaction, good or bad, then that’s great,” she said. “Indifference is an artist’s nightmare!”
Ruby avoids responding to negative comments with anything inflammatory, as she’s learned this can lead to “a whole world of blah,” but she often responds to comments and questions from her fans in her own distinctively witty style. Ruby’s Tumblr is also home to a whole range of tips for aspiring artists, ranging from which kind of pencil works best to more inspirational advice, such as “Practice won’t make perfect but it often makes better.”
Ruby has also offered up some tips for artists attempting to develop their own unique style.
“Don’t be intimidated by artists who have more confidence or experience than you,” she said. “Everyone has to start somewhere and I think it’s really important to let go of those negative inhibitions, i.e. the voice that says ‘This isn’t any good, this looks rubbish, why are you even bothering.’ Really the only way to improve is to practice, and that’s a lot easier if you can take focus off how objectively ‘good’ the art looks and focus on enjoying it subjectively.”
You can check out more of Ruby’s work and discover answers to other questions about her art on Tumblr. Follow her on Twitter or Facebook to see more of her drawings, and visit her Society6 shop to purchase her art.