How did you get into acrylic spray paint and fine point pens?
Since I was a teenager, I’ve always been drawn to the tight line work and details that can be achieved with ballpoint pens and micron pigma pens. When I was in school for Interior Architecture, our hand drafting and renderings were all done with microns because they were archival, waterproof and came in a variety of tip sizes to create different line weights on construction drawings so it became a tool that I carried around with me everywhere and naturally became the main medium used in my artwork.
Can you tell us about your start and some inspirations?
I knew from about 14 years old that I wanted to create for a living and so I began exploring different creative fields as a teen by attending pre-college courses at the Academy of Art in SF. I fell in love with the energy and street life of San Francisco, the tenderloin specifically, since that’s where our dorms were throughout the pre-college courses. I was naturally attracted to the rush of street art and graffiti as I ran around with the local kids that lived in the area and went out tagging day and night. In some of my older work and now my more current work, I am bringing back some influence of street art through the usage of hand cut stencils and spray paint and then refining them with the addition of pen work and detailed stippling to create dark and edgy images that reflect my fascinations of anatomy and the fine line between life and death.
What is a piece of advice you wish you had when you started off?
I still have to remind myself everyday to create what I want and to think less of what other people want to see or expect to see. As a professional interior architect with sometimes high profile clients, I feel the need to hide my artwork or lifestyle as an artist because it could turn people off or give them a different impression of me but in the end it always paralyzes my creative output and I have to remind myself of my convictions as an artist and the reason I create. These days, I am trying to focus on pushing those lines and boundaries anyways and just seeing what happens no matter what people may think.
Any favorite artists of the moment that you can point us to?
Nunzio Paci of Bologna, Italy has become a huge inspiration for me recently since I’ve started delving further into using anatomical studies and human cross section drawings in my work. I think the way he presents a refined image of the human body and emotion, very delicately, in relation to the organic world, creates a breathtakingly bizarre and surreal visual.
What have you seen that offers the most promise for creation of art for tomorrow?
I think the world of Instagram is proof that appreciation for art and design still lives and is still meaningful to people. I love that it connects artists and art lovers from all over the world and really is an endless wormhole of inspiration to get lost in.
How did you get your start as an artist?
Since I was a teen, I’ve been commissioned by friends to do artwork but I truly became devoted when I was connected with Joel Daniel Phillips, a San Francisco artist who had found me on Instagram and had asked me to do a chest piece tattoo commission for him. At the time, I was working insane hours for a firm as a project manager and had very little time for a social life or to pursue even trying to get my foot in to the art world. Although I was making a very good living and enjoyed working in the design and construction industry, my heart still craved to be devoted further to my art. When Joel and I had met, he was represented by a local gallery and was solely making a living as an artist; I was very jealous to say the least especially that he was my age. He gave me the best advice I have ever received to this day, “Just do it. You’ll never be able to fully commit yourself to that dream of being an artist if you don’t give it everything you’ve got.” One month later, I quit my job without a plan, started producing more artwork than I’d ever done before and got to participate in my first show in San Diego. I now support myself as a part time freelance interior architect and spend the rest of my time in the studio doing what I love most, creating art.
What can we look forward to from you next?
Bigger scale pieces. I want to keep the crazy intricate stippling style but on a larger, more impressive scale. It’s important to me to keep challenging myself with every step moving forward.
What is the best way to discover new art?
There’s such a huge difference in seeing artwork through social media and the internet compared to seeing the work in person at a gallery or an art show. I absolutely love going to the galleries, going to the openings and seeing what’s out there and meeting and connecting with people that share the same love for the art world.