Raemastered Studio - A Traditional Tattoo-Inspired Art Journey

Raemastered Studio - A Traditional Tattoo-Inspired Art Journey
Authored By David Tan

Name: Rae Martin Lloren
Current City: Butuan City, Cebu

Filipino Artist Profile: Rae Martin Lloren

It’s quite astonishing to know that there’s a chance for a piece of art to become better. For instance, the songs you’ve loved from decades ago can have new life infused into them through the use of modern audio post-production methods. This is the same wisdom Rae Martin Lloren applies to his art. Raemastered Studio is all about a continuous journey of artistic improvement inspired by Traditional Tattoo Art. Find out more about how this artist achieves this feat.

How did your journey as an artist begin?
It started when I was young, I think kindergarten. I was taught by my father how to draw. I can still remember the character that I drew - a carabao and a wooden hut. I started sketching during elementary. During high school, I was able to join our school paper as an editorial cartoonist. After I graduated from college, I stopped drawing. After 10 years, I think, I went back and drew again. I find it challenging because it’s different now and I already forgot all I learned but the passion is there. What I did is I tried making a niche. From a simple sketch in elementary to an editorial cartoon during school, and then in 2018, my art evolved into a tattoo-inspired style.
I stopped during my second year in college. When I started college, I was into mural painting. When I became a third-year student, I needed to focus on my major, I stopped doing it and focused on my career as an IT professional when I graduated. My love for drawing came back after 10 years in 2018. The reason why it came back was I became bored and experienced depression. I find drawing to be therapeutic.

How did you come up with your brand name and what’s the reason behind it?
Actually, I’m also a musician. I play the guitar. I always encounter the word Remaster or Remastered Version. It seemed witty. Instead of Remastered, I used Raemastered. I want that name to seem like an improvement of myself. An old song being revived or improved quality-wise is called remastered or remastering of the audio. My definition of Raemastered is to be a better person.
And then Raemastered Studio. When I came back in 2018, I was able to accidentally sell a design in Instagram. I thought of changing my name into Raemastered Studio instead.

Every artist has a preference when creating art. For you, what is your favorite subject and why?
I’m into weird things. To be specific, I focus on animals when I create something, like panthers, lions, or butterflies. People see my art as very dark. But for me, I’m doing the traditional tattoo-inspired art and those are the elements or subjects I commonly use. There are times when I include females but it’s more of their faces or I use a gypsy for my art.

How would you describe your style as an artist?
Rae: The style that I use is called traditional tattoo-inspired. Tattoo art is broad. Tattoo-inspired art is more of flash and it is actually based on sailors. They love getting tattoos. It’s actually a dying art. I made it my niche because it looks good printed on a shirt.

What are the influences that shaped your artistic style?
There are a lot. The most on-point example is Sailor Jerry, the person who made the style I’m using. That’s his pseudonym. I think he’s still alive right now. He shaped my style. There are also some people who also influenced my art but you can’t really see it that well in my work. It’s mixed. Some are from anime and cartoons. There’s Nick Automatic owner Nicolo Nimor and Ten Hundred, an American mural painter.

What are the common struggles you encounter as an artist?
It’s what they call the Artist’s Block. It’s important to be creative and to be in the mood to create when you’re drawing. There are factors that affect me, especially since I’m not a full-time artist. I’m working nine hours a day. Thank God it’s only in the morning. When I get stressed, there are times when I lose my creativity. So that’s one, Artist’s Block. That’s the most common struggle I encounter.

What do people say about your work when they see it?
You can’t please everybody. First and foremost, I go first with what they don’t appreciate about my artwork. Not everyone will see the beauty of it. Art is very broad. There are people who won’t appreciate it, especially here in the local scene in Cebu. There are people who cannot appreciate the traditional kind of art. They like smooth lines, beautiful shading, and the like. They treat what’s trending as their standard. When they see your art and it’s different from what they usually see, they won’t appreciate it. The good thing with traditional American art, the people who will appreciate it will come from other countries. There are some here in Cebu but the majority of my supporters come from abroad. Some people say it’s beautiful and they say good things about my work. And then, they’ll commit to buy my designs. I’m surprised that I can make a sale out of it. That’s where it started. At first, I was really hesitant to post my work online but when someone purchased it, I kept on drawing. I left it to the people whether they liked it or not.

How do you handle criticism directed towards your work?
Artists are very emotional. What we do to release that creativity, we need to become sensitive. Usually, when people give negative feedback, we get discouraged. What I do is I listen to it, which is really hard because I’m sensitive. Instead of not listening, I tend to write down what they say. And then from there, I try to see what I can apply to my work. Is it really applicable to me as a challenge or a reason to improve? Or I may choose not to listen to what they say because the feedback itself is not true. I filter what they say and I’ll try to improve my work from there.

What’s the most important achievement you’ve accomplished as an artist?
For me, it was when I managed to sell my work. They purchased it and they found it beautiful. I saw that they gave value to my work. I consider that as an achievement because it made me believe that I can do that. There are people who support me and believe in my artwork. I see that as an achievement because it fuels me to really improve.

Do you prefer working alone or are you comfortable working with a group to collaborate on a piece?
Artists have crazy ideas and it’s good to release them from time to time. Sometimes, I have that tendency to get shy when there are other artists in a room and it somehow limits my creativity. It’s good but I consider working with others as secondary. It’s good to work with other people because you can take notes or observe their best practices. But of course, I’m more comfortable working alone.

Do you have any advice to talented individuals who are about to start their journey as artists?
First, to believe in yourself. There’s a lot of things to be said, actually. Another one is if you need to draw everyday, do it. For us to improve, we need to gain experience. There are a lot of ways to gain experience. You can read books, observe other people, view their artwork. For me, that’s important. They also need to discover their own style, something like a niche. Art is broad. For example, I got confused about what I need to do. I drew anime, and then the next day, I created other kinds of art. It’s better to find your specific niche to improve your skills on. That’s what I see from people. When you have a niche, they say that this artist is unique. You get to see yourself contributing to society because it’s a different kind of art. It’s the same with music. Someone introduced a specific genre, someone introduced the Blues while others came up with Rock. Nowadays, all the possible genres may have come out already. I realized that modern musicians fused these different genres. The same can be said about art. So you need to find a niche. You can look for influences, try to mix them up, and apply your own style. From there, you can discover your niche and improve it from there.

How did you discover Merchiful and why did you choose it as the platform for your designs?
I’m selling designs on Instagram and my sales there went down because of a change in algorithm. I became friends with one of my clients. He advised me to create my clothing brand to earn. You can search for a Print On Demand, or POD service. I said to myself there’s nothing like that here in the Philippines. My friend said to just try and there might be one in Asia. I searched on Google and the first result was Merchiful.
I checked the website and the company. Praise God because I saw that they’re supporting all types of artists who want to have their work printed. I did not hesitate and sent them a message. I searched for them on Facebook. I chatted with the CEO. I was hesitant at first because I’m not sure about the fabric, I’m sure about the quality of the print because it matters to me. How would my artwork fare if the materials being used or the quality of the print is not that good? When we talked, I saw that he’s like an artist and he feels my sentiments as an artist. He really wanted to help me. From there, he also appreciated my work. It really matters to me if someone really appreciates you. I tried Merchiful and posted my recent designs there.

What can Merchiful customers expect from you in the coming weeks?
They can expect new designs from me. Recently, I haven’t experienced any Artist’s Block. I keep on beating it because there are people who support me, especially Merchiful customers. I will not stop. I will continue creating new artwork so it can be available soon.

How can you describe yourself in one word?
I have two words and it’s defying limits. My answer is different because I’m looking for a perfect word but my answer suits me better. I also used those words as a basis for a design I submitted to Merchiful. It’s defying limits because there are times when we limit ourselves. It can be because we are affected by outside forces, like stress, money problems, and family. When you try to draw, you need to forget those things and defy your limits.

While some things may need to end, your journey with Raemastered Studio shouldn’t have to. You can check out this artist’s Merchiful store and take a captivating art piece home with you. At the same time, you can also find Raemastered Studio on these different social media platforms.

Merchiful Shop: https://merchiful.com/pages/raemasteredstudio
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/raemasteredstudio
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/raemastered_studio/

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