Short Biography – Artist Grey Matter (born Ruben Young) is an illustrator, graphic designer, web designer, digital creator, muralist, and creative consultant living and working in Los Angeles, California.
Wide Open Walls,2017
Ruben grew up in Southern California in a gang and drug infested environment. Luckily it was the 1990s and hip-hop culture and graffiti were also booming. Creativity was always luring and drawing was a way of life for the young artist. After a chance meeting with a tagger during summer school in 1992, he himself was drawn into a lifestyle and culture that would lead to great hardships, but also great achievements.
Graffiti led to graphic design, which led to web design, which led to a love for digital art and illustration. Today he is painting murals all over California and beyond. He never stopped creating and painting and he plans to leave a legacy of color for future generations to be inspired by.
As a child Ruben experienced numerous hardships from foster care to homelessness, but art was always the escape to a better world. As an adolescent in Southern California during the 1990s graffiti took hold of him and became an outlet beyond mere rebellion. It was an outlet with an artistic edge and inspired the decades of creativity that would follow.
Today his inspiration comes from his lifelong love of comic books, science fiction and fantasy as well as the advancement of technology and innovation. Using these concepts as a starting point, he is now exploring the interactions and interconnectedness of humanity, nature and technology and forcing the world around him to make sense through a lens of bright colors and bold lines. Never defined by his past, he is diligent in constantly refining his own image and vision creating art and design through digital and traditional media.
“I blend methods I learned from years of doing graffiti with traditional illustration techniques to explore humanity, nature, technology and how they interact with each other.”
“I blend methods I learned from years of doing graffiti with traditional illustration techniques to explore humanity, nature, technology and how they interact with each other. In order to achieve this, I layer spray paint, acrylic and ink into composites of cartoonish imagery and incorporate stripped down elements of comics, science fiction, fantasy and pop culture. I take a similar approach of layering with my digital work. It’s my way of trying to find the meaning of life and existence in the universe. You know…answering the big questions by drawing and painting what’s in my head.”