“I like to call my work abstract collage and psychedelic surrealism with a splash of digital elements.”
It’s pronounced “True-he-yo”!
Ramon Orlando Trujillo III, who goes by the artist name Ram Jillio, has embraced the mispronunciation of his surname as a source of humor. Despite the frequent mispronunciation of Trujillo as [True-jill-E-O] instead of its proper pronunciation [True-he-yo], Ram Jillio has chosen to approach this with a lighthearted demeanor. In fact, his artist name is a play on this mispronunciation and serves as a testament to his jovial nature. Interestingly, those who are familiar with Spanish have taken to pronouncing Ram Jillio as Ram [He-yo], further adding to the humor of the situation.
Jillio was born and raised in Denver, Colorado and now resides in Arvada, a city located to the west. He firmly believes that his upbringing in Denver has played a significant role in shaping his art and influencing his inspirations. The city is well-known for its progressive stance on the legalization of marijuana and its openness towards psychedelics, creating a vibrant cultural atmosphere that extends to its music, fashion, and art scenes. Ram’s own experimentation with these substances had a profound effect on his perceptions and has fueled a lifelong curiosity towards life’s mysteries. While the idea of artists using drugs to propel their work into new directions is not a novel concept, it is widely accepted and embraced within Denver’s artistic community. Although Ram no longer partakes in these practices, the unique perspective on life that they granted him remains a constant source of creative inspiration.
Abstract Collage, Psychedelic Surrealism and Digital Media
Ram has a unique style that combines elements of abstract collage, psychedelic surrealism, and digital media. His work is easily recognizable by certain formal elements such as the use of checkerboard patterns, a bold black and white color scheme, and vibrant color palettes. The subject matter of his pieces often includes recognizable figures, animals, or objects, which are collaged together with playful, childlike mark-making in the form of scribbles and splatters. Ram is committed to pushing the boundaries of his art and experimenting with different styles and mediums, including painting, digital art, and sculpture. He is always seeking new ways to express himself and avoid creative stagnation.
The artist finds that his inspiration stems largely from the experiences and moments in life that leave an indelible impression on him. The diverse beauty of nature, with its myriad forms, has been a constant source of inspiration for him, as have the intricate intricacies of animals and the varied expressions and emotions of humanity. Additionally, music has played a significant role in Ram’s artistic endeavors, particularly electronic music. He finds electronic music to be incredibly open to interpretation, much like his own work. The absence of lyrics in many electronic compositions offers listeners the opportunity to craft their own narratives, mirroring the open-ended nature of Ram’s artistic expressions.
Ram Jillio’s Transformation: From Engineering to Abstract Expressionism
Throughout Ram Jillio’s artistic journey, the biggest change has been the evolution of his process. At the onset of his painting career, he was pursuing engineering studies, which reflected in his work through a strong emphasis on geometry and precision. However, as he shifted his focus away from engineering, he adopted an abstract expressionist approach, allowing the paint to dictate the direction of his work, resulting in spontaneous and unencumbered styles that brought him immense joy. As he progressed in his career and faced the realities of seeking professional opportunities and exhibiting his work, he realized the importance of having a more structured approach. He now often begins his projects with digital planning, while still striving to infuse his compositions with his signature painterly style.
Ram Jillio’s BFA thesis exhibition is widely considered to be one of his most accomplished works. Despite having produced numerous pieces post-graduation that have garnered recognition, the collection of work he created for his BFA thesis holds a special place in his artistic portfolio. This body of work marked a turning point in his journey as an artist, transitioning from a student and emerging talent to a professional and seasoned creator. Through his fearless presentation of his unique vision, Ram Jillio was able to showcase his unwavering commitment to a career in the arts and captivate audiences. His formal education, which provided a strong foundation of knowledge and skills, played an integral role in the success of his BFA thesis exhibition.
Ram Jillio: A Dual Aspiration of International Murals and Exotic Car Art
Ram Jillio has two aspirations that he is striving to attain. The first of which, he is confident will be achieved soon, is establishing himself as a renowned international muralist. His objective is to create large-scale works of art beyond the confines of the United States, allowing him to exhibit his true potential and reach a global audience beyond the limitations of social media or his personal website. His intention is to accomplish this feat not just once, but multiple times, transcending geographical barriers and sharing his talent with the world. The second dream, although he believes it will come to fruition one day, may require a little more time to materialize. This aspiration is to paint exotic cars such as Ferraris, Lamborghinis, and Bugattis, which he believes would be an exciting and unique challenge. However, he acknowledges that he is not yet fully prepared for this, and he must find a wealthy collector who is open-minded and supportive of this creative endeavor.
Ram Jillio believes that art and other areas of life have a reciprocal relationship where they can inform and enhance each other. As a coach, Ram has imbibed certain qualities such as dedication, passion, and drive that have a direct impact on his artistic pursuits. His involvement in wrestling has helped him understand the level of commitment required to succeed as an artist. On the other hand, his experiences as an artist have given him a unique perspective on life. Ram often finds that the two seemingly disparate facets of his life can be meaningfully compared and contrasted. Although his artistic sensibility may aid his wrestling coaching at times, other times the two remain distinctly separate, much like apples and oranges.