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Unique art from an aerosol can

Ricky Misas, of Newhall, finds his inner artist

Posted: September 30, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: September 30, 2012 2:00 a.m.

Ricky Misas, 24, of Newhall shows a few of his art works stored in his workspace.

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Ricky Misas, 24, is an accomplished artist creating meaningful and striking works of art using tools often associated with, as he described it, “hoodie wearing hoodlum art” — graffiti.

Unlike the “tags” that adorn block walls, freeway abutments and the sides of buildings, his paintings are crafted using painstakingly hand cut stencils and color from the nozzle of an aerosol can.

Misas, of Newhall, lives with his parents, Adele and Patrick Burk, and has claimed a small part of the home’s garage as his studio.

“My dad says, don’t get paint on my cars,” he said.

Unlike many other artists, Misas didn’t discover his obsession with art until just a few years ago.

The self-taught artist said he hasn’t taken any formal art training.

“The last art class I took was in third grade, in elementary school,” he said. “I wish I had taken more art training so my work could be more refined.”

Instead, Misas has been pushed by his parents.

“My parents have always said that I have a knack for art,” he said. “I didn’t see it. I am grateful that they have pushed me.”

Misas now finds his work in demand after an appearance at the August Senses, Rockabilly Street Show held on Main Street in Newhall, where he demonstrated his stencil painting technique.

His discovery of his inner artist dates back only two years, to a job working as an after school counselor in a YMCA program.

“Parents saw what I was doing and things just progressed from it being a hobby to getting customers,” he said. “It’s just really blown up and progressed really fast.”

Misas said spray paint art can be challenging.

“It is a little difficult to make sure you have the stencils on right and then to put on the right colors,” he said. “But I chose spray paint because I want to take the feel of the street art and bring it to the public through art shows and street fairs. It’s not just on the street, it is on canvas, too.”

Misas says he expresses himself “legally.”

“That’s how it should be done,” he said. “I want people to see this art has legitimate.”

To craft his pieces Misas first hand cuts a stencil, sometimes as many as nine stencils for a single painting.

“Cutting the stencils takes the longest time,” he said.

After the stencils are cut he lays each stencil, one at a time, onto canvas and then spray paints the chosen color over the stencil. Each part of the process has to dry before another stencil and color can be added.

“It’s a long process,” Misas said.

The use of multiple stencils gives his artwork a “more realistic, in-depth look,” said Misas.

He often will photograph a model of an image that he wants to turn into art.

“I use my girlfriend as a model a lot, also neighbors, friends of friends, kids of neighbors,” he said.

He gets his inspiration for his pieces while listening to music on iTunes or Pandora.

“I use symbols and designs, song titles, I mix and match a lot of things to get an original piece,” he said. “My art is how I feel at the time.”

Word of mouth has brought Misas a continuous stream of orders.

Currently Misas works full time at L.A. Police Gear as a customer service representative.

His art has to wait until after work and on weekends.

“I am going to start taking my stencils to work so I can cut them out during breaks and lunch time,” he said.

Misas lived in
Green Valley until fifth grade, then moved with his family to Newhall.

He attended Wiley Canyon Elementary School, followed by Placerita Junior High School. Misas is a 2006 graduate of William S. Hart High School.

He also took Early Childhood Education classes at College of the Canyons.

Misas said he is going to continue to refine his skills and see where his art takes him.

“I want to continue to do art shows, hopefully around the world someday,” he said. “I am also working toward being able to create art free hand, too.”

For more information on the art of Ricky Misas call 661-312-5535 or see R.M. Design on Facebook.

mbuttelman@the-signal.com

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