Instagram: @rubentopia


1. What’s your story? Where are you from?

I was born in s’-Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands. I moved to a farm when I was little and there I lived with my grandparents along with cows and chickens. In elementary school, I would bring an A4 size painting to my teacher every day. At home, I made comic books that I started and never finished. I went to middle school and became gothic. When I was 15 I quit middle school to study graphic design where I made psychedelic drawings and animations. At night I went to parties and raves in forests. At 20, I moved to Rotterdam to study illustration. I became interested in spiritual philosophies, joined a Zen Buddhism school and did some meditation retraits. Went on exchange to study animation in Korea and traveled through Japan. In my work, I have a preference for utopian and visionary culture and I try to combine styles of architecture from around the world to create a universal landscape.


2. Tell us about your aesthetic.

‘Where is Waldo on psychedelics’. Is a comment my isometric work often gets. I set up a grid and sketch out the composition to create mandala-like illustrations full of small details within the isometric perspective. I do this to create order and consistency. The details contain objects that I admire like carpets, shisha’s, candles, bouncing balls, plants, ceramic vases, teapots, lava lamps and fountains.

3. What is your favourite medium and why?

Ecoline, because it’s fascinating to watch the colors blend together.

4. What is your artistic process like?

I lie on the floor or walk through a forest and wait for divine inspiration to appear.

5. Who and/or what inspires your work?

I’m intrigued by visionary architectural drawings. Illustration books like the Codex Seraphianus, the work and vision of Alex Grey. Symmetrical Buddhist paintings, Hundertwasser, Paul Noble, Escher, Jheronimus Bosch and Waone Interesnikazki. Next to those, I can get motivated by mystical experiences, running, meditation, dreaming or reading fiction like Murakami.

6. What role does art play in your life? How does it change the way you view the world?

Art is a way to capture the infinite possibilities of divine inspiration. It can show us the whole spectrum of existence from material attachment and survival drive to the union with the highest spiritual source which can bring profound meaning into our lives.

Tea ceremony

7. Where did you study?

I studied illustration at the Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam.
+ Animation exchange at Korea National University of Arts in Seoul.

8. Where do you see yourself in five years?

I want to become a visionary artist focusing on architectural elements. In five years I want to have made large immersive Utopian paintings where you can walk right into combined with sculptures and writings.

9. What about in ten?

Traveling the world to make murals, having a solo exhibition in a museum, writing a book, meditating on a mountain and swimming in a pool in the shape of a mandala.

10. What do you hope to achieve with your art?

The mission is to create transformative art that can change the way we look at our environment, buildings and ourselves. I try to capture my thoughts and experiences in multiple styles of painting and illustration to transcend nihilism for myself and the viewer.


11. Now, tell us a little more about you as a person: what is your favourite food?

A salad with avocado, strawberries, nuts, quinoa, chia seeds, tomato and fruits.

12. Favourite book?

1984 by George Orwell, The Alchemist by Paulho Coelho, Narziss & Goldmund – Siddhartha by Herman Hesse, The Mission of Art – Alex Grey, Codex Seraphianus – Luigi Serafini

13. Favourite genre of music?

Psychedelic jazz, or I listen to audiobooks.

14. What are your hobbies?

Reading, running, painting, walking through forests and observing.

15. If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?

The eternal soul trapped in a human body in a grey, cold and colorless world.

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