Q: Who are you and what do you?
A: Hi! My name is Royal and I'm a visual artist and life coach 😃
Q: What’s your ethnic background?
A: I'm Filipino
Q: How did you get your artist name?
A: I was learning how to paint with aerosol and someone asked me what I "write". I am not a graffiti writer but did want to have an artist name. I was thinking about it while I was watching the movie The Royal Tenenbaums. Royal made the most sense because I love painting in Royal purples and blues. Not only that but I love elephants which are symbols of royalty in ancient India.
Q: What role does the artist have in society?
A: The role of the artist is to reflect society, to beautify, to disturb, to comfort, and to make you look at yourself in the mirror and really ask "What am I doing?"
Q: How has your practice changed over time?
A: I think over time, my artistic voice became louder, more refined, and more confident. I used paint/draw what people would enjoy. Now I take more time creating things that have messages. Something I want to do.
Q: What art medium do you most enjoying doing?
A: Hm...this is difficult. I love aerosol because it's so new. It's like a puppy love type of enjoyment.
I love charcoal because it's natural and I feel like it is a conduit of my being.
I love acrylics because when I'm painting, it is a meditation. It takes longer but the rewards are fruitful.
Q: What’s your strongest memory of your childhood?
A: The time I left my country of origin and landed for the first time in Saudi Arabia. I lived in a 3rd world country where rolling black outs were a problem. So when we landed at the airport in the Middle East...seeing all those light was a culture shock. Oh, and when we got into our apartment, we had our own AC unit in each of the bedrooms! This was unheard of where I came from and was considered a luxury.
Q: What themes do you pursue in your art?
A: I love anthropology so I like to reflect strong tribal women. Feminine warriors. I also enjoy painting things that make people think. A lot of my paintings and drawings have themes reflecting current events. But I don't want to keep it too dark so there will be a few here and there that are humorous or whimsical.
Q: What’s your favorite art work?
A: I'm a generalist so I enjoy so many things! Salvador Dali, movies and shows by the Wachowski Siblings (I'm currently obsessed with Sense8), outsider art, I love Jermaine Rogers's poster art, crystal jewelry makers, fabric art, etc.
Q: Describe a real-life situation that inspired you?
A: I sold a piece called Bloody Mary...and that piece was inspired by this girl in high school who had her period in 5th period Physics class. She was mortified and I had to let her borrow my sweatshirt so she could cove the affected area until school ended. A lot of my pieces are inspired by real life situations but that's just one of many.
Q: 3 favorite songs
A: What's up? By 4 Non Blondes
Starve The Ego and Feed The Soul by The Glitch Mob
Make The Road By Walking by Menahan Street Band
Q: Is the artistic life lonely? What do you do to counteract it?
A: No way! I love it! There are so many like minded kindred souls out there being awesome and creative. But at times when I am alone, I don't feel lonely. Solitude is my homie.
Q: What do you love & not love most about the art scene in Houston?
A: I love the different styles of all the artists out there. So much inspiration! And what I dislike is there are people out there who just want to hang around for the scene. They call themselves artists but they produce very little and mediocre art but will rub elbows with everyone who's someone in the art scene just so they could be a part of it.
Q: What superpower would you have and why?
A: I would love for my super power to be teleportation. Why...because I think paying for a second carry on is ridiculous. Plus, traveling for free is the ultimate dream.
Q: What is your dream project?
A: I would love to paint positive messages everywhere all over the world. Especially in places where people don't get to experience art that much.
Q: Name your three fave artists in Houston?
A: This is difficult because three is such a small number!
Q: Favorite or most inspirational place in Houston?
A: I love sitting in the grassy area outside of the Menil.
Q: What inspires you as an artist?
A: My surroundings, other people's art, current events, strong warrior women archetypes, and nature.
Q: Can u give 2 locations where we could find your murals?
The Common House - 2102 Common Street
Main St (across the street from the God Wall)
Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
A: You have to match up your values with your actions. If you want to figure out what you value as a person, look at what you spend your money on.
Be sure to visit Royal's websites and follower her on Instagram
Here are a few of my favorite shots from our photoshoot.