High standards are teachable and students learn them through exposure in every area of interest, he believes. That's true. High standards can be quite contagious. On the other hand, low standards can also spread like a virus. And that's why we have what we have today - the junk that's on TV, the trash we see on billboards and some call it advertising, the moral degradation around us, the self-proclaimed professionals in this or that field, etc.
And, it's unsettling that some people think that Ruben's standards are unreasonably high.
I first discovered Ruben when I came across his comment on someone's Facebook post a few years ago. A young woman was looking for a source to buy a term paper for her class. That one comment caught my eye. It was just one word - Ամոթ, Shame! That was enough to pique my interest to send him a friend request. I've been following his work and his progress as an artist ever since. And involuntarily you get to see and read the discussions on your FB friend's wall. So, I can say that over the years I have read a few dozen interviews with Ruben, watched a couple of videos of his work process, bought a print with his work that's hanging in my living room.
However, I haven't got a chance to sit and talk to him about the driving force that's making him constantly raise the bar for himself. The source of his passion for creation and perfection. The painful longing for his father's presence. His appreciation of his students' hard work and dedication. And his ability to encourage and support anyone who is motivated to better their craft. Hoping to find the time to finally chat with Ruben when we're all safely out of the quarantine.
Ruben, thanks for constantly raising the bar for yourself and for those who get a unique chance to learn from you.