1. How did you get started creating art? Did you start at a young age or was it something that you began to do when you were older? Has it changed over time?
Well, when I was like 6, some dude came into Louis Little Folks (my preschool at the time) and started drawing these airplanes. And I thought it was the sickest shit; I really took to the whole drawing thing, so I’d draw Mickey’s and Spongebob’s and just fuckin’ go to town while all the other kids were chillin’ on the swing set. It just kind of grew from there I guess.
My life has been influenced by the HB pencil, so I kind of cling to it out of desperation and for a sense of solace. The pencil gave me this foundation, so now I just build as a drawer, using like glazing techniques and mark making and color theory and other stuff you learn while painting to make drawings and experiment with the 2D world.
Point is: pencil is king and you never draw like you did when you were a kid.
2. What are your inspirations / influences that helped you develop your artistic style?
For the general art historian: I really like Abstract Expressionism, German Expressionism, Art Nouveau and the Vienna Secession, Folk Art (it’s shitty and wonderful), non-Classical stuff—though unfortunately it influenced everything, and post-modernism (I’m an angst-y white kid); every art museum has something I want to steal/imitate, so I dig most of them. The Album by Edouard Vuillard (see it in person). There are other things too, but that's all I can think of at the top of my head.
For the poet/writer: Nabokov, Salinger, Diaz, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, and any other book about love
For everyone else: graffiti, conversation, jazz, blues, folk (Jackson C. Frank), hip-hop, 60’s pop, punk/post-punk.
Basically, I was born with this stupid capacity for empathy, which people either judge as sincere or murderous, and grew up with a general sense of dissatisfaction in how things were done in the world. So put those three things together (passion, drama, and anxiety), and you get an artist I guess.
“Inspiration comes from everywhere.” – everyone you ask
3. How has your relationship with industrial design affected your art style?
Well, industrial design has a fairly specific style which is known as “ID sketching”, which I don’t exactly like, or which doesn’t exactly fit my style of drawing. But I’ve adopted things like perspective, a few shading techniques, quick lines and just general cleanliness, which I sometimes obey, sometimes disregard entirely. Design has made me a cleaner drawer, where every line has more purpose, more thought put into the whole, but also a dirtier artist, where I accept my messy style and let my anxiety take hold do what it wishes with my pen.
4. What are your favorite memories of creating art or being in DAAP?
Probably the wild nights in high school where I sat in my basement and scribbled some shit on a page. I was never happy with any of it, but those classes forced me to confront what kind of artist I wanted to be.
Good DAAP memory: got chased down a hall by a bunch of 4th years holding mannequin limbs.
5. Is making art an everyday task for you?
Yes. Every goddamned minute unfortunately.
6. If you had some words of encouragement for someone who is struggling to bring their art to life, what would you say?
My art teacher in high school made us read a few chapters from this book called The Shape of Content, which is a series of lectures by this famous artist Ben Shahn. I don’t remember the exact words, but the chapter was “The Education of The Artist”, and he put it better than I probably could. My advice is this: “And paint and paint. And draw and draw.”