What do you do?
Painting, drawing, ceramic sculpture
Where can we find your work?John Natsoulas Gallery (Davis, CA), Kaleid Gallery (San Jose, CA)
What inspires you to create and how do you keep motivated when things get tough?
I'm inspired mostly by looking at other peoples' art that I like and by being around friends with
creative drive. Working in different media and in different sizes helps to keep me from losing motivation too much. For example: if working on a painting is feeling like a daunting task I can always just do some sketching or do a quick, small painting where I can be more playful because it's not as big of an investment. This can help to get me more excited about creating when my level of inspiration is low.
What do you think is more important content/finished product or technique/process?
I lean toward technique and process as being more important. My philosophy is that if you learn the
techniques that allow you to successfully make things work visually without a lot of struggling, concepts will automatically materialize—provided that you can find things that inspire you. For me, art is essentially about the process of growth. The continuous improvement of my ability to explore and express my imagination is infinitely more valuable to me than any finished product, no matter how well it turns out.
Who are some people who influence and/or inspire you?
Remedios Varo, Salvador Dali, Odd Nerdrum, Mark Ryden, Dr. Suess, Heather Nevay, and many more.
When do you get your best ideas?
My ideas come to me most strongly when I am looking at art that inspires me. When I see a painting that really has an impact on me I try to bring myself into the world of that painting and let my imagination play.
What materials/tools do you use most to create your work?
Lately oil paints.
Are you self-taught or formally educated? How do you think that has influenced or affected your work?
I have a BA and MFA. My school experiences have been very valuable in exposing me to certain ideas and providing a stimulating and supportive environment, but I think that most of my development as an artist has come from my independent efforts to teach myself the skills I knew I wanted to have.
When you are not creating what do you like to do?
When not making art I enjoy dabbling in music-making and BMX bicycling.
How did you learn to access your creative talents and gain the confidence to put it out there for everyone to experience?
I've always had a strong creative drive since as long as I can remember. I would draw a lot of cars and airplanes and things as a young boy and liked to try to make toys for myself. Getting older and having to think about having a career, I knew that it was important for me to do something where I would be able to keep that creative part of myself happy, so I started working hard to develop my drawing skills. Also I have had very supportive parents and teachers.
What advice would you give others just beginning their creative adventures?
Make your creativity a high priority—if not your highest priority. Discipline yourself to learn skills that will help you (drawing is a good one if you are in the visual arts). Look for art that inspires you and think about the choices the artist has made that gives the work the power that it has. Use your imagination. Be persistent.