Interview with Mark Fox
q) Please tell us a brief info about yourself.
a) I am 35 years old. I was born and raised in
q) Tell us about your humble beginnings, when did you first realize that you wanted to be an artist?
a) I will go way back when I was a just a lil guy. I used to draw images
on small card paper and then go door to door selling them for money so that I could
go spend it all on candy! I have always wanted to be an artist from that moment on.
I first showed my work in coffee shops and bookstores and on the streets of midtown Sacramento during the 2nd Saturday Art walk. I owe a lot of this to my wife
Nicole Fox who has really supported my art and me since the very first show in 2001.
q) What are your tools of the trade and why?
a) For art shows, I build my own canvases out of wood and on occasion have stretched more traditional looking canvases. For smaller pieces, I also paint on wood, or even paint on acrylic canvas paper. I paint with acrylics, house paint, and sometimes use spray paint. I love acrylic because it dries quickly, and you can build up layers or paint over areas your not happy with. I use spray paint to add depth or can make drips which adds an abstract character.
q) Who or what gives you inspiration on your morbid art?
a) I would say that my art has a dark hint to it, but would not consider it morbid.
There are always challenges in life, and usually some of my own depression finds its way into my work. I include humor in my paintings, and sometimes the humor can be on the darker side. People I see everyday, and funny situations I observe, inspire the characters I paint. My work has also been inspired from Appalachian culture and my Melungeon Roots.
q) Is your artistic background self-taught or did you go to college to study?
a) I consider myself a self-taught artist. However, I did take a few art classes in college.
q) How do you keep “fresh” within your industry?
a) I am always meeting new people and other artists, and stay fairly active in the local art scene. I don’t spend too much time analyzing the newest art trends because I like to have my own style and not take too much from what other people may be doing.
q) What are some of your current projects?
a) I am continuing to post on ebay. I am concentrating on building a large body of artwork for future art shows I may be participating in next year. I have been thinking of trying out making sculptures of some of the characters I paint.
q) Which of your works are you the most proud of? And why?
a) Years ago, one of my first larger paintings was placed on the poster of a college art show, and that was really encouraging for me. This year I also painted on a local newspaper box (News & Review) and I was happy with how that turned out. I also painted a picture for a CD Cover this year for my friend Byron Blackburn, who recently passed away. It was an honor for my work to be on his solo album. I also painted a picture and donated it to be in an art auction to benefit a memorial scholarship fund in Byron’s name this last month, and received a lot of positive feedback on that piece.
q) Are there any areas, techniques, mediums, projects in your field that you have yet to try?
a) Yes, I would love to get into print making or sculpting large characters of my work.
q) What do you do to keep yourself motivated and avoid burnout?
a)Sometimes I get a little burnt out and take the focus off my artwork for a few days. I do housework or other things to clear my mind. I spend time with my wife and dogs.
q) How do you spend most of your free time?
a) I go to the local coffee shop, browse the internet, walk the dogs, and check out other art venues and music.
q) What contemporary artists or developments in art interest you?
a) There is some great talent in the AOA (Alternative Online Artists) in which I am a part of. I like contemporary folk art.
q) We really like some of your pictures, how can we get our hands on them? Do you sell them? How?
a) The first place to go is my website www.markfoxart.com which has links to my Facebook and Flickr pages and Ebay listings. I often sell more affordable smaller pieces on ebay, and larger works are posted on my website and available by contacting me directly.