“Growing up as a mixed-race child and living in a third world country has shaped me and made me the artist I am today.”

RAM, a.k.a Ahmed Ramirez, is half Pakistani and half Filipino and grew up in Punjab, Pakistan. His family then moved to the UAE, and then settled in Toronto, Canada, two years later. “I’m a South Asian artist, first and foremost. My upbringing was on different spectrums and made me more versatile in my art. I like to play around with different mediums and paint techniques.”

With a rich cultural background from both his parents, his artworks are bold, vivid, and unapologetically emotional. Since childhood, he’s been drawing and is proud of his robust technical approach to his art.

Ahmed describes his style: “I create deep and disturbing images through the use of my canvas. I view the world in shades of red.”

His curiosity to learn, explore and experiment brought him to the web3 space. Apart from digitizing his artworks and minting them on the blockchain, he’s learning his way deeper and deeper into blockchain technology, NFTs and smart contracts – and isn’t averse to experimenting with AI (Artificial Intelligence) tools for art, either.

Like other artists in the space, he recognized early on that community was essential to surviving in web3. “Web3 is very transactional. At the same time, we’re not just posting or minting art – we’re also uplifting others and creating genuine relationships. For sure, there are collectors, flippers, and investors. As an artist, you have to recognize what type of person you’re interacting with and what they’re all about.”

When asking Ahmed about art and collectors, he says that it took him a while to realize that even if some of his artworks sold quicker or more, the artwork must be authentic to his artistic style. “You must create art that you want to create. The collectors want to invest in that; they want to support you for you. A flipper will invest you in for value now, while a collector will invest in your future.”