Maker Profiles: Meet Origamist Bobby Ruiz
We met Bobby right after the Paper Talk we had last year with Prestige Paper. We were particularly impressed with a certain origami piece they brought as part of their showcase, and they put us in touch with Bobby shortly after. Since then, we’ve been amazed at the different forms he’s shown us. Self-taught, we’re amazed at the discipline and tenacity he exerts at his craft. Bobby will be teaching a Modular Origami session with us in the beginning of March! Check it out here.
How long have you been crafting? What got you started?
It was really just serendipity that led me to origami. I was just messing around at home when there was this origami book that I encountered. Love at first sight. It’s been, I’d say, 15 years?
What’s your favorite medium? Why?
It goes without saying that paper (or anything similar) is my medium of choice. It is also my preferred medium carrier (e.g. charcoal, watercolor, pencil, etc.). Paper is extremely versatile and its application throughout the history of humanity has been invaluable. Paper is one of our most important inventions, aside from the likes of agriculture, the wheel, and plastic.
Tell us about your favorite projects.
I love making origami flowers, especially if I know there is some sentiment behind the project. I also like anything that results in geometric design, like modular polyhedra or Islamic-style tiling. In general, any project that requires no small degree of ingenuity and/or challenge will have my full attention.
What’s the one crafting skill you’ve always wanted to master/learn?
I always thought about being an architect. I made the mistake of not pursuing that when it came to choosing college paths. So here I am, making houses for my Sims to enjoy. Aside from that, I would also like to learn the process of making paper by myself, as well as working ceramics. Basically, I want to learn as much as I can before the inevitable happens.
What are you currently working on?
Right now, I’m being commissioned by someone to make a thousand cranes. I am also working on some personal projects, like honing my drafting skill and preparing more origami pieces for building up a portfolio of sorts.
What’s your dream project? What have you done to make it happen so far?
I’ve always wanted to design my own house, from layout to wall coverings to furniture to where the nails hit the planks. Obviously, I’ve got a long journey ahead of me. I just draft furniture and play a lot of video games that involve building things. Lego is always fun, too. They will do… for now.
Aside from crafting what else do you do?
I am what some call a ‘bum’. I derive income solely from my work, and it’s not exactly a lucrative business (…yet). I like to read a lot on many topics. I also thoroughly enjoy cooking, taking care of plants, doing run-of-the-mill computer things, study languages, what have you. I consider myself, all hubris aside, an autodidactic polymath. I like to do things myself as much as I love to learn.
How does creativity influence the other areas in your life?
Creativity is an incredibly potent tool which opens up avenues to opportunities that would otherwise not be available. In fact, creativity has a place in disciplines as rigid and technical as engineering and science. Quoting my favorite science person Carl Sagan: “Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere.”
Any advice for other aspiring crafters?
Never ever be afraid to fail. Some of the best lessons to be had in crafting, indeed in life, springs from failures that we just have to experience for ourselves. No one ever got things right the first time, and if they did, it was either something they did not intend or it was just a mere fluke. Go out there and challenge yourself, but don’t push yourself too hard or too little. Everything must be in balance.
What do you do to beat a ‘creative block’?
If I can’t advance, I simply go to another activity, perhaps another project. I always try to keep myself busy with things because I don’t like being idle. And who knows? Maybe by some stroke of pure inspiration, working on something else will result in the lifting of said block.
Give us 3 crafting essentials you must have in your toolbox at all times.
Bone folders, cutter, and ruler. I can’t live without them.
Why should people get their hands busy (and start crafting)?
I don’t see why not. Picking up crafting can’t possibly be *too* harmful, can it? Like I said before, creativity is very important if you want to open new avenues to new opportunities. So, go out there and make stuff!
Where can we find your work?
I will have social media pages on Facebook and Instagram up and running soon. They will serve as exhibits for my various works, and then some. I will also leave some things in the Craft MNL workshop space for anyone that happens to pass by. For anything else, I can be contacted through email <email@example.com> or through PM on my personal Facebook.