What's your name?
My name is Ruth Martínez, my friends and family call me Ru, Ruthie, or Ruthmi (which sounds like “Roothmie” in Spanish). On social media, I’m just Creative Ruth.
Where are you based?
I’m originally from a beautiful tropical city bathed by the Atlantic Ocean in northern Colombia called Cartagena. I was born and raised there in the relentless heat and soothing breeze of the Caribbean. Never far from an architectural reminder of colonial times immortalized in walls, cannons, and a fort made of rock to protect the precious metals of the Americas. A few years ago, work and love took me on a journey to a very different place in the same country, a high plateau up in the Andean mountains, 2,600 meters (8,500 ft) above sea level in Bogotá, where I’m currently based.
Tell us about what your ordinary day looks like.
On a regular day, I get up early, disturbed from my slumber, first by my hungry cat and then by a series of alarms I ignore as much as possible. I commute on a train-like bus system to a company where I work as a graphic designer for about 8 hours of challenges, creativity, and fun. At the end of the day, I go back home and puzzle until my eyes demand to be closed and rest.
How did you get into the world of puzzling?
My creative curiosity always led me to hobbies like paper crafting, crocheting, drawing, and even furniture building. But none of those activities ever lasted for long, until one day, amid the pandemic, like many others, I got into jigsaw puzzles, at first as a form of distraction from the chaos outside and to avoid insanity. But then, I discovered puzzles were actually feeding my soul, and as I dived deeper into this amazing world, I realized there was no going back. I’m a puzzle head now.
What makes you keep puzzling & how often do you puzzle?
I basically build puzzles whenever I’m not working, so, at night during the week and through the weekend, however, my preferred time for puzzling is from morning to afternoon, cause I like to have as much natural light as possible for building and for recording my YouTube Puzzle Reviews.
I must confess, at first, I thought puzzles were going to be just another hobby I’d leave after a while, but it’s been three years since this puzzling love started and it hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down, and one big reason for that is you guys, the community.
Since I started my Instagram account a year and a half ago, I have felt the love of other puzzlers who would share their passion, opinions, and experiences. The puzzling world turned out to be a very colorful place where I like to spend hours learning about brands, artists, and trends. All of it is possible thanks to this community of passionate, creative builders.
What is your favorite type of puzzles?
Illustrated puzzles are my thing. I discovered from the start that even when gradient, clear, and plain color puzzles are fun to build because they’re challenging, putting together a pleasing image piece by piece, and then seeing it completed in all of its glory brings me the most joy. Like a cook building a delicious dish, one ingredient after another to create a work of art.
So, for me, the artwork comes first. However, I do enjoy all the other types, including the ones that seem impossible to build. The 32000-piece puzzle illustrated by Keith Haring is on my list.
During puzzling sessions, do you listen to anything or puzzle in silence?
I can do silent puzzling, but usually, I like blasting some pop music on my headphones while building. I even have a Spotify playlist with songs from Ed Sheeran, Dua Lipa, and Taylor Swift.
If you were to describe what puzzling means to you, what would it be?
For me, puzzling is a passionate hobby, something I do on the side but wish I could do all the time. The kind of pastime activity that consumes your entire energy, like I think gaming must be for non-professional gamers, or playing instruments in a band must be for middle-aged dads.
Tell us about your other interests & joys.
I like paper crafting and making birthday cards for my loved ones. Also, watching true crime documentaries, mystery and cooking shows, even though I don’t cook.
Do you have anything you want to share?
My most recent interest in the world of puzzles is the highly demanding discipline of speed puzzling, but not too much for the speed part of it because I’m not really that fast. What I really appreciate is the sense of togetherness, hanging with friends, and building puzzles. That’s why I’m planning to go to the 2024 World Jigsaw Puzzle Championship to meet the international community.