A quick scroll through Ruben Hughes' Instagram offers an enthralling visual journey through stunning travel destinations and tastefully pared-back interiors, with an occasional glimpse of Ruben's effortless personal style providing a decent dose of sartorial inspiration.
The New York-bred, Copenhagen-based art director is an expert when it comes to crafting the perfect image, having started out as a photographer in the US before moving to Denmark and going on to work for some of Copenhagen's biggest brands. His innate creativity bleeds into everything he does, whether he's photographing a product for a campaign, rearranging his lounge room or throwing together an outfit in the morning.
We caught up with Ruben to pick his brain on everything from how he gets inspired to the cities he's desperate to visit next.
You’ve worked as an art director and photographer for many revered companies… Tell me about your creative journey so far.
The journey has been quite an exciting one. In 2012, I picked up my first camera after landing a job at Gap. I worked there for three years, managing their social media, which involved photographing and art directing Instagram campaigns across the United States. In 2015, I was tapped by Squarespace to develop and grow their social media. I worked with photographers around the world to show and tell their stories in daily curations. From 2017 to now, I’ve been living in Copenhagen where I've worked with various brands like MENU, Bang & Olufsen, and ILLUM, managing content and art directing campaigns.
As someone whose work relies heavily on the creation and curation of imagery, what do you think is the significance of communicating visually in our modern age?
Authenticity and reliability are ever more important than ever in the modern age. People on the receiving end of my content need to feel that what I’m creating is real and for them.
Where do you source inspiration for your work?
Part of the inspiration comes from my surroundings—I’m heavily inspired by the small and big moments that happen in my everyday life. The other part of my inspiration comes from the creative community—the load of photographers, stylists, hair artists, makeup artists and art directors that I follow.
What do you do when you feel creatively challenged?
I force myself into the world. I take walks, read books, talk to friends, listen to music, etc.
How do you fill your free time?
I’m an introvert/ extrovert. This means I like to spend half my free time at home and the other half in social environments. When I have the feeling for a good time, you can find me swimming in the harbour, sitting in an art gallery, enjoying a glass of natural wine or dancing to some music with friends.
Your work features a lot of interior design… Now that people are spending a lot more time at home, what are your top design tips for successfully building a personal space?
- Be creative, but realistic.
- Give each room a purpose.
- Give your home life other than yours with plants and flowers.
What Instagram accounts do you follow for interior design inspiration?
How would you describe your personal style?
Sophisticated, comfortable and modern.
What are your go-to wardrobe staples?
I’m all about the essentials—nylon shirt jacket, a classic white tee, woven trousers and low-top trainers.
AMI, Barena Venezia, Éditions M.R, Sandro and Prada.
As an avid traveller, which places are currently top of your travel bucket list?
Capri, Italy; Tokyo, Japan; Seoul, South Korea; Barcelona, Spain and Cape Town, South Africa.
You’re based in Copenhagen… what do you love most about the city?
The harbour is minutes away from most directions in the city. When the weather is perfect, I can leave the office and jump right into the water for an evening swim. This is also made possible by the incredible work/ life balance.
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