Artist of the week: Ross Collado
Seattle may be known for its niche cafes and quaint waterways, but locals know it’s also home to an array of people who love to create. This city is full of artists that we love to feature every week on Seattle Refined! If you have a local artist in mind that you would like to see featured, let us know at [email protected] And if you are wondering what constitutes art, this is the beauty of it; It’s yours! Discover all our artists of the past week in our dedicated section.
Seattle Refined: How long have you been creating? What mediums do you work with?
Ross Collado: As far back as I can remember, I started when I was six years old. My siblings, cousins and friends have trusted me with anything that requires creativity. I would design personalized greeting cards and classroom visual aids for them with crayons or watercolors. In college, I started computer science, which took me away from my creative side for a while. Until recently, during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic and the BLM protests on Capitol Hill, I had more free time, picked up the brush and started painting again. Only this time I wanted a more expressive medium of emotions with depth and texture that I switched to acrylic. My first artwork sold was a commissioned piece for a Seattle-based art collector and friend.
Tell us about your artistic process and the different stages that make it up.
My process is very intuitive. I start with a concept in mind, but the brushstrokes and choice of colors somehow gain a spirit of its own and evolve the artwork into something else. It’s like walking through a creative tunnel of explosive colors and ideas waiting to come to life with a brushstroke. There are days when it would take about 30 minutes of work on a piece, then I step back and see if I’m happy with the composition. I won’t go to bed if I’m not happy with the room. Otherwise, I would just cover it with white paint. Overall, I enjoy the whole process and consider myself constantly evolving as an artist.
Tell us where your inspiration for your art comes from.
Cities and nature inspire me. More than half of my life I have lived in cities, but I was born and raised in a bucolic and almost isolated country village in the Philippines. Growing up, I lived close to nature, surrounded by mountains, forests, farmland with a panoramic view of an island volcano in the middle of a lake. As a college student, I got used to and privileged the cosmopolitan life in Manila amidst city lights and skyscrapers. When I moved to the United States in 2013, I felt so at home in Waikiki, Hawaii, a bustling city completely surrounded by nature. In 2016 Seattle became my new home, and I completely and absolutely fell in love with the life of the Pacific Northwest! My hike has taken me to so many beautiful places filled with breathtaking and breathtaking views of mountains, waterfalls, lakes and coastlines. I love living here.
Do you have a specific “beat” that you like the most – nature, food, profiles, etc.? ?
Yes. The abstract fusion of landscapes, skyscapes, waterscapes and cityscapes usually fills my canvas. But then again, there will be other elements that will transform the whole into something from another world or into the spirit of the world. I feel lucky to have patrons whose commissioned works have led me to create art that is outside of my usual subjects.
Do you have a work of art that means more to you or is extremely special to you?
“Nightfall” is the first commissioned piece I worked on for several reasons. It means a lot to me because it paved the way for me to become a serious abstract painter. The play also evokes intense feelings and memories within me, as I was working on it during the height of the pandemic in 2020 in addition to the tumultuous BLM protests on Capitol Hill. And then, months later, the same customer who ordered “Nightfall” returned the part to me. He tells me that my soul seems to be trapped in this painting, and that it is right that I get it back. I created another piece commissioned for him that evokes a more peaceful setting.
What experiences in your life have affected your art the most?
Besides the layered circumstances that lead to “Nightfall”, I think a lot of traveling and exploring different hiking trails is constantly fueling my art. I love to find beauty all around me, and I am also determined to represent that same beauty in a different way that touches heart, mind and soul.
If we want to see more of your work, where should we go to find it?
Like any social media savvy artist, you’ll find me and my art on Instagram. I recently have a soft launch of my website. I feel fortunate to regularly grow my network of clients and art collectors who have found me through word of mouth. Nowadays, I find that very astonishing. Also, I have a few mini-exhibitions going on in some Seattle cafes.
- IG: ross.collado
- Website: rosscollado.com
- Cafés: Capitol Hill: Espresso Vivaci, 532 Broadway Ave. East, Seattle, and SLU: Espresso Vivaci, 227 Yale Ave N, Seattle
What’s next for you? Something that you are working on right now that you are really passionate about?
I am always enthusiastic about painting more and building my collection of works. Much of what I painted recently sold as soon as I posted it on social media or in coffee shops. I need to keep up with the new works of art to replace the sold pieces. I want to continue this momentum to establish myself as a Seattle-based artist. I hope I will make another breakthrough and have my works exhibited in a real gallery or museum.
Finally, how do you take your coffee? (We ask everyone!)
Simply dark or occasionally with oat milk.