I met Ruth Chapa, word of mouth, and fell in love with her Instagram feed. Her work has such an ethereal vibe with a touch of whimsy, and heavy doses of imagination. I imagine that if themes had heartbeats each one of Ruth's photos is the pulse of the beat visualized. The love and passion that she has for what she does pours out in each photo, and is clear in concepts that she develops for her more conceptual photography shoots.
I got the chance to work with Ruth for a project that was near and dear to my heart, Suicide Awareness. It is a delicate topic in our society and often times when I work with different people they can find the topic intimidating or just not get the way I want to discuss the topic.
But when I reached out to Ruth she was a total God send. She not only got the concept but put her whole heart into helping me create the image that I conceptualized in my head. It was an anamzing experience and gave me a great respect for her and how her heart leads her work.
I decided that I needed to do something creative and I used photography as an outlet. - Ruth Chapa
I asked Ruth if she'd share her, Unbelievably Human, heart with us and this is what she had to say about Art as a tool of self expression and how it gave her, her life back.
How do you express yourself daily?
I spend a lot of time editing [photos] and listening to music. I've challenged myself to take more photos with my iPhone and get out there and explore a little bit more!
How did art come into your life?
They didn't really have art programs in Mexico[where I grew up]; when I moved back to America, in the 6th grade, I realized they offered them and I was the first to sign up! I took every art class offered every year, after that.
What did it take to convince you, you were an artist?
I wasn't very good at anything else! Haha.
What shifted for you to take your art to the next level?
I saw photography as a career. That's what really took it to the next lever. I believe that anyone would be so incredibly lucky to do what they love for a living.
What's your inspiration.? How do you feed/care for your artist?
With things like Instigram and Tumblr I’m constantly being fed inspiration. I follow people who inspire me. I don't like to limit myself to just photographs. I’m really inspired by the world around me. I just try to take some time to look.
What's the relationship with art to your day job? What do you tell people you do?
No relation what so ever! The reason why I love my day job is because it allows me to what I love. I only work 3 days a week and it's pretty stress free. I then have 4 days off to take photographs, which is great!
How did your art help you with your love for 1. Self, 2. Others, 3. Life?
Allowing art back in my life was like feeding a starving soul. I was more happy and there for more happy around others.
Has art been a form of creative therapy for you?
Absolutely! After I graduated I kinda just jumped from job to job. I didn't know what I was doing. I didn't know what I was suppose to do. I didn't go to collage. My parents didn't have money to support me… so it was all on me. When I graduated [high school] I had a goal… "When I'm 25 I'm going to be [Insert great, unrealistic dream]”.
I was pushed into the real world with no idea how to survive as an artist. I felt like I was dying inside. I fell into a deep depression. When I turned 25, I was working at a warehouse. I felt like I had wasted the last 7 years- they just flew by!
That artist I once was, was now dead. If there was a life meter then mine was on negative! That’s when I had an epiphanic moment. I decided that I needed to do something creative and I used photography as an outlet. It saved my life. It saved my sanity.
Has your art called you to a different way of living and seeing the world? If so how?
Yes! I thought I needed to have materialistic things to feel accomplished.That is not the case at all! At least not for me.
In my moment of epiphany; it was almost like the artist I once was stepped outside of my body and observed the being I had become. I had let societies view on reality rule my life. I realized that I had to power to make myself happy, I was the only one that can give myself that gift. I realized that the ultimate goal in life was happiness… It wasn't a nice home or a nice car.
I want to travel, I want to do and enjoy the things I love the most, I want to live free. My ultimate goal in life is to see the world, collect little moments of happiness, and capture all of that through my lens!
Ruth is Truly Unbelievably Human!
All Photos in this post are Courtesy of RuthChapa.com
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