Portuguese Artist Comforts with Minimalist Doodle Sketches


uben Ramires is a poet, artist and actor from Portugal who uses his art as a way to understand his reality and share it with the world. As you can see from his illustrations below his reality is eclectic, free and open to interpretation . Ramires reminds us that our creative journey is ever-evolving, on and off, and can pour from many different mediums over many years. Most importantly, Ramires reminds us that no matter how far we travel away from our creative outlet, it’s always ready and waiting to be plugged back in.

  • How did you get started?

I have always enjoyed drawing since I was little. I was an introvert, but at the same time a very creative kid. I actually remember being a part of some art courses in school, and being  a winner of some drawing contests. When it comes to writing, I started writing poetry and prose when I was a teenager around 14 or 15 years old. At that time I had a strong circle of friends, however I was struggling with growing up as a queer person. I didn’t know how to express my vulnerability, my feelings, my thoughts, my sexuality, my desires. I always felt like an outsider, so it was really hard for me to be open about my creativity, and my artistic side. I knew I was different, but I didn’t know how to embrace it openly. Before I entered high school, I asked my parents to go to art school, but they denied it. Art school was too far away from our village, and in their mind it had no career. 

I was a good student overall, so I finished high school and I ended up going to nursing school in 2006. Weird, I know. I still find it weird. During those years I couldn’t draw. I wrote a little, and consumed lots of poetry though. I was reading, going to art and film shows all the time. However, I felt stuck. In my mind it was like I had chosen that path, and there was no way I could make art or invest in that. 

In nursing school I ended up being a part of the theatre club. After I graduated I  kept studying acting while I was working as a nurse (both hard to reconcile!). I didn’t draw, and write for almost 7 years! In 2017 I came to the USA and I had a period of time when I was doing nothing. I was a little depressed and sad, being away from my country (Portugal). I started writing poems and illustrating them as an escape and a way of coping. In 2018 I FINALLY had the courage to create my instagram account, and started sharing my art with the world. That’s when I started being myself, for the first time.

  What is(are) your medium(s)?

I draw a lot digitally nowadays, using my iPad or remarkable tablet. However, I love sketching with pencil and ball pens. I also use crayons, graphite, and markers. When it comes to printing techniques I frequently use mono-printing and linoleum, using block ink.


Where do you draw inspiration?

A lot of my art is nature-inspired. I’m also inspired by mental health (including my own struggles such as traumas and anxiety), and its challenges but also daily life situations. I like to combine realistic with abstract and exaggerated. 

It’s difficult to separate poetry from drawings, thus a lot of what I draw comes from my words, my poetical scenarios, and my imagination.

  Describe a bit about your creative process.

I often find my ideas either in thoughts regarding a specific topic or regarding something I saw that has inspired me. If I’m actually seeing something that captures me, I will make some sketches right away and write some words. Then, I’ll work around that concept and will develop it to the final result. If its something I’m asked to draw, I will search about that topic and find something that inspires me and has a connection to my style. 

Most of my work comes from spontaneous sketches. I like to draw a lot without a filter, pretty much thinking like I’m a little kid. It is basically drawing freely without judging myself too much. I save those sketches and doodles, and actually, I go back to them sometime later and I will reuse and develop them by drawing something either similar or different but with some connection to that primordial idea.  

 Any artists/creators/ etc who have influenced your style?

Absolutely. when it comes to writing: Charles Bukowsky, Adilia Lopes, Fernando Pessoa, Al Berto. When it comes to drawing: Charlotte Ager, Molly Fairhurst, Tara Booth, Jon Michael Frank, Geran Knol, Dolbeth, Charles Bailey, Varya Yakovleva, Rozalina Burkova, and so on.

 Where do you live and how has it contributed to your style?

I currently live in Houston, Texas. Moving to a different country has shaped me as an artist. I got out of my comfort zone, I started exploring my vulnerability, new mediums, new ways of expressing myself,  new ways of thinking, and also new sceneries. Interestingly, I started my art career here, not where I was born (Portugal). 

Where I live has also made me more aware of my political side, reviving my activism and the interventive role that art has in politics and in the world in general.

 Why do you love what you do? 

I love to create new things, to read, to know other people’s perspectives. I also love to drink coffee (although I have stomach issues), tea, wine, singing, playing guitar, and getting to know new places.

Thank you to Ruben Ramires for sharing his journey with us. 

Follow Ruben on Instagram 

& check out his website for more illustrations