“Five questions with…Abel Ramirez”

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    Detroit native Abel Ramirez has been creating professional images in various mediums for more than a decade. He’s done comic books, storyboards (for films), and most recently, a series of storybooks for children called “The Diny Tots” (www.dinytots.com). The next book in the series, “Diny Tots and the Hot Air Balloon,” will soon be available. An artist who displays versatility, a keen sense of shadow and light, and a style all his own, Ramirez is truly an artist to watch. 

    When did you discover art?

    When I was about five years old, my dad gave me old books with animals in them and told me to draw them. That’s when I learned to copy from pictures. I remember him showing how to draw a cat, too. I had Spider-Man and Batman toys around that age and tried to draw them as well.

    When I was a little older, my dad bought me my first Spider-Man comic book. And there I was copying Spidey again. It was really a goal for me to get human anatomy right. I started reading and collecting comics of various titles and have been hooked since; comics have been a great influence on me.

    Book Bin was the only comic book store in southwest Detroit. Before I could drive, I would walk about three miles to get to it and buy my books. On the way, I would see the Latin American murals on the walls of some of the buildings in the neighborhood, and I greatly admired it. To this day, I am inspired by this type of artwork.

    You’ve worked within a variety of mediums. Which do you prefer?

    I love doing charcoal, but I really enjoy simply drawing a piece by hand in pencil. I then ink the piece by hand, and after that, scan it and color the piece via computer software, such as Photoshop; this is a cool way to add colors and other effects.

    What can you tell us about The Pink Crusader?

    The Pink Crusader was created to promote breast cancer awareness and to encourage women to get yearly mammograms. She is meant to be an empowering icon for breast cancer victims, survivors, their families and for the cause itself. The Pink Crusader is also an endeavor to perhaps merge the comic book industry/community with the breast cancer awareness community.

    Last year, I did a Pink Crusader piece for the Bras For A Cause breast cancer charity event in Royal Oak, which was sold in a silent auction. Another 18×24 piece will auctioned off this September as well.

    Has art gotten easier now that you’ve done so much of it?

    I wouldn’t say it has gotten easier because I am always trying to improve. Trying to get better is always a constant effort. But I do have to say that it has gotten to be more fun, the more I do it.

    Any new projects our readers should be aware of?

    Yes. My next children’s book, “Diny Tots and the Hot Air Balloon,” should be out on Amazon in a month or so. This is the second book in a series I hope to continue. It’s about the adventures of four children dinosaurs and their puppy ankylosaurus, who come across a teddy bear flying a hot air balloon.

    I will also be doing art for a book called “Inspired Visions” coming out next year. It will feature the art and biographies of 20 Christian comic book artists. The art will be based on the Bible or other Christian-related inspiration, or life events.

    A Pink Crusader origins comic book is also in the works.

    For more information on future projects, visit http://www.abelramirez.com.

    If you’re an artist interested in being featured in an upcoming issue of Culture Pop, or on VIRTUAL Feedback, please send your high res images and a bio to cfortune@michronicle.com.

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