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Alán Ramiro

Alán Ramiro

Alán Ramiro is an artist who draws with fountain pens and tells us how he started drawing with them and his experience with them. Today he works with Esterbrook making unique designs.
You can find him on Instagram @seethelines

My name is Alán Ramiro, and I am from the United States. I'm a Mexican gringo. Gringo, Mexican, Austrian... And I travel the world, drawing. I started in Mexico, to discover my roots. And I've already arrived in Europe, I've been here for two months, I'm finishing this tour here, and I'm coming back to the United States and I'm going to continue to South America.

I do Urban sketches. Drawings on location... travelling. I've been doing an artist residency in Mexico. I was using fineliners or microns before,
but I only brought watercolour paper, coarse grain. And it wasn't working, not at all. So that's when I started buying the fountain pens. Because fountain pens can be used on any paper. That's when I started five years ago.

And well, I'm already seeing with this Esterbrook pen, which has a needle point. And that's why we use the microns, the fineliners, because they're very fine, and if I can use this point, on that kind of paper... Wow, I can do everything. And I've started to use the pens as well.

I draw usually what's in front of me. Then we were walking and I saw that we had this train. Normally I like to draw architecture, and that train was kind of architecture... It has the lines like this.

I already knew that I loved to draw... I was 8 or 9 years old. Society says that artists have a hard life. It's hard. So I thought: well, architects. We need them, they are also artists, they make sketches and everything... So that's when I started there: I want to be an architect. Since I was 9 years old. I studied, and I started my career, I did 6-7 years working in architecture.

But I love to travel. Art, urban sketching, is a vehicle to travel.
So when I mixed the two I thought: I have to dedicate my life at this time to this. See The Lines started in Barcelona, 9 years ago, studying architecture. It was born out of necessity. As a student, I didn't get paid for my internship, all my money was gone...

But I came to Spain with the intention of becoming a teacher of sketching, of drawing. But I didn't have the habit, I didn't start. Then when the time and money ran out, I thought: "I need to do it". So I started to make copies of my first drawings. And I put the postcard copies here. And I put three, six euros... I don't know. I don't know. And there on that first day I earned enough to eat for two weeks.

And See the lines started like that. As I see that in life I'm always seeing lines, like what to draw, perspectives, lines of connection with people, lines of connection with God... But I was always doing the drawings, always side hustle, doing See The Lines.

I went on a four-month trip to Asia, and after that I said: "Well, in five years' time-" I planted the seed that I want to travel, as I am doing. To travel to Argentina and teach, to be a teacher of art and architecture. So I'm making drawings while I'm travelling, I'm doing collaborations...

I've been working with an architecture firm, and they have an agent and they asked her "which pens do you like for the firm? They said, "Well, talk to Alán, he's the artist in this office". And that was the beginning of my journey. So it was already about two weeks-a month of being away, travelling. Without stopping at the office. But I kept in touch with his audience. We kept in touch, he tells him I'm on tour. And that's what made it possible for art to open the doors. And we are already in the drawing community, we are starting with the pens.

It is important for me to have at least three measurements in a drawing for depth. I started my journey with a lot of feathers and I can already see with 8 months travelling that I am only using 4 or 5. I have been in Mexico for 5 months to integrate, to travel and to get to know its roots. I thought "well I have to change my style, start to control the detail". I started, I changed my style. In those facades I see the shadows first, and from there I choose what I want in the details.

Every place asks for a different style. This one is from Geneva. Faster, that is, ink. And the rest is very fluid, lighter. This was in Istanbul. These details I did later. But most of the energy was from there. What I'm looking for is volumes and light, shadow. And if you see the shadows, those are also volumes.

It's like a relationship, when you start a relationship. You're... taking steps...
And I'm going to look for a place to draw, it's very intimate. And then when I discover it... it's like... it's like... A lot of people have bucket lists. I don't have bucket lists. I think with experiences. I meet people and I talk to people... and they say: "You have to go to this place". And if it calls me, I go. I never say "someday", because "someday" is "no day".

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