Art by Juliana Ruiz, Buenos Aires
Juliana Ruiz
We are here for one minute only, so we better laugh while we have that minute
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Juliana Ruiz: The Life of a Latin American Nomad

By Juliana Ruiz

Colombian artist on audiovisual creations, muralism & living forever on the move


Upon arriving to Buenos Aires, Argentina (after traveling by foot from Medellín, Colombia), the 26-year-old Colombian born artist found a community where she could hone her profession as an audiovisual communicator and a self-taught muralist and illustrator. After three years, Ruiz begins her journey around Latin America to create rolling cinema alongside residents living in the countrysides. With three projects and an unquenchable spirit, Juliana Ruiz is leaving her print on the Latin American art world.


Describe Cinema Nomada (Nomad Cinema):

During my second year of University, I was taking a class called History of Latin American cinema class. My teacher mentioned ‘Cine móvil’ (Mobile cinema.) It was a technique created by Octavio Cortázar, a cuban filmmaker during the revolution to show his movie in rural areas that don’t have movie theaters. I wanted to create my own rolling cinema. I began by visiting the town where I grew up, El Peñol, Antioquia. For six months I showed Colombian movies in a little school in the rural area of El Peñol. While I was there I started an audiovisual workshop and by the end of the workshop, the participants had made their own short film ‘Paseo a la represa.’


Once I returned to Buenos Aires, I couldn’t find a full time job, so I spent my time delving into my rolling cinema project, Cinema Nómada. I presented it last January to the mayor of Colón, Panamá and it was approved. I’ll be rolling with Cinema Nómada next summer in Colón. The final plan for the project includes showing movies while incorporating workshops in filmmaking, muralism and art using all recycled materials.


Students from El Peñol, Antioquia

What is your process for creating?

I make a lot of lists, notebooks full of thoughts. At night, when I am at my most creative, I sit down, play music and start to review my notebooks. What comes is pure randomness, so I sit down and take a look into what other artists are creating and it gives me a motivational rush.


Describe the inspiration behind your project, La Huella Del Caminar (The Footprint of the Walker)?

The idea was born during my journey from Colombia to Argentina. I saw a lot of street art in Quito and Cusco. Many of the pieces were made by people from other countries. It was amazing to see how travelers were leaving their print. It was this beautiful intercultural exchange that inspired the idea to show my own experience and share it with others who have a similar vision. I wanted to spread my creations amongst muralists, travelers and locals alike, to learn from others and find commonalities that gather us as humans and move beyond borders or beliefs. Usually I am more involved in the artistic aspect, but for this project I am using my studies in Communication and Cultural Creation to develop and plan the project: budget, social media and artist coordination.


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Juliana Ruiz and Community

How do you think traveling and art correlate, why is movement so important for the artist?

The day I discovered I wanted to work globally and not settle in one place, I started to think of ways to merge the ‘nomadic’ lifestyle with my desire to share what I’ve learned and to learn from others. Projects like Cinema Nomada and La Huella Del Caminar are the beginnings of my journey.


What is your favorite medium of art and why?

Illustration comes most naturally for me, but I definitely merge all styles. I begin my murals with a drawing and then I add color and design to my outline. My main incentive right now is to create a film that includes all stages of mural making. We are trying to spread our artwork across all mediums – to extend the message that dreams don’t just manifest out of nothing, they need to be worked on and built everyday.


Please tell us more about your project JUGO.

JUGO is a creative laboratory I started with three of my friends: Manuela Monselva is a muralist, PickaBel is a graphic designer and an amazing visual artist and Laura Gamboa is a marvelous photographer. We are the base of JUGO, but there are others who help us with greater tasks.  We are painting the walls of hostels, bars and restaurants around Buenos Aires while involving kids and teens in lows-income neighborhoods.


Juliana Painting


What is your first memory of creating art?

Kindergarden! The teachers gave us huge sheets of paper. We had to walk, dance and jump on the paper with our feet full of paint. Come to think of it, I think this is was the inspiration for The Footprint of the Walker.



A Masked Kid Creating in Colon, Panama

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