JUST ANOTHER DAY IN PARADISE FOR ARTIST RUBY MAZUR By Sandra Castillo
Imagine waking up to a dawn illuminated by the last remnants of twilight and watercolor silhouettes, followed by a glorious morning wrapped in the golden rays of the sun. As a warm, balmy breeze stirs amongst towering palms, graciously caressing your face, you stand at the ocean’s edge and marvel at a horizon serenaded by the symphony crashing off the waves of the grand Pacific.
You get the picture.
For artist Ruby Mazur, who has lived in Maui for 15 years, this scenario pretty much sums up his daily existence. The second largest island in the arena of the Hawaiian archipelago, Maui is a top-drawer destination for those looking to luxuriously bask in the warmth of the sun or spend a tropical vacation snorkeling, surfing or whale watching. With its 30 miles of beaches, bamboo forests and breathtaking scenery, Maui is considered one of the most idyllic places on the planet.
With an illustrious career that spans some fifty years, Mazur is one of the most renowned and respected illustrators/painters in the business today. His legacy includes the designing of more than 3,000 album covers for artists as diverse as Ray Charles, Van Morrison, Billy Joel, Sara Vaughan, Jim Croce and Elton John. Amongst this significant contribution to the music industry, he has also created covers for movie soundtracks, including “Malcolm X,” “Lenny Bruce,” “Willie Wonka and The Chocolate Factory” and the 1970 cinematic classic “Love Story,” starring Ryan O’Neal and Ali MacGraw.
Born in Brooklyn, New York, Mazur’s ascent into the business began when he was hired on with Paramount Records as the company’s Art Director. From there, he went on to receive a Grammy Award nomination for the “Crow Foot” album cover he had designed. Not one to merely settle on his laurels with this prestigious nod to his talents as a graphic designer with a major mojo for Rock and Roll, Mazur established his own creative design agency that took precedence in Los Angeles, New York and London. From there, he connected with Warner Brothers, MCA, EMI and others to turn out work of the aforementioned record companies’ clients.
For all that Mazur has accomplished in his esteemed tenure as an artist, it must be noted that he is the one responsible for the emblem recognized and associated with The Rolling Stones, by way of the band’s “Tumbling Dice” record sleeve-the famed “Mouth & Tongue” logo.
When asked to describe what it’s like to reside in Maui and a typical day on the island, Mazur replied,
“Maui, truly, is paradise. Every day is sunny and 83-degrees all year round. People, whether you know them or not, say ‘Aloha’ and mean it. People here are never rushing around and live a very normal, slower, stress-free life. Yes, waking up and seeing the sun shining automatically puts me in a good mood.”
Mazur’s massive art output is no small feat, considering the amount of time and energy he devotes every single day to his craft. His stunning portraits of such legends as Keith Urban, Taylor Swift, Bruno Mars, Tom Petty, Stevie Nicks, Bruce Springsteen, Willie Nelson, Lenny Kravitz and many more are testament of the dedication and exemplary job he employs to complete these artistic masterpieces. He explained what an average day is like for his turn at the drawing board.
“My usual day goes something like this: I go to sleep around 8 PM and wake up between 11 PM and midnight, make a cup of coffee and am sitting at my easel, the latest at midnight, paint until 5 AM and go back for a one-and-a-half hour nap that brings me back to my painting at 6:30 AM and then I’ll paint ‘til 9. Then, as a ritual, I hit the beach ‘til noon, come home, have lunch and refresh with a one-hour nap and start all over again. Painting, to me, is like breathing. I can’t live without it!”
Mazur reflected on a certain, special moment in his life which involved a legendary guitarist and a portrait that he had done of him. When he was asked what it means to be able to create the kind of art pieces that he does and then procure the opportunity to present them to his recipients, he responded,
“Pretty much fantastic. It’s like for a musician, when they receive a standing ovation. One, in particular, was when I did a painting of Carlos Santana, and we had a scheduled meeting backstage here on Maui, I presented him with my painting I had created for him. When he first saw it, his first words were ‘OMG, I look at this painting, and I hear my notes I’m playing!’
“The hairs on my arms just stood straight up. When I told him I was going to give him the original, if he would sign the same size print I brought for me, he replied, ‘NO.’ Embarrassed, I thought, perhaps, he was insulted until he said, ‘How about I sign the original for YOU and you give me that beautiful print?’
Mazur then exclaimed, “Wow…what a guy!”
The last inquiry posed to the artist was one for those who are interested in viewing more of the art by Ruby Mazur-
“Right now, my paintings are in the permanent collection at the Bill Wyland Gallery on Maui and in the POP by LaMantia Gallery in Northpoint, Long Island, NY,” said Mazur.
For more information, please visit- www.rubymazurgallery.com