What are some recent exhibitions you’ve been in?
I guess all of the exhibitions I’ve been in are recent. It’s crazy how fast things have picked up. I just started showing work less than a year ago.
The first show I organized was “Can’t Grow Up!” in Chicago. That opened back in March. It was a show of a bunch of artists that are, in one way or another, participating in skateboarding. It was super fun because I was able to show with some of the people I look up to, as well as some of my friends who really inspire me.
I’ve been in a few group shows that other people organized, but the next one that I organized was in LA. It was called “Dude, Monsters!” The show was about how music, art, and the Internet have allowed “social misfits” to create their own communities. A bunch of the artists I talk to on a regular basis live across the country, so it was nice to do an upbeat show about community and actually be able to connect with all of those artists.
Since then, I’ve been in a few group shows all over. I was in one in Australia that the insanely talented Sean Morris put together. And I’m in a show that opened in Miami on December 7th called “Good For Nothing.” The show was organized by Dillon Froelich. He’s a good guy and his art is super inspiring.
You mentioned on your blog that you’re working on a comic book, can you elaborate on that?
I have a habit of starting way more projects than I’m capable of finishing. I usually end up forgetting about some of them. The comic book is a great example of one of those forgotten projects, but, because you reminded me, I just started working on it again! Ha ha
The idea is that I’m going to make this really long comic that I’ll release in a series of seven different comic books. If everything works out, I’m going to release an 8-bit video game (probably for smart phones) that follows the story of the comic. When I release it, I plan on having a gallery opening with a few arcade game versions of the game and original drawings from the comics on the walls. I’ve been so busy that I haven’t been able to make much progress on it, but if I can stay motivated, I should be able to get it done within a year or so.
Did you go to school to learn how to draw or does it just come natural to you?
I’m currently attending SAIC. I never took a drawing class at the college though. It’s a conceptual art school, so they focus less on the aesthetics of the work, and more on the ideas behind it. I’ve always drawn. I used to be really bad at it, but I loved doing it. I guess I’ve just gradually gotten better from drawing everyday. I don’t think art is something you learn how to do. You just get better by actually doing it and talking about it. That’s why I’m going to SAIC. They’ve really helped me develop the conceptual side of my work by talking about it with me.
What do you think has had the most influence on your work?
That’s a tough one. Right now, Rodney Mullen! The way he speaks about his skating is changing the way I approach painting. Other than that, my friends are a HUGE influence. A lot of my art is about them. I also get a bunch of inspiration from flea markets. In the summer, I go to the flea market every Saturday and Sunday to see what’s going on. And I’m always inspired by all of the artists that I’ve been showing with: Ben Jensen, Michael Hsiung, Sean Morris, Miles Jackson, Dillon Froelich, Bryan Peterson, Brad Rohloff, Nathan Brown, and a ton of other equally rad people.
How often are you working on your art?
All the time! There is no off switch. If I’m not actually making something, I’m probably thinking about making something. As far as actual time spent painting, printing, or writing music, about eight or nine hours a day.
What are some battles you’ve faced as an artist?
I haven’t faced any battles yet. Everyone has been really supportive. From other artists sharing their resources, to galleries letting me put on shows, it’s been really fun! I just try and make sure that I always return those favors. If everyone helps each other out, everything works a whole lot better.
Any advice for aspiring artists out there?
Don’t aspire to be an artist. Ha ha Just BE AN ARTIST. Make the things that you want to make. Don’t worry about acceptance or anything like that. If you’re doing it because you love it, people will notice.