We recently had an interview with our good friend Ray, an artist, curator, and event organizer in DFW. We met Ray about 10 years ago, when he helped us curate the art portion at one of our Realstreetjams events. In this interview we asked him about his beginnings in art, his memorable moments and his thoughts about the future of art in DFW, here is what he had to say:
RSJ- Please introduce yourself to the people: Name, Affiliations, City?
Ray- Yo what up my name is Raymond Butler and I was born and raised in Dallas Texas.
RSJ- Tell us a bit about your beginnings, How and when did you get into Art?
Ray- Making artwork started in an early age for me. I started drawing because of a bet that happened in the first or second grade. I bet a friend that I couldn't draw something for a dollar and he lost lol. I actually drew it so well that the teacher hung it up on the door. I've been making art ever since but didn't take it seriously until I got into college.
RSJ- Who or what were some of your major influences/inspirations in the beginning? And now?Ray- A lot of my influences in college came from pop culture and local artists like Hatziel Flores or Tyson Summer. I had a big thing for pop art and surrealism.
RSJ- What are some of your most memorable moments in your art journey?
Ray- One of my most memorable moments in my career has been me getting a job as a gallery director at El Centro college. I didn't even have a degree but I had a lot of experience and they took all that in consideration and chose me anyway.
RSJ- What are some of your accomplishments that you're most proud of?
Ray- One of the biggest accomplishments that any artist has is for people to see value in your work. I appreciate every time I show my art in a space.
RSJ- What are your thoughts on the current Art scene in the city?
Ray- Right now things are interesting because of the coronavirus but people are still finding ways to support art in the community. Whether it's buying a piece from a local artist or creating a donation fund to help support local artist. It's pretty amazing!
RSJ- Where do you see the current Art scene going into the future?
Ray- I think the scene will continue to go but not in the way we think. Artists are finding more ways to become financially independent from galleries I think social media has a lot to do with that. Your work can be viewed on Instagram hundreds of times by people all over the world. It just takes one to send you a message and buy the piece directly from you. You cut out the middleman there is no 50% that you have to pay to anyone. You take 100% of what you make this also keeps the prices of your work lower than what they would be in a gallery.
RSJ- What advice would you give to someone just starting and beginning their Art journey?
Ray- My advice to someone starting off, make-work, practice on your craft daily. Also don't be afraid to show work anywhere starting off. Show as many places as you can to get your work seen by people and talk about your work because selling one of your pieces is selling a part of you.
RSJ- Where can people go to find your art, projects, and work? Social medias? Websites?
RSJ- Last words?
Ray- Artist should always challenge themselves don't just be the painter, don't just be the photographer, don't just be the sculptor. Be an artist in the true sense of the word, use all the tools available to you to illustrate your ideas and spread your message.
In the pictures shown above, some of Raymond's Art.Realstreetjams would like to thank Raymond for allowing us to interview him!