First of all we would like to thank you for taking the time to provide Interactive Blend with this interview. I decided to interview you for two reasons. The obvious one is that I like your work and the second one is we’re from the same town and both went to the same art school.
+1 ::: Please tell us more about your art and design background and when did you first realize you are an artist?
+2 ::: Your work is pretty unique and full of creativity. What do you find visually stimulating right now?
Visually stimulating? I watch a ton of videos of martial arts forms on youtube. They reflect varying degrees of body/mind consciousness, like dance. You can develop an eye for what looks good or effective and what is just flashy, kind of like a formal eye for visual art. I am naturally drawn to metaphysical bordered graphic figurative diagrammatic images.
+3 ::: Could you describe for us your typical ‘start to finish’ workflow when working on a new painting?
When I start a new drawing, there will usually be a few elements already in mind like a figure with ‘these’ colors and the drawing goes in ‘this’ direction. They usually fit into a general theme of elements I have for a body of drawings. I work in 4-6 hour sessions going back and forth between very controlled detail and quick bursts of energetic movements. The energy marks might be made first and then the detail fleshes them out. A drawing could be finished in a weekend or be put aside if I get stuck, then finished several weeks later.
+4 ::: What are your tools of the trade? Do you have a preferred medium?
Tools of the trade are high quality, archival materials. Large heavy paper, micron pens, prismacolor pencils, and a plethora of drafting tools. I am primarily a drawer.
+5 ::: What are your favorite websites, and why?
+6 ::: What famous artists have influenced you, and how?
Famous meaning I should know them and acknowledge their importance… I have had more influence in my art from people who are incredibly creative, but wouldn’t consider themselves artists. Ken Wilber is the foundation of my thinking, Ray Kurzweil gives relevance to some of my more extreme endeavors, Sifu Lawrence Hill does the same as Kurzweil, Archie Rand ‘got’ me.
+7 ::: What do you do for fun (besides painting)?
For me, art is a discipline of spiritual nourishment and less about fun; I obviously enjoy it. I conduct integral research, practice Shaolin Kung Fu, and soak up the energy in NYC. Lately I’ve been on a primitive tool making kick.
+8 ::: How have you handled the business side of being an artist?
My practice is devoid of any business plan. I got a job to support myself, unrelated to the arts, but in it, I am surrounded by new information and ideas. The artists I know who are represented are influenced by negative forces to alter their art, in my opinion. A master’s degree (recommended) yields a substantially higher starting salary than bachelors (required). I was told in school to separate the art sensibility side and the art business side. That didn’t feel right. So being a professional artist does not mean you have to make a financial living off of your art, although you can. Graphics industry artists are more connected to the business because there are a bazillion graphic design jobs. Fine artists deal with a much smaller crowd of socialites and there are few to no jobs doing fine art.
+9 ::: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
A New Jersey suburb near NYC with a yard and a 5-year-old, reading the news and a history book.
+10 ::: What advice would you give to an artist just starting out?
Making it as an artist does not mean financial success from your art, nor does it mean being famous and in the history books and museums. Get that out of your head, it is a propagated fantasy. Coming from 6 years of art school, although I learned a lot and matured a lot, it does not take art school or academia to make true and honest art- art that first and foremost is spiritually nourishing to you. That said, for those of you starting out, aim high, have big goals and ambition, take massive action and try to grow. Be open-minded and keep up with what’s going on in the world. Get into the habit of learning, and take care of your health. If you feel stable, push the envelope forward. If you feel unstable, try to get stable before getting too ‘out there.’ Creativity is part of being human and is part of any career. Be the change and create the change you want to see in the world.
+11 ::: Once again, thank you very much for the interview. As a final word, do you have any tips for upcoming artists and designers?
My pleasure. See question 10. For fine artists, spend less time thinking about art and more time being prolific. Quality helps, too. Challenge yourself! … For designers: the same as fine artists, plus… as you know your talents are in a higher demand to a thriving industry (meaning every company needs designers), invest in some powerful technology, get a high-paying job, and don’t lose your soul along the way 😉