Rey Bustos

Passion for Art, with Rey Bustos

Rey Bustos
Rey Bustos

When you meet someone who is passionate about a subject it can be contagious, whether you like the subject or not. But it takes a unique individual to really transfer and ignite that passion into someone else. It was a joy to sit down with my guest, Rey Bustos. Rey is a talented artist and an experienced educator. Our conversation covers the influence that Burne Hogarth had on both of us, his journey toward teaching art, and the role of passion and gratitude. We had a wonderful time discussing all these subjects and so much more.

Influence from a giant in the art world

When I went to school at Art Center I had the privilege to study under renowned illustrator Burne Hogarth. My guest, Rey Bustos also studied under Burne and ended up teaching his class soon after his passing. Rey and I had a wonderful time discussing the impact Burne had on both of us. He truly was a giant in the art and illustration world. Rey talked about how Burne’s passion and deep knowledge of illustration and anatomy ignited a passion in him that lasts to this day. It’s inspiring to reflect on the legacy and passion that one person can have over a generation of artists.

The journey toward teaching art

I have been fortunate to speak to quite a few artists recently who have also become educators. My guest, Rey Bustos also fits into that category. Rey tells the story that led him on the journey to becoming a teacher. He had taken a summer off from his time at Art Center to care for his first wife who would soon pass away. It was her words of encouragement that led Rey to move more and more toward teaching. She recognized his dreams of becoming a famous illustrator but she was convinced that Rey’s future and impact rested firmly in the teaching route. Eventually, Rey took more and more teaching opportunities and he’s never looked back.

An infectious passion for art

How do you pass on your joy and passion for art to others? Can it even be done? I asked this question to my guest, Rey Bustos who teaches art and illustration. He explained that for the most part, the students he gets in his classes these days sign up intentionally to take his class, it isn’t a course requirement. But Rey was kind enough to share what he does when he gets the odd student who didn’t quite know what they were getting into with taking his class. Simply put, Rey “Passions people to death.” That may sound strange but talk with Rey, and you can feel the energy and passion just radiate out from him.

Gratitude that fuels creativity

Learning from various talented artists over the years has been a joy and a privilege. Every artist has something that drives them, a creative impulse. My guest, Rey Bustos has many inspirations and motivations that he draws from. One of the key aspects that Rey points out in our conversation is his desire to highlight gratitude. He says “It is your choice to be happy or not.” Rey draws much of his artistic energy and inspiration from focusing on positive thoughts and the good things he has in his life. He has found this to be a better place for him to draw from then the things that aren’t going well in his life or about the things that he lacks.

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:30] My introduction to today’s guest, Rey Bustos.
  • [2:30] Rey talks about what drew him to art.
  • [9:00] Rey and I talk about our time at Art Center studying under Burne Hogarth.
  • [12:15] What was Rey’s biggest takeaway from studying under Burne?
  • [17:40] Rey talks about mastering figure drawing.
  • [19:20] Rey talks about teaching analytical figure drawing.
  • [23:00] How does Rey energize students who aren’t passionate about his topics?
  • [34:10] Rey talks about a moment of personal success.
  • [36:40] The importance of family.
  • [43:30] Rey talks about learning from the example of his father.
  • [49:30] Overcoming fear.


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