About Rubén Madila
Web Developer / Graphic Designer
I ❤️ art and creativity.
My name is Rubén Madila, professional web developer and designer. I built, designed and populated this website as showcase of what I can do.
I grew up playing with DIY toys in the corridors of an old hospital turned museum of modern art, Madrid’s Reina Sofia. Visiting my mum at work meant spending time walking around exhibitions, abstract paintings and quirky sculptures, of all shapes and forms; leaving me with nothing but confusion about how their value was acquired. Like two paintings I vividly remember, one red and one green, painted in broad strokes, blending shades but mostly uniform in colour, hang together as a piece. I stayed there for a few minutes, feeling dazed as to how anyone could pay millions for what I perceived as two surfaces anyone could easily painted.
It took me years to understand that sometimes that it’s the point. That art, as an experience, is entirely subjective, but dependant on the medium and the journey, the audience left to look for meaning, where there could be millions but it could also have none. It is an attempt to communicate, all things willingly and unwillingly, in a way that survives its own creator. A permanent expression of our shared history.
All the way back when I was 14, circa 1998, I signed up to my school newspaper, writing video-games, cinema and music reviews, all of them passions of mine. What started as a side activity would eventually become a safe haven, my social bubble, like our own little Dead Poets Society, but without a teacher. Strangely enough, this modest newspaper, probably due to the perseverance of its editors, would manage to be taken seriously enough to be invited to movie premières with our very own press pass and be allowed to attend Q&As. There I was, fifteen-year-old-me, mingling with actors three, four times my age, watching them show me their work while I ran out of reel film on my camera.
To see all those artists pouring their souls into a piece in the hope you understood what they were truly trying to say, was intimate, personal and meaningful. I wasn’t entirely naive, it was their job, but for me it felt almost like listening to personal confessions. So, I read, watched, listened and played as much as I could, in awe of how much the world had to share while becoming amazed to the overlap in concepts, patterns and stories, the same feelings being expressed over an over again, with different voices, different textures, changing with the time but keeping common themes. Feelings waiting to be acknowledged, fought over or laughed at, until they are finally reconciled with the world.
So naturally, I wanted to jump in feet first
Thing is, for most of my life I was told to treat art as a hobby, unless I could use that creativity to make money. It was the allegory of every piece of advice given, the way to avoid a life of instability and self-doubt. I became the friend with a camera, the one always singing at karaoke, helping you finish your website or design your tattoo. I also became a DJ, studied some writing and also film-making. I was relentless, hungry, ready. And all those years became a long, exciting but also painful process of careful experimentation.
But as much as I loved art, the reality was that I didn’t think I understood enough about it to be part of it. When I thought of the overlap between money and art, it easily became just mindless entertainment or a high-brow investment scheme. So that advice kept ringing true, to my dismay. So I found my only lucrative form of self-expression. I learned to code.
Day after day, I worked on a medium that channelled a new future for all of them, closely watching them adapt, merge and become one with it.
The attraction of talking with machines, of being able to see the simulation, green lines of code falling Matrix-style.
But as the years went by, I kept taking pictures, editing video, composing songs, drawing and writing, almost every day. My computers got faster, my cameras got better and I guess I did too.
I never thought it necessary to share that journey, or even to make it easy for people so see what I’ve done. So I neglected creating a place where to display it all.
But as of lately, I’ve become jaded with the way social media quietly forces everyone to process every piece of media through their mass-consumption friendly, algorithm-driven play-dough extruder. But that’s an opinion I will leave for a longer thread on my journal.
They are the reason why I initially felt I didn’t need a bespoke portfolio for my art and that’s why I think now is exactly the right time to advocate their benefits.
The way in which we consume art is as important as the art itself. Creating tools that allows others to tell bigger, better stories is what drove me to the web in the first time. Hopefully this website allows me to start putting my money where my mouth is.
So feel free to browse and share, feel inspired or moved.
I am already grateful you made it this far.
If you have any potential collaborations you’d like to discuss it, please do get in touch.