Insights of an Artist: Meet Rei Blinky
In one single word, unity is the message.
As time moves around us, changing, twisting the reality we know through our eyes; we tend to focus on the morphing stage surrounding us, losing interest in the expression of all the artists that have a role in each majestic stage of our lives. We lose the sense of expression and by doing so, the right and almost obligation to make a change. One of the most free and passionate forms of expression is art.
I want to share with you an interview with a fellow local artist, who is making changes in his own natural artistic expression, reaching the eyes and staggering the senses of all the locals with positivism and unity.
Allow me to introduce you to Jorge Pineda aka Rei Blinky, a local graffiti artist that currently lives in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. Find out what the core of his passion is on the following interview, he kindly shared with us.
- When did you know you were going to be an artist?
I really did not know. My mother bought crayons for me when I was a little child, and my cousin was a very good artist; so I think it’s not about knowing, it was simply a calling that came down the road.
After high school, I got a scholarship to study in Puerto Rico. Being in Puerto Rico, I discovered that culture can make an impact among others, like it changed me and my way of thinking. I came back to Honduras, as an architect, and realized that the situation in my hometown was not the most favorable in terms morale and values. At that point, I wanted to make a change among the people in my city; and so that was when my career really took the first step.
- Were there any hardships in the beginning, or was it all a bed of roses to you?
I recall that after deciding that I wanted to spread a message of unity to the community, I also figured out that the only way to do so was passing the message in the streets; streets were everyone walked the route of insecurity. One of the first times I drew graffiti on the streets, one lady stopped and yelled at me: “you slacker! Stop drawing on the walls!” I won’t lie, at first I was afraid of the same insecurity that was found on the streets, and the really critical danger to my work and the reaction of people towards it. So no, it was not that easy at the very start.
- What is the main message you want to share with your art?
Trust, as it is something that is now very scarce in our society and the lack of it tends to create negativity and fear among people. The message is that there is still a community out there, and through expression all of us can show we do care about our society, we do care about our children, we do care about education and well being. In one single word, unity is the message.
- Was there a point on which you thought about quitting?
There was a moment, I won’t deny it. The lack of support from the city was frustrating, especially coming from a country like Puerto Rico in which art was widespread appreciated, but the point was to share a message and of course obstacles would be present on the road. That was actually the main reason I decided to start spreading the message on the streets, through art.
- What was the toughest criticism you had when presenting your work, how did you react?
Actually, criticism is not the word for what happened. It was actually a lawsuit for painting a wall that was just behind an abandoned lot (which was much littered). The wall was perfect to draw on since it was already white; the point was to draw something to avoid people to litter around the property. Long story short the wall was painted, and people stopped throwing garbage around the lot; but even though the wall looked great and no trash polluted the area, I received a lawsuit. I think that was the toughest “criticism” I had.
- We know that your name is Jorge Reinaldo Pineda, but why “Rei Blinky”?
Rei, because it is short of Reinaldo. Blinky, well my mother’s name is Blanca, and as a child I couldn’t pronounce the name and so I called her Blinky.
- What was your first artwork as a child?
I recall I drew R2D2 and C3PO from Star Wars.
- One of your main artwork pieces is called “Crazy Bird”, were does this iconic figure comes from?
Crazy bird… One day I was painting on my personal studio at my home and suddenly a bird flew in through a window and stepped on top of the canvas I was working on at the moment. I continued working on the canvas, but the bird did not fly, it continued there for a while. It was something almost divine, there, I understood what freedom means, choosing to stay wherever you are or leave to wherever you want to be. I studied birds for a while, and sketched them; after several attempts, Crazy Bird was born.
- Your mother was a huge supporter in your life, do you remember any anecdote that you can share with us?
Once, my mother was cooking and I was just a little child at that time; she said what color is this tomato? I said obviously (since it was ripe) red, she then stated; no, this one is purple. I explained several times it was red, she never accepted it and insisted it was purple. I was amazed on how she could say something that was so far from reality and still stand sure of it. She told me, no matter how many times they tell you something is red, if you believe it is purple then purple it is.
- What are your projects in the near future?
Continue to spread the message of unity among my city, and some other personal projects, such as a gift shop we are intending to start with my girlfriend. She is one of my biggest inspirations, and the love of my life.
Unity, a message through art. Expression is a right for all of us, and it does not come to my mind a most honest and gorgeous way of sharing a message than art.