us a bit about your background -- what led you into art and what drives
I've been drawing since a young age. It's a 50/50 type of situation;
some of it came naturally to me and most of it developed from my love
and passion of the craft. Of course, there are always outside sources –
my art got me noticed, I liked being known as “the artist.” I got hooked
on hip-hop young, and graffiti became a new voice and lifestyle for me.
It still plays a role in my identity, but I think Upski said it best in
Bomb The Suburbs when he said “graffiti is for kids.” I had amazing art
teachers in high school. One in particular, Ms. Florimonte pointed me
down the right path and pushed me to work hard and try new techniques.
After high school I went to Corcoran College of Art and Design and
received my bachelor's degree in fine arts.
us a bit about your design. Is there a story behind it?
This design was based on a sketch I did while waiting for a flight at an
airport bar in Austin, Texas. I just sat there with my beer and sketched
birds that would perch on the fence outside the window. The gas mask is
a recurring theme for me. I recently completed a year long project of
creating/designing a mask a day for a year called
The gas mask, a focus of the project, is a very charged image. It
carries a foreboding, warlike or apocalyptic connotation but is actually
a protective tool. It strikes me as odd that it instills fear instead of
security, like fearing the vest instead of the bullet. The hybrid nature
of the gas mask is what interests me the most and inspires me to combine
it with natural and iconic elements like the cardinal. A narrative is
developing from the series of hybrid gas masks (most belong to a
collection called the Guerrilla Art Squadron).
your favorite handmade craft you’ve ever made?
biggest critic. I look at most completed pieces and wish I could redo it
using the knowledge I gained in creating the original. Sometimes I'll
actually attempt the same project twice but for the most part I find it
best to push forward and to not dwell on making each piece perfect. That
being said I'm proud of the Nike SB Blazer gas mask I created as part of
my Branding Wars series. It was such a HUGE leap for me. I rarely work
in three dimensions and never would have thought I'd be wrapping and
redesigning gas masks with sneakers.
What’s your studio/workspace like?
Small, and cluttered while I'm working. Living near downtown LA makes
space a commodity. I share my workspace with my girlfriend and fellow
artist, Betsy VanDeusen, and our dog and cat. Often things are shuffled
around based on what media I'm working with whether it's oil paints,
sneakers and glue, or pen and paper. It's another perk of working
digitally for me.
if you were a Crayola crayon, what color would you be?
Ha! I have a new favorite color every few months. Right now, I'd say my
Crayola crayon color would be “On The Come Up CREAM.”
If you’re hooked and want to see more, you can check out his
follow him on twitter,
or perhaps visit the oddtastic world of
Profit on etsy.