Culinary Memories by Ruby Hughes (Sshepaints)

Ruby Hughes, a London native, founded her alias Sshepaints as a way to foster connection during the pandemic. Her painted scenes served as nostalgic notes from the past, which she sometimes posted to a friend or family member. Today, Ruby continues to capture memories as her art routine, from pasta to wine moments and the everyday beauty of life.

Welcome to Postery! How are you?

I’m doing great. I’m super excited about our collaboration!

Tell us about yourself and how you got started with art.

I’m Ruby, I’ve always been creative. Never ever would I have thought I would be an artist as my job. Sshepaints started in Covid. I started drawing people sipping Aperol and wine – I would send them to people I missed during a time when we couldn’t be together. I started doing little drops on Instagram, and it built up from there. My fiancé then boyfriend Lewis, one day moved all of his furniture out of his bedroom into the living room and made me a studio. This was a moment I thought, I have to give this a shot. Very sweet of him.

What are your main sources of inspiration?

Mundane moments of everyday life. Sipping tea in the morning. Conversations I hear from passers-by. Me and Lewis chatting about something, and I’ll be like, this is a great idea for a painting. The magical parts of life are in the moments over a glass of wine. That’s what I believe to be special and should be painted about.

Who are your biggest artistic influences?

I love an artist called Isis Maria. Louise Bourgeois, David Shrigley. My dad is a very creative person and inspires me greatly.

Tell us a little bit about your latest collection.

A collection I released recently was called ’Rules’. I wanted to use just language to create a feeling. Me and Lewis always joke about our rules of life. Always getting the bread basket, buying expensive olive oil and things that stop us worrying. That is what I wanted this collection to tell you.

"I feel so lucky to have a job where I can use my inspiration from the world to create things that keep my world going."

Did you follow a specific theme?

Yes, all the prints had a list of rules, and that was it. It was the most simple body of work I’ve created. The response was huge, and I think that’s because you could relate to it.

What motivates you to create?

My audience: I’ve got such lovely people following me and supporting my work. Now, I just want to give them exciting things to look at.

What does art mean to you?

The weirdest thing is, I’ve never been much of a huge fan of art/galleries etc. I think I like connecting with people more. Now, it’s my full-time job. It really means everything. I feel so lucky to have a job where I can use my inspiration from the world to create things that keep my world going. It feels very surreal still.

What is the biggest challenge of being an artist?

Staying positive about my work and direction. Staying inspired when sometimes It feels like everyone is making work.

How do you manage a work-life balance as an artist?

It’s a constant challenge, especially as me and Lewis share a studio so we really have to switch off work chat sometimes. Otherwise, there is no break.

Describe how art is important to society.

It’s uncomplicated and keeps us grounded, I hope.

How do you see your prints in an interior setting? 

As they are mostly about eating and drinking, I love it when they are in the dining/kitchen area. Having them sit as people create memories means a lot to me.

What will we never find in your home?

I found this so hard to answer... Can I switch the question? So – a big boxer/staffy dog. Haha.

What is your current obsession and why?

My current obsession is staying in – I’ve turned into a granny, and I love it.

Do you have a hidden talent?

I’m really good at balancing things on my head.

Would you say you are an introvert or an extrovert?

A mix of both, I’d say.

What are you focusing on right now?

Trying to wind up the year and plan future projects for next year.

Do you have any future projects coming up that you would like to share with us?

I love creating garments – hats, etc. So maybe more of this type of thing will be happening.

If you could only listen to one song for the rest of your life, what would it be?

You’re Gorgeous by Baby Bird. That song means a lot to me.

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