The youth are and will always be the future. They are the children of revolutions past, and the agents of revolutions to come. They will shape the future and as such should be treasured, respected and importantly – engaged with.
So with that aim in our sights – we decided to launch a new interview series devoted to the youth, the children, the snotlings. To understand their views on the World, it’s future and their place in it.
And we have decided to call it ‘Revolution’s Children’.
To start this new series, we are interviewing a young adult close to our heart – 17 year old American artist, musician and Tiny Tim fan Ricardo ‘Ricky’ Hernandez.
Get to know Ricky, his thoughts on life, art and a whole lot more – by reading our interview with him, below:
City, State and Country you currently call home?
Whittier, United States of America, California.
City, State and Country you’re from?
Whittier, United States of America, California.
Please describe some memories from key stages of your life: concerts, art, toys, romance, hunting, school, politics, misbehaving, religion… ANYTHING really!
* Age 5 – beginnings:
I was a very weird child.
The school teachers wanted to put me in special ed classes because I always wanted to do things my way as a kid. (Held my pencil funny and basically thrashed around by being verbal and on one occasion spat in a teachers eye.) I was very disruptive and fidgety going to school and was always that crazy boy.
I was very sick as a child having a spastic brain and getting seizures was a normal thing. So doctors began feeding me certain medicines to see what will fix me. Eventually they found it. I was very unaware I was “sick” so I still lived life going to the park with my parents, and watching shows like the Jetsons, Richie Rich, and The Pink Panther before going to school on the bus at 5am.
* Age 10 – continuations:
I was significantly better battling my on going seizure episodes and became slowly more social. I would bond with the other classmates about video games and why Micheal Jackson was very scary to us.
One of my earliest memories of these talks was my friend Ishmael saying in a very feminine way, “I’m Micheal Jackson, look at me, I’m gay.” I didn’t know what it meant but laughed anyway.
I remember my dad showing me Dr. Demento and I would sing Fish Heads, Dead Puppies, Squirrels. On one occasion I sang Dead Puppies to my parents after receiving news that someones dog was put down. They were pissed.
* Age 12 – mutations:
Our Family moved to Whittier, and we continue to live here. I still didn’t know who I was and recognised that there where certain social classes to school and how I didn’t fit in any of them.
At this year of my life I also discovered Tiny Tim and little did I know he’d still stick to me.
I would wander around and talk to other students about these little plastic art bead things, and I would sell them from 5-7th grade.
* Age 15 – getting serious:
Oh boy, I’ve entered high school and if that wasn’t nerve wracking enough, to start of the year, my mother took me for a hair cut and I was gifted a scary bowl cut… as you can imagine I was made fun of, I didn’t blame them. I learned to shrug it off and quickly made a group of friends with one of my best friends Isabella (or as I called her Isaac.)
I have very little regrets In life… and one of them was losing her as my buddy.
(Now) at this point i’m going through the worst point of my life. My girlfriend left me for another man, I’m losing myself and my muse for art is gone.
It really opened my eyes about certain things, one of those being my art. I really would like to do this as a living and have people love it just to also stick it to the teachers and people that said I wouldn’t be able to succeed at it.
“When life turns it back on you, grab it by the ass!” – My Dad
“If you love God so much, burn down a church.” – Jello Biafra
“Smile, pick yourself up and put on a grin.” – Me
When and why did you first start to make art?
… and any pivotal artistic moment(s) / influence(s)?
I started art over a year and a half ago. I loved sketching terribly quick faces and giving long gross mouths and just seeing peoples reactions.
I really didn’t have a lot of people that supported any of my art… but that one person was always my girlfriend (now my ex.) I would make her nicer doodles and those turned into notes, then doodles and notes and finally pieces of actual art… I would pour my heart into a note for her and followed it with a very small piece of detailed art.
She was my muse, and now that I don’t have that my mind wonders all over the place and I’m going crazy. So my art’s taken a weird turn, and future projects I’ve been planning.
I started the face thing as an insanity project. I haven’t felt fine since the event and with that event came the faces. People at my school love it, when in reality these picture are a reflection of my anxiety and feelings towards her… but on good day the faces will look more happy and structured instead of being rushed.
Please describe the usual process involved with producing your art?
I sit down and put myself into a very loose feeling when drawing the sheets of my thousands of faces… so that way I could avoid repeating.
If I’m feeling a very strong emotion I’ll make and actually piece that has more thought. An example of this is when my girlfriend broke up with me I drew a picture of me on a person’s shirt that had his eye balls popped out while a lady sat on the curb with her guts hanging out with a flower blooming from it. I felt so terrible I thought of this and how it felt how I felt.
The face drawing is more of an anxiety thing if anything… if i’m nervous, they usually spill out of my pen. But lately I’ve been listening to different types of music and blasting it while I draw and see what inspires me for those sessions
Favorite artist(s), writers and musicians / bands?
What usually inspires you to create?
The silly music I listen to helps, but when I’m in a manic state of pure shit I really thrive doing my art, or having an audience. I love people’s reaction to it all.
Making people smile with my art is a great incentive to make art.
Any projects you want to hype?
My dream is to paint a house inside, outside and furniture with everything in it and cover it all with my faces… or do the faces in a large area, so if you know anyone or location that would be open for this I would love it.
Making advertisements for locations is another thing I would love to do, whether it’s to make a goofy Uber Logo or make a character to market ice cream for the masses. But my current project is to remake certain advertisements for big company’s like Coca Cola or Uber. Even if it’s for like a special edition I would love to make crazy designs for these big companies, or even small artist or company… I’m very open for commissions and if an ideas thrown.
If people wanted to work with you, have a chat or buy something – how should they get in touch?
They can contact me directly on my art account.
I don’t have any of this PayPal junk setup, but if they would contact me I wouldn’t hesitate to set everything up.
But my email for business thingys: email@example.com
Generation Z Questions
Does the forever nature of the internet influence how you, your friends and other people your age portray yourself online and live your lives?
…and if so, in what ways?
OH BOY, I personally try to avoid it all shaping me (it being the internet) because I really try to stay clear of it. It really does happen to other people. That’s how catchfishing happens and clout chasers are created, they see the internet as this way to be noticed by people that don’t necessarily matter, but as humans we all crave attention in different shapes or forms.
So seeing how people make these sacrifices to gain even a grain of attention, it’s very possible to say yes people do portray themselves online differently.
Please define what ‘cancel culture’ means to you and your thoughts about it.
If a celebrity is seen doing something that the masses see as not entirely correct, they will make sure to have them blacklisted or shunned. So a mass shunning is what this is.
Frankly I don’t see it as right at all. To not be excepted or thrown away from a mass of people can really mess up people, and at one point you have to be able to accept that perhaps they’ve learned a lesson. But to permanently do this isn’t right at all.
Who are some of the biggest celebrities in your world? – not necessarily celebrities you like and admire, but celebrities you, your friends and other people your age often discuss.
… and what is it about those celebrities that makes them such a topic of conversation?
I’ve never really had a strong obsession with a celebrity so it’s not really valid for me to answer this. But usually what I hear is certain musicians that cause controversy or a very “beautiful” or “brave” celebrity. But the definition of all this is lost to the public.
What and who are some of the biggest influences in your life?
Tiny Tim, Daniel Johnston, and Jello Biafra.
Tiny teaching to never give up on doing what you love.
Daniel show that life can always get worse, but being contrived opposed to destructive is better.
Jello show that non conformity is very important and have a free mind and be aware of what’s happening.
How would you explain the concept of personal privacy?
… and what aspects of your life do you choose to keep private?
Personal privacy is just a matter of what your comfortable with being shared. For me I’m an open book for the most part. My thought’s are yours and anyone’s to pick at and observe into what I’m spiralling into.
A thing I would keep private is certain decisions I could do or my crazy thoughts.
Were do you see yourself in 10 years?
I want a stable job that pays really well to support a family if I were to have one.
I’d be with my significant other and we’d be happy.
I would love to do art for a living if I was able to live off that and support my loved ones. But for now that’s miles away, and hopefully I’ll be able to reach this goal.
To ask a grand question – In your opinion, how has growing up surrounded by the internet and smart phones affected your generation?
I say it’s great knowing a lot of information is at the click of a few buttons and Presto!! This is very scary though, because even though we have access to the internet it’s also given access of us.
So I believe everything all fine and dandy, but it’s inevitable for it to back fire at us.
Odds and Ends
If you could live in any place, during any historical era – where and when would that be? …and why would you choose that time and place?
Around late 1940s. The 2nd world war is wrapping up and productions at an all high for the baby boom that’s happening.
Music’s shaping into very beautiful things and people are living.
Perhaps the mid 70s when the birth of punk was being created. You can rebel and stand up for what you believe in and fight for it and most importantly stand up with a group and overcome adversity.
What role did toys play in your childhood(s)?
It was all great, more than great. I absolutely loved Legos and being able to shape a world with a click of a brick, hundreds of bricks was fantastic.
I’m still collecting toys, whether it’s a vintage toy, or something that just seems as absorbed as everything else is in the room of mine.
What do you think the American zeitgeist is today?
In the 60s it was all about peace and love, but now it seems to be complaining about anything and trying to fix that, and then creating more problems or investing a part of your life in a celebrity that probably doesn’t know you exist.
We as a race are never comfortable with this world and continue to alter it in anyway, shape, or form. So hopefully the masses will come to their senses and stop being blind sided on what a figure like Kanye West is doing and actually help fix this world.
What are the top 3 items you own?
My suitcase that holds my art supplies I take around.
My Tiny Tim Chameleon LP.
My favorite coat.
In a battle between musical superstars Tiny Tim Vs. GG Allin – who would win in a fight and why?
[Please draw the battle in all its violent beauty!]
GG Allin would absolutely beat the crap out of Tiny Tim. But they probably wouldn’t have fought because they both respected each others music.
Also I have a weird rule were I don’t draw Tiny Tim… I don’t wanna mess him up..
Please describe your last dream in detail…
I woke up and I was living my artist fantasy. I was known and respected for the silly art I did. People came to the door and asked for me to doodle for them or chat and have meals with. They wanted to know about me and would write about me.
They didn’t know though that in reality I was very sad because I had no one to love. They recorded tapes of my ramblings and we ended up producing it and I drew the covers for a couple hundred tapes. I turned my sad and insane ramblings into art and then even more people liked it.
And at the end my Ex came to me to talk. I woke up…
I haven’t seen her and heard her in so long I forgot what her voice sounds like. And just today I saw her from the distance and it felt like I looked at the sun. She still looks just as beautiful as we first met… I freaked out and basically locked myself in the school bathroom and panicked…
Of everything you have done so far what would you most like to be remembered for and why?
I would to be remember as that kid at school who was fairly demented and quiet, but had his brain racing with everything and anything in his mind who was quietly making art to try to bring them a smile.