We had the good fortune of connecting with Ivan Ruiz and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ivan, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
My perception of risk has gone through a lot of interesting changes since I was a kid, the biggest influence of it being my parents. Everything they have is because of the risks that they took. It was scary, but they always had faith that things would work out in the end no matter the outcome. I adopted their philosophy as I’ve gotten older, and as a result I’ve been able to accomplish much more than I thought I was capable of, with every instance of this having a considerable risk that I needed to be aware of and account for. It’s a necessary part of the human experience which has led to a lot of my greatest moments, however taking a risk doesn’t always work out; so it’s led to my worst moments as well. There was a lesson with each experience, which eventually started to manifest into my own personal growth. If I’m being completely honest, taking risks made me bold in a way that I needed to bet. Risk showed me my flaws, and turned my weaknesses into strengths.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My art has always been a pure representation of me to some extent, so in that regard I would say part of the reason I tend to stand out is because I care as much for my craft as I do for the people in my life. My whole thing is upcycling clothing, and I see it as a good approach to life as well; breaking down what we thought was set in stone and building something better in its place. This can be draining on whatever level you’re attempting it, so having that sense of community within your circle can make all the difference when interacting outside of it. Most of the time my biggest challenge was networking with others, ironically while I was good at it my thoughts always seemed to get jumbled which led to confusion and miscommunication, so being able to practice among friends and family without judgement helped tremendously. In any regard support can be an amazing motivator, so whenever things happen to not go according to plan having those you trust to fall back on can also give you the space to recoup and get back into your groove. Each time I was able to accomplish something that initially intimidated me it just added to the wave of momentum which is always a great feeling. My situation is much more fortunate than most, and I’m eternally grateful to be able to focus purely on my art and my brand. I’m trying my best, just like everyone else is. I’m not perfect, my clothes aren’t perfect, nothing’s perfect and that’s okay. It’s pretty obvious but everyone makes mistakes and we tend to forget that sometimes. The biggest lesson I’ve learned though all my experiences this past year is to just be open to everyone, and everything. It took me a really long time to connect with myself, I’m still working on it everyday, but truly connecting with others can also help you not feel so alone. Again this is all pretty obvious, but my creative process has definitely benefited from a quick refresher.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would start off by taking them to all the usual well known city spots, going immediately to Montrose. It was my first taste of what the culture was like and I had a great time so it’d be a great place to start. There’s the classic spots like Petty Cash, Lo-fi, Pavement, and of course sometimes there’s markets too. If they’re up for it then we could have a shoot in front of the murals, or anywhere really; there’s so much personality in every corner it’s not hard to get inspired by the whole scene. If they get hungry we’re most definitely going to Niko Niko’s and ordering the Gyro Plate with fries and extra sauce. From there its an easy trip to discovery green for some nice leisurely strolling, and hit the museum district if we can but that could be a whole days trip within itself. To truly get the full effect of the city, it’s the people that’ll really make the trip. We’d parade throughout Houston for the week visiting all my friends and getting a taste of the different types of lifestyles, and with an abundance of mom and pop shops and restaurants there’d be no shortage of lowkey good eats and bargain finds.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I want to dedicate my shoutout to Clint Toran! They’re really inspiring to me because of everything they’ve been able to accomplish despite all the different setbacks. There’s already so much explored and yet to be discovered potential that I can get hyped just by talking about potential creative ideas with Clint! Our creative output as a team has been awesome to see come to life; I’m so looking forward to seeing what comes next and I’m really grateful to have them in my corner!
Retroject (Joshua Jones) Cynthia Marez
Nominate Someone: ShoutoutHTX is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.