What a lucky duck I am to be bringing you an interview with the man behind Bromero Cards; Ricky Burton-Romero!
I am so grateful for this series because I hadn’t heard of him prior to it and I was unfortunately missing out on some really amazing work. Ricky is a gifted artist. His rich, vibrant colors practically leap off of his cards.
Make sure you check him out; don’t be like me and miss out on seeing such beauty. I’ll have all his links posted at the end.
What is your name, and in which country do you currently reside?
My name is Ricky Burton-Romero and I live in Chicago, IL, USA.
How did you first become involved in card making?
I first became involved in card making by accidentally stumbling upon a video by Kristina Werner. I was doing some adult coloring and looking up some techniques when I came across Kristina coloring. She was making a greeting card and I thought, “I could do that.”
9 million dollars later spent I am making cards!
What do you enjoy most about card making?
I enjoy the mental break it provides me from the everyday outside world. Being able to create without being pulled in 8 different directions is nice. Card making allows me to put my creative mind to work and create something that I feel good about. Then I get to give the card to someone which makes them happy, too.
I love the variety of products out there and that there are so many different types of card making styles. The sky is the limit!
Stereotypically card making is considered by many to be a hobby in which only females participate. Have you experienced any judgment or discrimination based on this stereotype?
Yes, in fact. I have had a few instances at stamping conventions where I have been told, “Why are you here? This is a woman’s industry!” I also have been advised that “men ruin everything.”
Several times I have walked into craft stores only to have the associates advise me as to what kind of store I’m in. It’s like they think because I’m a male I’d stumbled in by accident.
How do you deal/ how have you dealt with the judgment or discrimination?
At first I was taken aback by the comments. Then I reflected upon them and can understand why there is a hesitancy towards males in a female dominated industry. I just politely say that I am sorry that they feel that way but I really do enjoy creating and making people happy.
That is what is most important, right?
Do you feel that, as a male card maker, you bring any experiences or attributes to the craft that you might not otherwise if you were female?
I think the one thing that we bring to the crafting industry is the “masculine” portion of the card making experience. Often times I see that females have creative blocks when it comes to masculine cards and I think as males we can bring a new perspective to the industry.
Other than that I think we all are cut from the same cloth when it comes to card making. We all strive for a similar result, which is to make people happy through paper crafting.
What is the best thing about being a male card maker?
The best thing about being a male card maker is that we stand out. Since there aren’t many of us out there, when people find us, they REALLY find us. I like that.
Also I have noticed that while there aren’t many male crafters, when we do find one another we support each other big time. I have had countless discussions with other male crafters about products and ideas that we like.
What is the most challenging?
The most challenging is trying to break into a female dominated industry and manage to be taken seriously. I suppose it is the same feeling that a lot of females experience when working in a predominately male field; the roles are just reversed.
This honestly opens my eyes to what women experience; which, might I add, is something more men should be trying to understand. There should be no glass ceilings to break for anyone.
What changes, if any, would you like to see happen in the card making industry as far as male card makers are concerned?
While I see it getting better I think having more representation on design teams would be nice. I have been lucky and have served on a couple design teams myself.
Unfortunately more often than not when a company releases its design team information male faces are not present.
I would also like to see less “Okay ladies….” posts and less assumption that every person in a group is female. I see that getting better as well, though.
Do you do any other crafts?
I do not do any other crafts unless you count giving dogs hugs to be a form of art. Which in all honesty should be!
Have you always been creative?
I have not always been creative. For the longest time I struggled with being called an “artist” because, in my mind, I was only a card maker. Then after some reflection I realized wow, I am creative and I do do artistic work; it’s just on a smaller scale.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
I get a lot of inspiration from YouTube and Pinterest. I also look out into the world and see inspiration there as well. Living in Chicago provides me with plenty of opportunities to find inspiration.
Is there anything you struggle with in terms of card making?
How many times am I going to drop a whole container of embossing powder on the floor before I learn to ALWAYS put the lid on right after use? Of course, just after that is trying to come up with ideas or something different. Also I sometimes lose my mojo and must bring myself back to the craft room. Getting started after a short hiatus is always hard for me but so joyous when my mojo is back.
What has been your proudest card making moment or achievement?
I think it was being followed by Jennifer McGuire on Instagram. It made me feel “official”.
What, if anything, would you change about the card making community?
There isn’t anything much that I would change about the card making community other than having companies only make half the number of cute products because my wallet is suffering!
All jokes aside the card making community is fantastic and the changes I would make are minor. I think the community as a whole is the greatest.
How would you describe your card-making style?
My card making style varies but my favorite type is clean and simple. I am not sure why but clean and simple cards always catch my eye.
I love all things nature so a nature or animal theme is always a winner in my book.
What words of wisdom or encouragement do you have for others?
If you are just starting; stick to it. Your card making will grow as you do.
Shop smart; use YouTube or blogs for reviews on products. In the beginning I spent a lot of money on things I didn’t need or ever used.
Be a part of the community; If you post photos on Instagram and expect people to like or favorite your post, do the same for others as well.
Ask questions and don’t be afraid of failure (because it will happen every now and then).
For the guys; you may receive some negative comments in the beginning but once people see you are serious about the hobby and that you are respectful they tend to come around.
Ricky, thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with us. I agree with you on a lot of what you shared. I also struggled with referring to myself or even thinking of myself as an artist for a long time.
I also love what you said about how if you want to get likes and comments on your posts you need to go like and comment on others’ posts. It’s a give and take.
I’m sorry you’ve had people say such awful things to you. You belong here and I am happy that you are a part of the creative community.
If you’d like to see more of Ricky’s work (and trust me; you definitely will) you can find him
On Instagram at BromeroCards
On his website
Thanks for stopping by. Make sure you’re subscribed to this blog so you won’t miss another interview!
Until next time,
Fish, dish, birthday wish,