Which one is real? That’s the challenge with artist Richard Jasso’s artwork. His work is so realistic that when you put it next to the actual Bug Bite Thing tools it’s nearly impossible to distinguish which is the drawing. Can you tell?
Richard’s journey as an artist is as interesting as his pieces. He is self-taught, drawing for most of his life with a few classes here and there in high school and college. But it was when he got his hands on a really good quality box of colored pencils that his creations quite literally began to jump off the page.
@bugbitething Can you pick which tool is real and which is a drawing?! 😯 Thank you @richardjasso 🙏 for this amazing artwork! 💚 #itsathing #bugbitething ♬ original sound - Bug Bite Thing
That box of pencils got the gears turning for Richard, he needs something colorful with textures to draw. Food and product packing came to mind and Richard reached for a bag of Hot Cheetos. After drawing the packaging for these cheesy snacks, he created a short 12-second video and captioned it “Real or Drawing?” He posted it to his TikTok account with a few hundred followers at 5 am and went back to bed.
He woke back up a few hours later to 99+ notifications and thousands of views and followers. His video had gone viral and kept climbing—all the way up to 2.3 million views. Then the emails and messages started funneling in and Richard started collaborating with different people and major companies like Cheez-its and Starbucks.
“I have gotten to work with some really amazing and creative people on projects. It's like a dream come true to be able to do stuff like this. I'm very grateful,” says Richard.
Each project is a painstaking process, involving hours of work to get every detail right to make the drawing so realistic that it gives off the appearance that it is the actual 3-dimensional product. Richard starts by setting up his lighting so that it casts a dark shadow and reflects light on whatever it is he wants to draw. He then takes several photos from different angles, selecting one to draw. Richard also keeps the actual thing he’s drawing on the table nearby as a reference. Most of the drawings are done with colored pencils, but he also uses other mediums like gel pens, markers, an airbrush, and various blending tools.
When Richard isn’t creating, he is with his wife and four children or at the fire station where he is Captain. How is Richard juggling his new found fame with work and family life? And what’s next for Richard? Find out in part two of our Meet the Artist series!