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Where are you from and where have you lived?
I grew up in Carlsbad and currently live in the Carlsbad village. I spent three years in the SF bay area where I went to school for art. After graduation, I came back to Carlsbad and have no immediate plans of leaving… unless I find that perfect island.
Who are you favorite artists and how have they influenced your art?
My current work is directly influenced by Jackson Pollock’s drip technique, Banksy’s stencils , Van Gogh’s palette and texture, Cezanne’s meticulous attention to composition and Warhol’s iconography. I also find inspiration in Mathew Barney’s creativity, William Kentridge’s patience, Picasso’s well-roundedness, Manet’s controversy and many contemporary artists.
Has creating art always been your chosen career path? If not, what was it and what caused you to change it?
I started creating art young but never considered it a career. It was always the hobby that distracted me from getting on what I thought was the right track. I began a degree in accounting and became bored after two years of it. At that time I began filming “home made skateboarding videos.” These videos allowed me to learn video editing techniques. I soon began digging deep into my video archives for random short films. One film called “Poo$” won me two round trip tickets to Europe through a national internet contest. I was asked where I wanted to fly into and where to depart from. I choose Paris and Zürich, Switzerland. I invited my good friend Jason Groves and spent 6 weeks of the following summer wandering Europe with nothing but a backpack and a return ticket. We were homeless for most of the time, sleeping in alleys and in parks. It was real! I returned with a thick red beard and a new outlook on life. I quit my accounting degree and moved to the San Francisco Bay area to study art.
Traveling seems to have played an important part of your artistic development. Where have you traveled and why is it important to you? Are you more stimulated by staying in your natural habitat (Carlsbad) or by going elsewhere?
Traveling is very important to me. There is nothing more inspiring than being in a foreign country where everything is odd. Everything from culture and language to the small things like the sound of the telephone ringer. Its all there to absorb. I tend to travel very meagerly which I feel exposes the under belly of foreign land. You learn how the locals get by each day rather than poolside etiquette. An open mind can be stimulated anywhere though. I am a big people watcher and summertime in Carlsbad is perfect for it. There are ideas in everything and everywhere, you just have to be open to it.
Besides painting, what other forms of expression do you enjoy? How have they influenced your current artistic endeavors?
I spend a lot of time on the computer. I love video editing, vector illustration and doodling in Photoshop. All the web networking sites are perfect for that stuff because friends always love the random doodle via email. I also do a lot of doodling on paper. Basically I do whatever the newest idea needs. Maybe its creative Attention Deficit Disorder. That’s probably why I ended up graduating with a degree in multimedia. I also have fun with what I call creative marketing, transferring ideas in unconventional mediums. Brainstorming has to be my favorite though…the development of a new idea.
Your current paintings look abstract, but restricted into recognizable shapes and icons. How do you achieve this technique?
I use a technique that combines the wild and gestural paint splatters of Jackson Pollock with the restricted and precise stenciling of Banksy. Its spontaneous, yet extremely premeditated. Its a visual paradox. I consider the art not the painting, but the entire process. I begin scouring the internet like Van Gogh did the Southern French landscapes for the perfect composition or I set up a photo shoot like a perfectly arranged still life. From the photo, I redraw the image on the computer in as many layers as I feel necessary. A series of stages follows including color separation, overhead projection, hand tracing, razor blade cutting and many layers of dripping and drying. Its the unseen process I really dig and stress when people ask about my technique.
What inspired you to create your paintings this way?
I have always had a love for modern art and in the past years have followed most contemporary trends. This allows me to poke at a wide variety of influences. Through experimentation over many years of varying styles, I developed this one and have been having a lot of fun with it.
Your painting’s content seems to be scattered (flowers, bowling, Ozzy), How do you justify the lack of a theme for a show?
The content is extremely scattered, but the harmony comes in the technique. Each painting goes through the same process. Though a few have underlying messages, they are for the most part a visual experience. Balance through shape and color is my intent. The images I paint could easily be abstract shapes organized in a relaxed balance. This idea allows me to briefly escape the conceptual and rely purely on the the visual…the eye.
You have recently begun working in your own studio, how has this effected your art/schedule?
Having my studio has given me the opportunity to take my time during each painting. When I painted in my car port, I continually found myself in a race against the sun. I did not have the comfort and opportunity to stop a piece half way through it and continue the following day. Everything was extremely rushed before my studio and I feel it had a negative effect on my paintings. Everything is more relaxed now. I don’t have to run an extension cord out of my apartment and across the driveway. I can listen to music and get into a nice groove. I spend almost all my free time in the studio, but oddly enough I see my friends more often now than before. They know where to find me and are always welcome!
You have to close down your studio. Your current work is no longer available to you. How do you think your creativity would express itself?
I will always have a pad of paper and a pencil. Doodling is the best because you don’t need much time, space or materials. I would continue my doodling and brainstorming until things worked out and I am able to develop my ideas into larger projects. I am lucky to have my studio, but it is not necessary. Its nice and convenient, but I don’t rely on it to express my ideas.
Along with your studio art and other projects, you seem very involved with carlsbadcrawl.com. What intrigued you about the blog and how have you helped with the development of it?
Art is omnipresent. It is traditional art, music, poetry, theater and more. The thing they all have in common is that each one grows from a single idea. An idea is the seed. The idea grows from that original seed and develops into the art. Sometimes ideas need certain forums to be developed. Carlsbadrawl is a canvas, a stage and a radio. Its a sketchpad to develop ideas or to showcase them. Its unrestricted and open for everyone. I just try to keep creative and inspiring content on there. Its not mine or yours; its ours.
What inspires your ideas for carlsbadcrawl posts/ projects/ Interviews?
Inspiration comes at all times and places if you remain open to them. I use my eyes like a dog uses its nose. I have always been a visual person. I might see something during a bike ride or during a drive to work. I always have my camera in my pocket so a quick shot is a way for me to archive an idea. I usually scribble things down in my pocketbook too, but I have a hard time keeping on to those books. The underlying theme with all the posts and projects is not for me to try to sound artsy or intelligent. My intent is to ignite the gift or mental analysis and to inspire. I hope people read the rambles and come away with a handful of questions. Its the “what if” that I hope to awaken.
What are your top 3 favorite films? If you had to pick one film that you think best captures the true meaning of making art, what would it be?
My true meaning of making art is the act of expressing and transferring an idea in a creative way. Its powerful when this expression is not just a hobby, but a passion. I feel only a small amount of people find their true passion. Some live their entire life, but never find it. If you find it and live your life dedicated to following it, things will always work out. Lust for Life by Vinente Minnelli is one of my all time favorites. This movie is a masterpiece of a journey guided by a true passion. It tells the ultimate love and the hardships an overly passionate person may come across. Its a true depiction of an artist! Art has no limits. It has infinite meanings. An artist may intend on provoking a specific thought in a viewer, but that doesn’t mean it is the only option. Art is to stir a mental analysis. It gives you the opportunity to come up with your own interpretation. The movie called Koyaanisqatsi by Godfrey Reggio is the ultimate thought provoker. Its title means “Life out of Balance” in the Hopi Indian language, but Reggio’s intention is not to thrust a meaning. His job is to help provoke a thought in the audience which results in their own interpretation. Its a powerful movie and I highly recommend it. All I have to say is…”the hot dog scene!!!” Besides those two movies, I would have to pick something that is purely entertaining without having to analyze something. Sometimes you just need to relax and turn off you brain and watch something silly like the Jerk, the Stoned Age or some good ‘ol cartoons.
You have been selected to go on an all expense paid drinking binge for 3 days with a historical figure, an artist, a writer and one free choice. Who are your drinking buddies?
My picks happen to be big time drinkers and I would never pass on the opportunity to hang with them. Van Gogh would be my artist of choice. I like me some good ‘ol Absinthe too! I would pick Bukowski for my writer. We would spend the day wandering dive bars and people watching for sure. I guess a historical person can be any type of person so I would choose Jim Morrison. I’d prefer the younger Jim because I think I would be able to pick his brain more. My free choice would be Hunter S. Thompson. Can you imagine all those guys together on a drinking binge. I would probably have to throw in a doctor somewhere in there too! It would be a day to remember, but I would give up the experience in a heart beat for the chance to throw back a few with Stad again…
How would you describe Carlsbad in terms of an artistic community?
I consider Carlsbad a community with artistic potential, but lacking a passionate creative scene. There is a good amount of creative people, but many of them don’t make their art available for others to see. I call these artists “closet artists.” I am amazed with the amount of people who create, but never show anyone. I would like to see less inhibitions and more confidence. I think it is possible and I am excited about the future of the Carlsbad community and local art.
As an artist in Carlsbad, what changes would you like to see within the community of Carlsbad?
There are many changes I would like to see, but nothing can be forced. I would like to see more venues where artist can express themselves. Whether music, theater or art studios. All it takes is interest in numbers. The more people really interested and dedicated, the greater chance Carlsbad has to becoming a community known for the arts. I’d like to see a honeycomb of studios where artists can create and share ideas. I don’t see how that would hurt our community, yet the City of Carlsbad has a strict image it wants to uphold. Time, dedication and creativity will only tell…
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Click HERE for part 1 of the interview!
2695 State Street
Carlsbad, CA 92008
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Contact: email@example.com (now accepting commissions)
photos of the Snyder Art 2008 show coming soon…
interview by briana mooney