Ruby Barrientos is a first-generation Salvadoran American artist born and raised in Reno, NV. She incorporates her unique artistic voice that she coined as Nuwave Mayan, a style that incorporates her Salvadoran Mayan ancestry and heritage in the creation of socially relevant visual art. She's bringing her art alive to share more about her culture, expression and the storytelling of her roots.
Get to Know Ruby
If your life was a movie, what would the theme song be?
I’m a huge music lover of all genres and this question really made me reflect on what song resonates with me enough to be chosen. That being said, I had to go with ‘Cumbia Sobre el Mar’ by Quantic - El Búho Remix
I chose this track because I love the genre of Cumbia. It’s a genre I grew up listening to with my family and my community, but it also reminds me to not take life so seriously but to enjoy the present moment, the liveliness in my life and to dance along my journey’s path to my own beat.
What's your favorite way to be creative?
I love the spontaneity that happens when you stop thinking and let go of all expectations. It pushes me out of my comfort zone and transcends me into a state of creative flow where there’s no limits and nothing but endless possibilities. I have fun applying this method in getting others to draw with me right on the spot when I have my sketchbook with me. I play a game where we start a drawing and we take turns going back and forth, there’s no time to think and you have to let go of wanting to reach your standards of perfection. I love that game because it's a reminder that the imperfections are what make our self expressions raw, real, and vulnerable. When I apply this flow to drawing, painting, and any medium I work in it’s when I feel the freest and have the most fun.
Where do you find inspiration?
I find inspiration in my culture and cultures of the past. Mayan, Aztec, pre-Colombian, Indigenous, Afrrican cultures influence my work. I also find inspiration in artists that I follow whose work calls to me, and life experiences add to my inspiration. I usually carry a sketchbook with me everywhere I go so that when inspiration hits I can take a sharpie marker and bring it to life on paper.
What are your three favorite feelings?
Through my artistic self expression I'm able to navigate and through these emotions and transmute them into something greater; imagination and invention.