Tell us about your artwork, medium, style, subject matter, etc.
I am a surrealist. I work with spray paint , acrylic and oil. I tend to paint about inner struggles. I look for anything that will help me symbolize or represent a meaning or idea for me without being strait forward, sometimes going off the intended path and letting my imagination run amok. My work can sometimes be convoluted because of this. I tend to use imagery with nature, organic shapes, geometric objects and patterns. I work in bright colors and high contrast.
What are your biggest challenges in creating art?
The biggest challenges I experience in creating my work is finding the right way to express what I want to say. I try everyday to be true to myself and it seems to be even harder to speak that truth in my work without being cliche. I struggle finding a visual balance between abstract and surrealism, also between a specific point I’m trying to make and pure free creativity. Because I’m such a visual person everything inspires me. I can get lost when creating an involved piece because I’ll keep getting inspired to move in new directions just from driving to the studio. I’m very spontaneous and this can sometimes have a challenging impact if I decide to do something rash like completely change a section of my work after dumping 30 plus hours into it. Happens all the time.
What is a day of working like in your studio/creative space? Do you have any rituals that help you get motivated or in “the zone”?
Every day that I’m in the studio is different. I’m a very social person so I like having close friends around when I paint, except when I’m on a tight deadline. When working on a project I will set myself up with the things I will need for that session so I can lose them shortly after, haha. Once I’m set up I will usually smoke to lose myself (and my things), crank up the music and then begin painting. That’s my zone.
When you are in need of inspiration are there particular things you read, listen to, look at or do to help find that idea or fuel your work?
When I’m in need of inspiration I do all sorts of things to find that spark. I sometimes write how I’m feeling about the subject. I will turn to books or videos on a subject, I’ll spend days on end compiling visual reference on a subject to digest or I scribble frantically on a piece of paper waiting for an image to present itself while thinking about a subject.
What would people be surprised to learn about you?
Im not really sure if people would be surprised to know these things about me but this is all I could come up with. I’m totally obsessed with Batman. Not just anything Batman though, I’m talking offbeat, mashup, variant Batman stuff. Even more so, the Batmobile! My prized piece in my collection (worth about 10 bucks) is a Batman cereal box from 1989, unopened. Haha! I’m also really into dancing. I’m a freestyle “house dancer” and “popper.” I’ve been dancing since I was 17 (I’m 34 now) and was in a short lived dance crew called The Loose Appendages. I’ve slowed down a lot in the last couple years though. I dream of having the freedom to just go out to all night parties again and battling people without worrying about my responsibilities! One more thing I thought might be interesting, for one day I was a singer in a band. My old roommate was a talented songwriter and I was really into Rockabilly at the time so she had written some songs intended for my vocal range. I was really into the idea and we practiced the songs. She put a band together from the guys we worked with and when we had our first rehearsal I had a full blown panic attack and because of my nerves I was so tense, forgot the lyrics and I sounded like someone was strangling a cat! Front man was no place for me! I’ll stick to singing in the shower for now!!!
What advice would you give others just beginning their creative careers?
I don’t know if I’m qualified to give advice on creative careers. I absolutely suck at self management and I have someone who helps me with that so I can focus on being the weirdo with the brush. Being a full time artist takes hard work, lots of letdowns, feeling vulnerable and sacrifice but the reward far outweighs the bullshit. I’ve worked a second job just so I don’t have to paint to survive, I’ve tried that as a full time gig and I’ve always had a hard time forcing myself to do gigs I wasn’t pumped on just for the money. Art is very personal to me. I can say don’t be afraid to paint about what you really want to paint about. If it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it. You will kill that passion inside you. Know the only thing that holds you back is yourself. It doesn’t matter how many times you don’t succeed with an attempt, you only fail when you stop trying. Always challenge yourself, don’t fall into the trap of being complacent with your work, be willing to struggle. This isn’t a race, it’s a marathon. Above that, DREAM DARINGLY EXECUTE FEARLESSLY