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Where were you born and where have you lived in the past? What brought you to Carlsbad?
I was born in NYC in 1973, but grew up mostly in New Jersey. I went to Flagler College in St. Augustine, Florida and would have stayed there if it weren’t for all the bugs. You can’t even have a barbecue there! Plus, San Diego is a bit more progressive in general although the people were definitely friendlier there. I guess it’s that southern hospitality thing.
What style do you characterize your art and what is your preferred medium. If any, what other mediums do you enjoy working in?
I won’t categorize my art or develop a style, or for that matter pick a favorite medium. Mentally, I may be less interested in experimenting with new mediums. I guess you could say I am an experimenter. If someone wants to categorize me, that’s fine though, but it’s not for me to do.
Who and what are your influences and how do they relate to what you create today?
My major influence, I suppose, would be Dali (even though today that may be a cliche answer). He was the Beatles of Art. Without Dali, we probably would never have gotten the Beatles. Other favorites are Norman Rockwell, Paul Klee, Tadema, Mucha, Kelly Hutchinson (Dark Vomit) and Jennifer Sanchez, but my main influence is music and life in general. But really, many more than that.
What is the process you go through starting from brainstorming an idea to the final creation?
I try to be spontaneous and not think about that stuff, unless it is a commission or a commercial illustration in which I am pretty retentive about the 4 step process: thumbnails, roughs, layouts and a final. Otherwise, for just art – no thinking, no process, just flow.
Where do you create art? Describe your preferred surroundings and what music you enjoy listening to? What state of mind do you prefer to be in when creating?
My preferred surrounding is late at night, listening to music I’ve never heard before on the headphones.
Is there a thought you wish to provoke with your art or is it a personalized experience different for each viewer?
If I wish to portray a message, it is usually in the title of the piece. I try to make them specific so my message is received.
What is your goal when creating art? Do you want to provoke an idea? Is it a source or therapy? Is it a means to earn a living?
It depends. I do some art for other people, to influence the world in a positive way. Then, sometimes I get lost in my head and work with my immediate emotions.
What training have you had as an artist or are you self taught?
In college, I majored in Graphic Design, but you could always find me hanging out with the art majors. The art prerequisites were enough. But I still learn new stuff all the time. Right now I am into learning figurative sculpture at Lynn Forbe’s gallery in the village. Looking at my work, one wouldn’t think I am into sculpture of have any goals involving realism but I do. I have all sorts of goals, but none of them involve developing a notable style.
What do you do with your art once it is finished? Do you have a system of archiving?
I put in plastic sleeves and archive them in binders. I get mad at myself when I work larger that 8 1/2 x 11 because then I have to scan and print it at a smaller size so it won’t be the original in the archive. Basically, I don’t want a bunch of canvasses all over my apartment. I hate clutter. So right now, 99% of my work is in two three-ring binders.
You have shown me 8.5 x 11 pieces of paper completely covered with intricate designs with small sections cut out. Describe this process and why you choose to keep only small sections of a larger piece?
In the movie Crouching Tiger, they say calligraphy skills directly parallels sword fighting skills. In one scene, the girl draws such an advanced character that it is enough for the observer to view her as a threat and draw her sword. When I do those small drawings, I am imagining that I am training to be a sword fighter.
What are you future plans as an artist? What do you see yourself working on and how does that relate to what you have done in the past?
My future plans as an artist is to really not think too much. If I lose artistic inspiration, I simply get another hobby like cycling and concentrate on that for a few years. If I never come back to art, I am fine with that. But I usually do. I want no pressure on my art.
I know you also do digital work, is there a difference between a graphic artist and a graphic designer?
There is no difference between digital and tactile to me (it’s all about experimenting), but the difference between art and design is simply with design someone is paying you and telling you what to create, but with art, you are doing whatever you want to do. I have no problem with either one. Each has its place.
How do you feel about Carlsbad in terms of an artistic community? Do you feel local artists are motivated to create and share ideas here?
Before Lynn Forbes opened her sculpture school, I wasn’t too impressed with Carlsbad’s art scene. Now I have hope.
What change/direction would you like to see Carlsbad’s art scene move towards?
Carlsbad shouldn’t try too hard to be something it originally isn’t. Carlsbad is a surf and skate town and that’s what it’s reputation is. If artists come in and make things happen, great. But there is enough going on in Downtown San Diego to stay in the loop with arts.
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