Last year, Himed & Reyben were one of the Stencil Art Prize finalists for good reason. Hailing from Queretaro, Mexico, Himed & Reyben, whose names are Arlen Pichado and José Ugalde respectively, have shown that young artists are up there with the bests when it comes to innovative painting. . At their respective ages of 25 and 24, they’ve received critical acclaim for their sprawling, powerful and evocative artworks and murals. Here’s what Himed & Reyben have to say:
How did you get into making stencil art?
It truly only really began when we were in high school, so about 7 years ago. We just made a stencil cutout and then we spray painted it. At that time, we didn’t even know that what we had done was called a stencil, we only did it out of curiosity. As stencil artists, we are completely self taught.
How would you describe your style of art?
We do not like to say that we have an actual style, we just like to do what we like to do, and what we do usually incorporates lots of colour. It is important to us that we try to develop a sense of feeling or emotion in each art work.
Where does your creative inspiration come from?
Our creative inspiration comes from our own experience and our daily interactions with the world and with each other. Our creative inspiration stems from all of these experiences – everything from the good the bad, the ugly and the beautiful.
Describe your stencil making process – how does an idea move from an idea to a finished artwork?
We rely to a certain extent on digital convenience. We firstly decide on what we want to do for our next job. Once we get a rough idea of what we want to do, we then go on a search for something similar to act as a model for our idea. We either take the photo or find an already made photo that we then use to make necessary edits of it so it can be used as a stencil. We then usually print it out and stick it on a durable material, before we start cutting and painting.
What sort of techniques do you use to create a stencil?
We are big fans of utilising a wide range of techniques and we even like to experiment between them. Certain techniques you’ll find are high contrasts, layers, halftone techniques and we use the CYMK colour model to make our stencil artworks more vibrant and colourful.
What are your goals and ambitions?
Our goals and ambitions center around bringing something unique and new and different to stencil art. We would also love to do the biggest stencil we can.
What is the hardest part and best part about being an artist?
The hardest part of being a stencil artist is Mexico. In Mexico, there is little support for art in general, and even less support for stencil art, because stencil art is not a very well known technique. However, the best part about being an artist is being able to do what you like and what makes you happy.
Where do you see yourself in five year’s time?
In five years, I see us still doing what we are doing now: cutting and painting to make brand new artworks.
If you could impart some wisdom to young stencil artists what would you say?
Have some patience and have some dedication to your art!