q) Well, first of all please tell us a little about yourself.
a)I’m a 24-year-old writer, artist, and skateboarder. I was first inspired to draw by 80’s Nintendo games and comic books. I love philosophy, sand, adrenaline, liquor, friends, tea, books, pens, cats, oceans, nature, steel, sunlight, and the moon. I believe contradiction is a guiding force in life, and that two “things” that contradict one another can exist simultaneously. That is a guiding force in much of my writing and artwork, and when I’m tearing my hair out and trying to make sense of ugly things.
q) Had you always planned on being an artist [or had you other hopes]?
a)For most of my childhood I wanted to design videogames. Then I wanted to draw comics. Ultimately, I discovered what I loved about both mediums, which was the stories they told. Since about 14, I’ve been dead set on being a writer, so that I could write comics, videogames, books, etc. I hold this to be in line with being an artist, so yes, I’ve always planned on being an artist in some form or another. However, as far as visual arts go, I’ve been drawing since I was 2 or 3. My notebooks from school are really just endless sketch pads. I draw my own comic book series, posters, and skateboards. It’s pretty much exactly where I want to be.
q) Do you have a preferred medium to work on? Why?
a)I stick to pen and paper. Usually a mix of Micron pens and Sharpie markers. Since college, I’ve taken to scanning my black and white art onto my Mac and digitally coloring it. I worked in black, white, and red (for blood) pretty much my whole life until 18, when I bought some prisma color markers. That’s translated into the digital coloring, which I find very fluid and open to experimentation. My favorite canvas is a blank skateboard.
q) How would you describe your style?
a)Childish homo-erotic violence? I’d prefer 80’s era videogame/skate/punk content with some 60’s psychedelic colors. I’m often expressing that idea of finding comfort in contradictions, hence the often gory and grotesque imagery coupled with fanciful, happy, colors. I’d like to think that as soon as you see my art, you know I grew up loving skate art, comics, and videogames. There’s a lot of us out there, and I want to give crazy weird kids something to have fun with like I had.
q) Do you go through any certain processes while trying to produce your work?
a)First I just have fun with pencil, trying to draw something that interests me. That often entails showing the “inside” and “outside” of a creature, which translates into dissection and gore. I am also interested in conflict, so that comes out a lot. If I don’t think something is challenging, disgusting, or cute, I often won’t find the motivation to follow through. If it somehow combines all 3, I work like a possessed demon and give little head to real world concerns. My girlfriend is very patient with my late hours and rambling.
q) What are you working on at present?
a)I recently finished a line of 3 skateboard decks for Substance Skateboards. I’m currently continuing the 2nd volume of my comic series, Skeightfast Dyephun, and editing my first novel, “Counselor”. I also do some t-shirt designs here and there for Daydream Silkscreen when my fingers aren’t aching. I just finished a series of illustrations for a cool magazine, but I don’t want to jinx it…q) What about recent sources of inspirations?
a)Mostly music and caffeine. I like to listen to a mix of classical, jazz, metal, punk, and 60’s rock while drinking a lot of coffee or tea, then pop in a skate video or actually go skating, and see what kind of things slip into my head afterwards, when I’m all worn out. Most of my friends are talented artists, so every time I see a project they’re forging ahead on, I get inspired to get back to my desk and do the same.
q) What are some of your obsessions?
a)Food, sleep, writing, skating, martial arts, cats, the Joker from Batman, Metal Gear Solid, alternate realities, politics, psychology, grass, comics, the beach, revising, exploring… most everything I do I have to be obsessed with or I’ll quickly lose interest. I’m not good at operating on “medium”.
q) Which galleries have you shown at and which galleries would you like to show at?
a)None, really. I recently showed one piece at Ashawagh Hall in East Hampton, NY. Before that I participated in a great show in Wainscott, NY, called Chiaroscuro. It was a very do-it-yourself kind of thing thrown together by my peers. Because my ultimate destination for my art is comics and skateboards, I rarely have any original pieces fit for galleries, nor the resources to get them printed for one. I honestly don’t know very much about the fine art world in general, and don’t have any ambitions to get into galleries. I’ll take the opportunities when they come, but it’s just not something that’s on my radar. Magazines, comics, skateboards, posters…those are my galleries.
q) If people would like to contact you, how would you like to be contacted?
a)E-mail is the best. I check it often, and love communicating through writing. Otherwise, I’m usually online in an instant messenger program, and I’m open to talking to strangers. I could talk on the phone, but I’m pretty phone shy, and would actually rather meet a stranger and talk in person than over the phone.
q) Do you have any suggestions or advice for artists that are just starting out?
a)Don’t be afraid of pain. Read and see as much as possible, talk to people who love things that you hate, stay up late, go for walks, and don’t eat cats.
q) Who are your favorite artists?
a)Simon Bisely, Eduardo Risso, Juanjo Guarnido, Yoshitaka Amano, Jim Phillips, Dave Gibbons, Scott Meyers, Geof Darrow, Terry Moore, Frank Miller, Jim Woodring, Justin Sanz, Jeff Smith, Darick Robertson, Katsuya Terada, Charles Burns, and tons of skateboard artists I’ve seen over my life and not even known who they were. Oh, and every 2-D videogame to come out between 1980 and 2000.
q) What books are on your nightstand?
a)There’s a whole ton of them. Piles of books. The rogues gallery: Philip K. Dick, Hunter S. Thompson, Jorge Luis Borges, Russell Hoban, Kurt Vonnegut, J.R.R. Tolkein, Junot Diaz, Douglas R. Hofstadter, and Albert Camus. I like to revisit them randomly before I go to sleep, so they’re strange word play and brilliant ideas can filter around in my subconscious.
q) To what weaknesses are you most indulgent?
a)Social pleasures. I can usually abandon most obligations if I have an invitation to a good time with lots of drinking, breaking silly laws, and late night sentimentality. Things that ease anxiety, like liquor and beer…sunlight. Very cute cats. Games of chess with devious opponents, and interviews.
Screen name: FacialDefecation