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Meet Ruben Rojas of Beautify Earth in Santa Monica

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ruben Rojas.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Ruben. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I met Evan Meyer in a leadership conference and he saw me doodling and said, “Hey, we need to get you on a wall.” Now, here we are four years later with multiple murals around town and the country. I have always been into art and creation whether it was painting, sketching, photography, woodworking, sculpting you name it I have dabbled and enjoyed creating. Deep down I am a creative and will continue to create is as many capacities as possible.

My work is about taking back our communities one wall at a time. We are consistently bombarded by billboards that tell us we are not good enough; don’t have enough or are broken in some capacity and I’m reframing that conversation with my work/murals. I call these pleasant interruptions through paintspirations. By using the urban landscape as a canvas I’m choosing to beautify Earth.

I use the mural as a catalyst to spark a deeper conversation with people. Most of these people I will never personally meet but through the power of social media I get the opportunity to engage with them and see the impact that is being created.

Through my work, I change the visual landscape and negative messaging that surrounds us. With a little bit of paint and a lot of love. I choose to bring life to a neglected wall with a message that may dare you to dream, to feel beautiful, to challenge you to live in possibility and to love.

Has it been a smooth road?
Th biggest obstacle we have at Beautify Earth is getting permission to paint. Our results speak for us and have given us a great resume but still, people say no and do not see the positive impact that murals create for communities. It is seriously mind-boggling.

We also struggle with and are limited by laws. We do everything with permission and sometimes have to jump through multiple hoops dealing with cities for permits, neighborhood councils for approvals, etc. even though we have the funding the landlord’s permission and the businesses blessing.

We are consistently working on this and advocating for change within our cities to make beautification projects easier to approve.

All in all, it has been a wonderful journey and we have built relationships with wonderful people, businesses, and the local government.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
Beautify Earth (BE) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization with the mission of eliminating urban blight, by “painting the world in color,” and reimagining every bland wall into a canvas for inspiring urban creations. BE empowers artists, businesses, communities, and municipalities through action. The transformative power of art further inspires, motivates and instills pride in the community. Increased business revenue, massive community participation, and the “stop-and-look” effect of murals help to stimulate the local economy. BE continues to show that when art becomes the norm in place of urban blight, the world is a happier, more colorful, and peaceful place.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
We live in a wonderful city. I happen to be born and raised here so I may be a bit biased. 😉

Yes, it is a great city for business and for being a creative.

Every city comes with its own sets of challenges and circumstances, in the end, it’s about a person’s execution and how badly they want it. In business, we experience different challenges in our individual fields, we learn how to navigate through those challenges and be better operators. I know certain cities have easier rules and legislation but in the end, they do want us the business owner to survive and thrive because when that happens we all win.

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Image Credit:
Ruben Rojas

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