#WhatDrivesYou: Ramón Pérez
July 18, 2016
We caught up with multiple Eisner and Harvey Award winning cartoonist, Ramón Pérez. Best known for his graphic novel adaptation of Jim Henson’s Tale Of Sand, Pérez is currently is working on the All-New Hawkeye with collaborator Jeff Lemire. His other infamous works include The Amazing Spider-Man: Learning To Crawl, John Carter: The Gods Of Mars, Wolverine & the X-Men, and creator owned endeavours Butternutsquash and Kukuburi.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
I’m not sure if anybody ever gave me any outright advice. Might’ve helped quite nicely. But the best advice I have gleaned along the way, is that everything tends to fall into place as long as your motivations and intentions are pure to you. Do what you love, give it your all, and that hard work and dedication will pay off. It might not come as quick as you’d like sometimes, that’s when you have to learn patience, but it will come. Another handy tidbit is not to sweat the small stuff. Will the thing you’re worrying about, are upset about, or what not, matter in a few days time, a weeks time, or even a years time? I doubt it will. Relax, think of the bigger picture, and enjoy the ride.
What drives you out of bed in the morning?
I could say something like my need to create, or something as dedicated or prolific as such. But in all honesty, I love what I do, and every day is a joy, though there are those that can drag or feel overwhelming. But I draw superheroes, aliens, or dragons on a daily basis, so as I said above I try to focus on the bigger picture! In turn I look forward to the what the day brings and let it come as it may. But when I’m getting out of bed, well, at that moment the first thing on my mind is walking over to my local and enjoying a nice espresso. I’ll take it slow and chill there for an hour give or take, chat with the owner, or any of the regulars that might pop in, and then take a nice stroll to the studio and begin my day.
What made you choose your career?
My career happened organically. I knew that I wanted to draw for a living, I was good at it, and enjoyed it. But what I wanted to do with my skill set, well, that part was a bit unclear. I looked into architecture, interior design, fashion design, and so forth, which all had aspects of things I enjoyed, but none felt right. But through chatting with people and exploring suggested options, I discovered the illustration program at Sheridan College in Oakville, Canada. It was here, while conversing with new classmates, who ranged from newbies like myself, to established professionals, I was enlighten to numerous possibilities.
While there, my natural aptitude and enjoyment of telling stories through me art surfaced even more, and that natural progression led me to where I am today. Having said that, it wasn’t as easy as such. When I graduated I took on work, any work, that allowed me to illustrate, design, and create. Constantly nudging in the direction I wanted to go, sometimes to only little success, then sometimes by leaps and bounds. But despite any roadblocks thrown my way, I kept doing, and putting myself out there which brought me to where I happily am today. Though content for the moment, I’ve stubbornly set my sights higher, and so the journey continues...
What is the coolest thing you’ve ever done and why?
The two things that pop to mind are 1) going skydiving - closest we as humans will ever get to flying (outside of traveling in a plane of course) and it was just an exhilarating and peaceful experience all rolled into one. Number 2) would be going rock climbing in Banff, Alberta, and not only climbing one of the highest peaks in the region, but also surviving a land slide along a cliff face that same day - showing me anything was possible, and also, survivable. Tenacity will get you places.
What are the top 3 things on your bucket list?
Top three things on my bucket list would be:
1) A year long round the world trip doing a full 360 degree trip around the globe as it spins.
2) A cross canada, and maybe the states, motorcycle trip with friends.
3) Be able to retire (or be professionally autonomous) by 50, so I can do 1 & 2, and what ever other adventures and experiences I add to the list!
If you could invent one thing to make your life easier what would it be and why?
I don’t think I have to invent anything, just hiring a Personal Assistant would essentially make my life easier!
Favourite thing to do in toronto?
The beautiful thing about Toronto is that we have so much variety in this small city. I love travelling and have been blessed with the numerous countries and cities I have visited. But it has also shown me how much we have here at our fingertips. That said, my favourite thing is exploring new restaurants, bars, and cafes around the city and discovering new delicacies, enjoying a fresh cocktail, and sharing that experience with friends, and those around.
See more of Ramón's work by heading to his Instagram page!