Today we’d like to introduce you to Fabian Rey.
Hi Fabian, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
My name is Fabian Rey. I am an artist, muralist and photographer from San Juan, Puerto Rico. I started painting at a very young age watching my father, an Argentinian artist, working at his studio. I continued my art education at Franc Cervoni’s studio and Arte School of Florence, Italy. I also studied Art Direction in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Soon after college I went back to Puerto Rico and joined an advertising agency, where I worked as an Art Director. After a couple of years in advertising, I went to work at a production house, where I directed TV commercials and videos. I used to work during the day at the office and paint on my studio at night. On 2004, I did my first art solo show called “Another frequency”. I painted a series of canvas, and recorded my own music to match each artwork, making it an interactive exhibition. It was a big success and a defining moment in my career. After that, I decided to start working as a freelance artist and muralist, to be my own boss and the owner of my time.
In 2015, I moved with my family from Puerto Rico to Austin, Texas. I didn’t know anything about this city so everything was new to me. I felt a little lost and out of tune at the beginning but I kept my head up and didn’t stop thinking creatively. I knew that it would take some time for people to see my work and to find new clients but I kept a positive attitude. One night, I took my camera and walked around the city looking for inspiration. I immediately felt in love with the weird and complex characters that I met that night around downtown. They inspired me to create a website called creaturesofaustin.com and an Instagram account: @criaturasdeaustin (in Spanish) to showcase my photography work and to document the iconic characters that walk the streets of this vibrant city. The response was great. I got noticed right away and started to work as a photographer for musicians, startups and sports events. I was also taking care of my then 10-year old son, during the day and painting on my free nights. I’d been looking for the right walls in the city for my art since I moved here, and in 2017 I decided to ask the manager of my neighborhood coffee shop if they wanted me to design and paint a mural for them. He got on board and that’s how I got my first mural project in Austin.
A month later, I painted my second mural at a pet store a few blocks from there. I’ve kept making indoors and outdoors murals around the city. Art is a very competitive field so you just can’t stay home waiting for a call. You have to go out and get it. After a couple of years working at my solo studio, I wanted to connect with the community and meet other artists that live in Austin. I joined Something Cool Studios, a community of artists with different backgrounds and styles, who share the passion for art. It’s important to work alone to develop your own style but to grow as an artist you need to embrace your community and create culture. I got to where I am today because I put time on my craft and have always believed in my talents. If you don’t trust your instincts, there is not much you can do with your skills. My mother, have always told me to work hard, to be myself and to stay humble. I am very lucky to come from a family that embraces art and nurtures creativity.
I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
Art is not an easy road to travel and is definitely full of roadblocks. The biggest struggle of an artist comes from inside. Doubting ourselves and our talent because we tend to compare ourselves to others. Stop doing this! The only thing you should be focusing on is on developing your own skill and style. It’s normal to struggle with phases of insecurity and frustration every now and then, but you have to understand that we are all different and that’s what make you interesting. Get inspired by other artists but don’t imitate their work, this will only make you doubt more about your craft. As artists, we have to learn to take rejection. We don’t take it very well because art is personal and it takes a lot of energy to create. We have to learn to be rejected and still be able to believe in your work. It hurts every single time you apply for something and you don’t get it, but you can’t let that shit make you doubt yourself and your talent. Staying inspired and motivated all the time is a real struggle for me. What helps me stay inspired is to listen to music and paint about things I know. That way you are always painting for yourself and not to please anybody. If you are really listening, creativity will guide you and keep you on the path.
Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I am a full time mixed media artist that needs to create every day. I love the freedom that being an artist gives me. I embrace the struggles that comes with it and enjoy being able to make a difference with my talent. Lately, I’ve been working mostly on murals and paintings on canvas. I think what sets me apart is the use of color and typography. I am from Puerto Rico, a tropical island in the Caribbean surrounded by beautiful beaches. My work is very colorful and I use a lot of typography in Spanish because those are the things that I miss the most, speaking Spanish and swimming on the ocean. Also, since I have a background in advertising, I tend to conceptualize ideas to communicate the meaning of my work.
Can you share something surprising about yourself?
People that knows me well know that I don’t take things too seriously or personal, and that I take rejection towards my work pretty well, considering that I am an artist. So it may be surprising for them that this one hit me hard… My latest mural “Mi Voz, Mi Voto, Óyelo bien”, done for the 2020 elections and paid for by a client, got painted over before the elections results because the owner of the building did not want Spanish words on his wall.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: fabianrey.com
- Instagram: @fabianrey
- Youtube: https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCF4zUfTYQe6RmnSYzeKkrEA
- Other: https://linktr.ee/Fabianrey