Born on June 3, 1985, my name is Raphael Francisco Tobar Jr. I consider myself to be categorized as a digital artist native to Miami, Florida and have done significant travelling and lived in other cities to educate myself not just the history of art, but also the current aesthetic trend in contemporary society. … Read More
Born on June 3, 1985, my name is Raphael Francisco Tobar Jr. I consider myself to be categorized as a digital artist native to Miami, Florida and have done significant travelling and lived in other cities to educate myself not just the history of art, but also the current aesthetic trend in contemporary society. My father was a well-known sign painter during the 1980s and who was the owner of Miami Sign Company. I was always surrounded by painting or, in my parent’s spare time, would sing or play music using the guitar or keyboard. In the early 1990s, when the sign industry was shifting towards vinyl installations, my father had to use technology that would cut typefaces out of vinyl material. The letters would be organized or designed using a program called CorelDraw, and this information would be transferred to a machine, namely a plotter, to trace and cut. This was my earliest access to programs used for creating digital art.
By the time I was in 7th grade, I was introduced to graffiti art by a student in art class. We became good friends and he acted like a mentor to me. He was skillfully advanced for his age, at 14, and taught me the basics and terminology of the graffiti culture. About three years later I began to master letter-forms in graffiti art, but at the same time I was beginning to have second-thoughts regarding my future as a graffiti artist. I wished to enter a new phase towards illustration but I was not ready to make a serious decision.
Still under the spell of graffiti art, I graduated from high school in 2005. During this time, I had the opportunity to live in Paris, France for 7 months. While in Paris, I spent most of my time being acquainted with important cultural documents and artifacts in art and scientific history at the museums.
Returning to Miami in May 2006, I decided to begin practicing illustration by doing birds towards the new year, since they were easy to draw. These pieces were the earliest attempts at making digital art to be sold. Though, I felt at the time that I needed more knowledge about the perception of contemporary society. I felt that Los Angeles, California would give me sufficient experience about the kind of artworks people from my generation would be interested in, and perhaps pursue a career as a gallery artist. I had the opportunity to move to Los Angeles in 2008.
I lived in Los Angeles for three amazing years encountering people from all walks of life, despite living under difficult conditions, and slowly learned the challenges and aspirations required to be an artist in that city. Slowly being influenced by computer graphics in the movie industry, my plans for becoming a gallery artist were cut short due to personal reasons, and I returned to Miami in 2011. Since then, it was a matter of focusing and apply these experiences for my art, and finally begin a new phase to break away from graffiti and enter digital illustration as my new manner of expression.
My artistic development has been delayed countless times due to my strong interest in philosophy, eventually moving into aesthetics. I spent several years reading books on the subject, teaching myself to have a clear understanding about my role and position in the arts. This delay has been both beneficial and frustrating, because I have a terrible habit in criticizing my artwork for intellectual reasons. It was until 2009 when my thoughts began to seriously shift into a solution that I could believe and defend. Very soon my views will be exemplified in an essay on aesthetics and finally focus my attention entirely on digital fine art representing the system set forth in that paper.
I'm 28 years old; self and informally taught by talented artists and friends throughout most of my life. Began my academic training in BFA Graphic Design since 2012; class of 2015. Read Less