When Ramone Sketch was a kid, his mother told him the only way he would calm down is if he was drawing. Not much has changed except now the cartoonist and illustrator gets paid to do what he loves. Not many of us can say this. Put on some punk or metal in the studio on a rainy day and Ramone says the inspiration just takes over. We sat down with Ramone to talk skating, eyeballs and shoe size.
If you weren’t an artist, what would you be doing?
I’d be a carpenter.
What shows are you currently into?
I consume a lot of different media: films, series… Nothing in particular comes to mind.
Favorite type of music/band?
I’d say I’m very permissive when it comes to music. I listen to a very wide variety of genres, but when I’m working I prefer punk, metal, rock & roll. Some of my favorite bands are Black Flag, Fugazi, The Stooges, Pennywise, Bad Religion, Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, Mc5, New York Dolls … oh, and of course, The Ramones! The list goes on and on. These are just some of my favorite.
That would be pizza. No doubt.
Favorite movie franchise:
If we’re talking strictly about film franchises, I’d say Mad Max.
I’ve always liked skating and surfing. However, ever since I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, I stopped practicing such sports. Now I go trekking instead! I feel very in touch with nature when I’m walking or riding my bike around the mountains. I love that.
What’s your favorite season and why?
Winter, for sure. Working in the studio on a cold rainy day is what I like the most. I find it very inspirational.
What inspires you and your artwork?
I get inspired by the arts of skating and surfing. Also Rick Griffin, Ed Roth, Ken Reid, Robert Crumb; they are some of my biggest role models. I’ve admired them a lot ever since I was a kid and they have always served as great inspiration for me and my work.
Tools of choice:
Pencils, some ink, and paper are more than enough to get started!
At what age did you start drawing?
Ever since I can remember to be honest. My mom used to tell me that drawing was the only thing that could get me to calm down.
Describe your relationship with eyeballs:
My relationship with eyeballs started in my teenage years, just like it did with skulls. I’ve always found eyeballs somewhat of a fascinating character. I remember from when I was a teenager, Drew Brophy’s illustrations for the brand Lost, which were inspired by the great Rick Griffin. I drew inspiration from their styles, and I eventually incorporated and adapted them to fit my own art. Now they’ve come to be an essential part of my work.
How has your art/style evolved over time?
A lot, I imagine! As the years go by, I make slight changes. I have to say, I’m very prolific when it comes to drawing which makes my art constantly change without ever losing the very essence of my style and characters.
Do you have a background in screen printing or are you just a fan of the process?
Other than drawing, screen printing has always been my second passion. I became a screen printer at the age of fifteen, when I started as a trainee in a paper screen-printing atelier. I’ve been doing what I love for over 22 years now, and part of my career has developed at “Cueva Negra,” my own small studio where I do handmade screen printing. After all these years of experience, it’s safe to say that I’ve become a screen printing freak!
Best color combination:
Red, yellow and blue.
Who is YOUR favorite artist?
It’s hard to pick just one, but if I have to, I’d say Rick Griffin.
Who are some of the folks you look up to in the art community?
Right at this moment, I could name my good friend Pedro Oyarbide, Mazatl, Kentaro Yoshida—the list is endless. I admire a lot of people. There are a lot of amazing artists out there nowadays.
Find me on Instagram
@ramonesketch and @cueva_negra