Artist of the Month August 2018: Samuel RiosCuevas
It's my pleasure to introduce you to Samuel RiosCuevas. He's an amazing artist based in Puerto Rico and I had the opportunity to interview him this month. He is our August 2018 Artist of the Month!
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your art?
I am a printmaker from Puerto Rico in love with Hispanic Ancestry. My goal is to cultivate love and pride in Hispanic communities for their country of origin, their beliefs, values, cultures, history, and beauty. I dedicate my time and art to creating artworks that celebrates and honors all Hispanic cultures around the world, showcasing their beauty and diversity through printmaking.
How did you get started with Printmaking?
I was an Education student on my way to become an art teacher until I came across my first printmaking class. My professor gave us 3 woodblocks and one augment... I came the next day with all three wood blocks carved! It was love at first sight. I even changed my major and specialized in printmaking.
What is your preferred medium and subject matter?
I love relief printmaking. I love the texture of wood blocks on prints and the smell of the wood in my studio. But when my daughters were born I it was hard to make prints at any time because I needed power tools to cut the woodblock when inspiration came since all the noise woke my baby's. So now I carve PVC panels since I don't need any noisy tools to cut the materials I need. My favorite subjects are beautiful girls, masks, and Hispanic folk art.
What is the thing that you love most about Printmaking?
I love the fact that I can make many reproductions from one print. I feel really attached to my drawings and painting because they take lots of time and energy. But prints are easy to let go since I always keep the original carving for myself.
What is the thing that you struggle with most in your Printmaking?
I demand a lot for myself as an artist. I usually carve 3-5 or more prints a week. Generating ideas and creating quality prints on a consistent basis is one of my biggest struggles. Once the idea is clear and the sketch is complete, the rest comes from my instincts and experience.
Is printmaking/art what you do full-time? If so, how did you start out? At what point did you realize this was something that could sustain you, and what was that like?
I am a full-time artist! I researched and tried many things before I learned to sell art online. But when I made my first sale I told myself, I bet I can make $100. When I sold $100 then I told myself I could sell $200! And so on patiently and consistently continue working and learning every single day for an entire year to make it a full-time business. I believe that artists need to realize that we are entrepreneurs with an incredible power to add value to just about anything. And the business/marketing side of our art is just as important as making art.
Tell us a bit about the featured pieces you've shared with us today.
All my prints are carved on to PVC panels and printed on to Japanese rice paper. I use water base ink and all my designs are inspired by Hispanic/Latino cultures and folk art.
Where can people find you online?
A big thank you again to Samuel for interviewing with us! It's amazing to see such a devotion to, and expression of, such a wonderful and rich culture!
Thank you, our readers, for taking time out of your day and sharing in Samuel's art! Please leave a comment with your thoughts and get a discussion going! This is a wonderful opportunity to bring some minds together!
If you're interested in being a featured artist, contact me at JustPrintmaking@gmail.com
I feature a new artist every month through an interview process similar to this.