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doRamos Studio

“Creativity takes courage” ~Henri Matisse

About the Artist

dos Ramos Studio's

Chief Executive Officer 

Who: Jonathan Michael (Thomas) dos Ramos
What: Husband, Father, Artist, Writer, Left-Leaning Humanist, Mental Health Awareness Advocate
When: Creating Art Full-Time since May 2020 
Where: Current City- Rochester, NY; Birthplace- New Orleans, LA
Why: To inspire others to be creative, to show dichotomy in art and in life- the Gray

My Story

My name is Jonathan Michael (Thomas) dos Ramos. Thomas, is my chosen Christian name, or Didymus (the twin), named after one of the original twelve apostles who at first doubts the resurrection of the Lord but triumphs in architectural greatness- establishing churches throughout India and traveling throughout China after seeing and confessing "My Lord and My God".

Beginnings

In 1986 I was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. I lived on the eastern side of the city until May 2000 when my family moved to a small outskirt town named Chalmette (shall-MET). 

Being a creative yet strange child, I didn't have or make friends easily. Admittedly, I was very sheltered and from an extremely religious family. I attended a private Christian school for both my elementary and middle school days but went to a public high school.

The Shadow Behind Me..

Mental Illness is a shadow that followed me throughout my entire life. It runs deep in my family, especially on my father's side. Mental illness (paranoia, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorders) mixed with religion created a nightmarish cult-like atmosphere- extremely abusive at times.


I rebelled hard during my teenage years but my love for art and writing (although present in my earlier years) really evolved out of this rebellion. I completed my first art and poetry journal in 2004 titled “!Aviso! La Biblia Negra!” It was an account of an angsty, anti-establishment, anti-religion, anti-everything, gothic, 16 year old- driving his super religious parents up the wall through self discovery and by embracing the darker aspects of nature. But by writing this journal, I was able to express myself creatively; letting my built-up anger, anxiety, and depression manifest itself on paper instead of inside me.

A Dark Cloud

In August of 2005, I was 18 years old and attending and taking art and writing classes at Elaine P. Nunez College when Hurricane Katrina destroyed my town, home, and all of my artwork to that date. It was a devastating blow. But the worst and most significant life-changing factor is that my father passed away because of this storm. 


My father and I didn't always see eye to eye and we didn't have the greatest relationship prior to this point but his senseless death left me scarred. There is a constant tug between becoming and not becoming my father- a battle to embrace the good while recognizing, correcting or rejecting the not so good. When he passed, I was given this responsibility alone.


After the storm, I relocated to Oshkosh, Wisconsin for a couple years and felt I had lost a lot of my creativity in the process. Alcohol and use of pain killers became a routine part of my life. I did a lot of writing during this time but not too much art per se. I completed my second poetry journal "The Gray" during this time- highlighting the battles of depression and addiction as well as the feeling of being isolated and lost.

A Brighter Day

In early 2008, I got married and later the same year we had our first son who we named partly after my father. It was at that moment in my life I gave up heavy drinking and the use of drugs. I dedicated my life to being a better husband and father- to the best of my ability.


My wife and I moved around a bit from Florida to Mississippi to our current state of New York. We've sort of became a pilgrim people-roaming about. I joke and say we are still searching for a place to call home. 


I've had a lot of joyous moments in my life as a husband and father. And no matter where we may roam now or in the future, home is really where your family is safe. My heart, however, will always belong to New Orleans. I miss the smell of Gardenia flowers and King Cake cinnamon, the colorful sights of Mardi Gras, and the taste of creole dinners. Who knows? One day we just may return.

My Family Grows Unconventionally

In 2017, the family courts of New York permanently placed in our home our second son who had been living with us and moved in with our family since 2011. His mother could not provide a safe environment anymore for him and struggled with addiction. I petitioned for custody and to make a long story short; we won. 

Only one year younger than our biological son, they are like brothers and it's exciting to see them grow together- learn together. Our family is unconventionally complete and my greatest treasure.

Rediscovering Religion

Between 2016 and 2018, I became heavily involved in the Catholic church- partly due to a fascination with the church's architecture and aesthetic. I became a Eucharist minister, lector and eventually was voted in as the chairman of my Parish Council. 

I had to break the notions I had formed based on what I had been taught about religion. I chose to become Catholic and it proved to be a pivotal point in my life. I chose "Thomas" as my confirmation name being a skeptic and doubter in the past when it came to organized religion.

Education was (is) Important

Throughout all the moving and rebuilding, picking up the shattered pieces of my life, one thing was important to me- education. No matter what city we moved to or what dead-end job I took to pay bills; getting my degree was important as I would be the first person in my family to receive one. 


Even though my creativity and artwork was put on hold, I still wanted to have a career in a field that involved art, to some extent or another, so I decided to go into drafting and design.



Early Career as a Draftsman

In 2013 I received my degree in drafting from Pearl River College and started my “big boy” career drafting blueprints for multiple steel and rebar companies.

I worked independently preparing 'shop/placing' drawings for approval and for construction and 'erection' drawings for the field. My job was to ensure that all supplied material was detailed in par with the specifications of the project and CRSI standards.

Other duties included ordering materials from vendors, scheduling deliveries and writing up documents such as Work Orders, Material Lists, Transmittals, Change Orders.. etc. to ensure not only customer satisfaction but company profits.

Nine to Five Lifestyle

But I soon found that my line of work was boring and unrewarding. For six years, I sat at a computer desk by myself doing the same mundane tasks over and over again. There was no creativity. There was no designing- just detailing someone else's design and creativity.

It became a real thankless job as well. The only time I ever really talked to anyone was when something in the field didn't quite fit right and I had to play detective to figure out if the mishap was a drafting, shop, or field error. This is when my depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, and mental illness began to take over my mind and become obviously present. I was in my early thirties.

My Early Midlife Crisis

In 2019, I walked out of that career and never looked back. I sought out a therapist and started treatment for my now diagnosed Bipolar II Disorder. 

I became a driving partner for Uber as a source of income. A pay-cut for sure, but I began meeting people from all over the world and started talking to people again- making connections. I absolutely fell in love with doing it. There's something therapeutic about driving people around, seeing the city, meeting people from all walks of life. With the help of my actual therapy sessions, the medication I was taking, and with my newfound freedom; I discovered that life isn't about making lots of money or having the big fancy job to brag about. Life is about doing what makes you happy. 

In all, I'm sort of rebelling again but in a more positive way. With my mind seemingly clear for the first time in years, I picked up a paintbrush and started painting. 

My first painting after being void of creativity for so long was "Polka-dot Teddy" ~Acrylics on an 11X14 canvas given to me by a friend and neighbor. I gave it to my wife on Mother's Day to show my appreciation for her and her continued support.

An idea is born

The dos Ramos Studio officially opened shortly after that in May of 2020 when my friends and family were impressed by my pieces and suggested I sell them online. So here I am and here you are, finding my little cubbyhole in the art world. 

Here's to each piece finding its permanent place in the home of a person who truly loves and appreciates it. Here's also to inspiring others to be creative during challenging times- to do what makes them happy. Because..

“Creativity takes courage” ~Henri Matisse

My Art

My art style is mostly photo-realistic landscapes; I prefer to work with acrylics on canvas 
but I also work with charcoal and pastels. I do sketches, watercolor and woodwork as well.

Overarching Balance

Every work or piece I complete does have a darker element within it. I truly believe that its NOT our successes that make us unique or great but indeed our failures, tragedies, shortcomings..etc. What we learn from our weaknesses can be shaped into powerful and bewildering qualities and traits. Everything I paint or write has a ying and a yang- sometimes obvious, sometimes hidden but always present. 
Because of this, I make sure every item has either a story behind it, an artist concept, or a detailed description of the thought process directly on the item's main page. And no, there are no hidden pentagrams or Illuminati triangles unless of course they are part of the creative process and in the item's description.

The Road to Damascus

I'm currently working on a series of acrylic paintings called "The Road to Damascus" that merge Biblical stories, scientific theory, and Social Justice and Reform. The idea is that religion, science and political reform does not have to be exclusive to one another. Having faith and being active in one's community can coexist and work together to make for a better world. In fact, as a Christian, I am called to do so. I use my art to speak up for the marginalized in our society, and to advocate for taking care of the Earth we were given. I hope this series will show just that. 

The Journey Begins..

I encourage my children, friends, collectors, fans, you as a reader.. to follow your heart unapologetically- be that where it leads you. Do what makes you happy. Look between the white and black and find the hidden colors that make up your gray. I invite you to take this journey with me..
[If you or someone you know has a mental health problem, there are ways to get help. 
Studies show that most people with mental health problems get better and many recover completely.] 
For more information please visit www.mentalhealth.gov