Catching up with BBW Artist
LargeInCharge Featured People and Companies - Where are they now?
Ruben Esq. - BBW Artist
In 2008 I finally got to find out more about an artist who I didnt know, but I knew his art. I like many others had seen the images of Ruben Esq. BBW art. They were shared on the internet, used by others on social networking pages. Many had been edited and used a graphic images for various reasons.
But who was this artist who captured such a sexy playful spirt to his artwork. His love of the larger female form is easily scene and it is celebrated. While every piece of work may not resemble every woman. I believe every woman can look at Ruben's pieces and see a piece of herself.
The happiness, the joy, the freedom, the fun, the silly, the sexy, the giddy, the gracefulness and so much more is protrayed in these delightful expressions.
This month I would like to reintroduce you to Ruben Esq. and his work. I know you will be as intrigued as I was the first time I saw one of his pieces.
ORGINAL INTERVIEW BELOW: Click the magazine cover to check it out.
Issue #49 - April 2008
SOME OF RUBEN'S WORK: More below
Check out Ruben Esq. at the Following Links:
LargeInCharge.com: What is your name?
LargeInCharge.com: Where are you from and what is your current Location?
I was born and grew up in New York City. I live in Los Angeles.
LargeInCharge.com: When did you first appear in LargeInCharge Magazine? NOTE: if you donít remember exact date and issue I can look that up for you. Put Please Look Up as the answer.
Issue #49 - April 2008
LargeInCharge.com: Please tell us why you were featured?
I was featured for my art, which is a pin-up style, focused on large women.
LargeInCharge.com: How did you feel when you appeared in LargeInCharge?
I was pleased to get the recognition and the positive reaction to my work. At the time I didnít expect to get any kind of media attention for my work, although in the early 90s I did some pin up work for a menís magazine and published three sketchbooks of my drawings. My publishing career ended after a few years and I went back to where I started: doing my pin up art for myself.
In the mid-90s (unknown to me at the time) sketches from my books were being posted onto the net. A lot were low-resolution scans from my sketchbooks, and a lot were bad copies or tracings of my drawings. When I became more active on the net, I discovered that my work was popular (I saw my drawings ďappropriatedĒ a lot), but my name was removed so no one knew who did the work. I decided I needed to be more active in social media to set people straight about who was responsible for the art they enjoyed. I started out on MySpace, eventually began a blog, and then moved on to Facebook where most of my online activity is right now.
LargeInCharge.com: How do you feel now about being included in our special Decade editions?
Iím honored that my work made such an impression that I was invited to be featured again.
LargeInCharge.com: How has your life and endeavors changed since your appearance?
Becoming more active in social media has gained me many fans that are engaged with my art and eager to see more.
LargeInCharge.com: What changes have you made to advance your career/business?
I canít really call my Ruben Esq work a career or ďbusinessĒ yet. Itís still a side project that I do when my day job allows the time. My primary career, which I am still actively involved in, is working as an artist in the animation industry. Iíve been producing Ruben Esq art in varying amounts since 1989. Iíve started attending a few artist showcases. Mostly local comic conventions in the Los Angeles area, Iím also in the process of expanding my online store selling my art in various forms.
LargeInCharge.com: How long have you invested in your venture/career?
LargeInCharge.com: Tell us about some of the most exciting events/occasions, you/your business have held/participated in.
There hasnít been much public excitement for me. What I do is solitary work and I havenít had many opportunities for public showings. Displaying in Artist Alleys at comic conventions the last few years have been it. Iím looking into making appearances at Plus Size fashion events and gatherings.
LargeInCharge.com: Have you been featured in any press, on tv, newspapers etc?
Iíve had a few features in small magazines over the years. I havenít sought media attention. LargeInCharge found me.
LargeInCharge.com: What changes have you seen for plus sized people since your first appearance?
Social media has made it easier for people to meet and talk with each other. The biggest improvement Iíve seen are big people feeling less isolated. More people have told me my art helps them feel better about themselves. Itís given me a sense that Iím doing something a little more valuable than making sexy, entertaining pictures. Thereís a lot of support thatís needed to be given for the self-images of big people, especially women. My work isnít political. My art isnít built to carry the weight of any kind of size acceptance movement. As Iíve recently come to realize, I donít share my work to change peopleís minds about how they should think. I share my work to show the people who think as I do that theyíre not alone.
LargeInCharge.com: Are there any changes you had to make for your venture/career flourish?
Yes, but I havenít made many of them yet. I need to produce more art on a regular basis and learn to market it more effectively.
LargeInCharge.com: What are some of the most important things you have learned through the years?
Not to let your spirit be crushed. We live in a culture that works daily to force everyone to submit to a narrow definition of attractiveness. It will destroy you if you let it. Donít let it. You donít benefit by accepting the disapproval of others, they do.
LargeInCharge.com: How is your standing in the Plus Sized Community among the people? Good feedback, negative feedback, learning lessons?
What feedback I have gotten is extremely good. My work has been very well received and I look forward to creating more. So many women have told me that my art helps them feel more attractive that I believe that alone is a good reason for me to keep creating. It also may help others see the large people around them a little differently.
LargeInCharge.com: What would you say inspires you most in life?
The love of my family and friends, and being able to appreciate the art that other people make.
LargeInCharge.com: Any new ventures/items/products you have planned for the future?
Iím working on having a new sketchbook published within a month. Iím also going to test how much response I get to other items I would like to offer like prints of my art, a series of t-shirts and possibly limited edition sculptures made from my designs.
LargeInCharge.com: What are your future goals?
Making a second career of Ruben Esq. I want to create more and reach more people with my art. The responses Iíve gotten are very gratifying, but I also feel something of a responsibility to create more art and do what I can to get my images and ideas to as many people as possible.
LargeInCharge.com: What advice would you give to other people of size who might be interested in doing something similar?
If youíre passionate about creating anything of value specifically for large people, donít let anyone discourage you. Many will try. There is a lot of peer pressure and resistance to force your way through.
LargeInCharge.com: Describe yourself/ your company/org with one word.
Right to this second, no ďone wordĒ description has occurred to me, so Iíll just skip this question.