Yanin Ruibal’s personal experiences have directly influenced her artistic identity. Having grown up in Hermosillo, Sonora, Yanin’s paintings feature tropes from the Sonoran desert as well as themes of nature, identity and duality. Growth and experimentation is a big part of Yanin’s process – her ideas evolve from writings in her journal to digital sketches, then finally to paint.
Where are you from?
I was born in Tijuana, grew up in Hermosillo, and moved to Mexico City 8 years ago to pursue a career as an artist.
How do you describe your vision for your work?
I don’t know how it’s gonna look the next year, I’m always changing and evolving, I’ve always been inspired by artists who do the same. But I can say my work always talks about two things: the internal conflict and duality that lives inside all of us, and the beauty and growth that comes from pain.
What are your artistic/creative inspirations?
My personal experiences are my main source of inspiration. Chronic disease, marital problems, identity crises, anything that makes me look at myself in a deep and painful way. The Sonoran desert where I grew up is also a great source of inspiration since I have a love/hate relationship with it. Animals and nature in general, and my close friends are great muses as well.
Are there other emerging artists you can recommend?
Helena Garza is one of my best friends, and incredibly talented, I’m inspired by her every day. Michael Conrads is also a friend who I admire.
Tell me about your process.
Whatever inspires me, when I have a random idea, or a very strong feeling, I write it down. I have a journal where I write everything. And after I read it and re-read it I start to think about how to translate these feelings into images. Sometimes it comes instantly, sometimes it takes a couple of weeks. Then I start sketching, I usually do the sketch on Photoshop or on my iPad. After the sketch is done, it’s just a matter of painting it.
Do you think your work has a message? How is it received?
Every so often, I get messages and comments about people telling me they strongly identify with my work, that it describes perfectly what they’re going through. Many people buy my pieces because it speaks to them on a very personal level. It’s very humbling and it makes me feel less alone. It reminds me that when I feel something bad, there’s a million people out there feeling the exact same thing. I’m not special for feeling the things I feel, but sharing that with other people is what makes my art special.
What do you like about the artistic community of today? What do you dislike?
I like the community I have built, the friends I have made. The art world can be a very toxic and hypocritical environment if you let it, but I had the fortune of meeting amazing artists who lift each other up instead of feeling competitive. Unfortunately I still have to deal with a lot of sh*t from people who refuse to pay, galleries that wanna take advantage, brands and creative agencies that want free work, but I’m getting tougher and tougher every year.
What is safe and/or dangerous in terms of experimentation?
Safe is finding something that sells and sticking to it, changing it very little over the years. I don’t like artists that just keep doing the same thing over and over. Dangerous I would have to say, I don’t know… you mean physically dangerous? Career-wise dangerous? I guess I’m still finding out.
What is one lesson you’ve learned in your artistic career that you would pass on to an artist who is just starting out?
You learn way more from other artists than what you learn in school. At least, that’s how it worked for me. The more artists I meet, the more inspired I become. And not only painters and illustrators, also musicians, chefs, actors, any creative individual.
Where would you like to see your work in 3 years? What goals do you have for your practice?
I don’t have any clear career goals in terms of galleries and museums, I just want to keep growing and have my art grow with me in terms of sophistication and discourse.
Also… I would like to make enough money to buy a house 😅