What do you do?Firstly, thank you San Jose Creatives for the interview!
I am a figurative sculptor. Most of my work is mixed media or ceramic.
Where can we find your work?Home website: www.dugosaurus.com
Social media: http://dugstanat.deviantart.com/
Online sales: https://www.etsy.com/shop/DugStanatArt
Brick and mortar gallery:
FM Gallery in Oakland (solo show July and August, 2015)
What inspires you to create and how do you keep motivated when things get tough?I am inspired to create by the prospect of making something that no one has seen before. The possibility that I might stand back from a finished piece and think, “That is a fun, memorable, unique character”, drives me forward.
When I am having trouble I allow myself a break from artwork. If I am having difficulty exiting vacation mode, I like to imagine someone I respect is watching everything I'm doing...that generally gets me back on track pretty quickly.
What do you think is more important content/finished product or technique/process?
My previous response exposes my answer to this question. While I enjoy the process of creating, and the product cannot exist in its final form without the technique, ultimately my eye is on the finished product.
Who are some people who influence and/or inspire you?
With the web, influences are drops in a rainstorm, and I am soaked. However there are those that hit me like golf ball sized hail: John Kenn Mortensen's post-it notes, the artisans of Oaxaca and Bali, Bosch, and Bruegel the Elder come to mind.
What is the most incredible art moment for you so far?
I think it must be the long moment after college when I had no direction and started spending all my free time sculpting. I simply stumbled onto the path of the artist and just kept walking.
When do you get your best ideas?
I often get ideas from a couple words in a book or song, or while walking the dog and daydreaming. But I am at my most creative when I am creating: embracing mistakes and watching for forks in the trail...these lead to a more interesting final product than what my brain can achieve on its own.
What materials/tools do you use most to create your work?
For my ceramic work, there are no surprises: stoneware clay, sculpting tools, brushes, electric kiln, oxide washes, and underglazes.
For my mixed media work, I use whatever gets the job done and leads to a sturdy piece that the vermin won't want to eat. Materials include: wood, rocks, sand, wire, metal foil, sheet metal, fabric saturated with glue, epoxy sculpting putty, acrylic paints and mediums, and varnish. Tools include: saber saw, sander, drill, router, rotary tool, heat gun, glue gun, sculpting tools, brushes, and airbrush.
Are you self-taught or formally educated? How do you think that has influenced or affected your work?
I've taken a few art classes, and have found them useful, but mostly I am self-taught from books, experimentation, and time. I expect it has led to slower development and gaping holes of ignorance that I am not even aware of. Perhaps it leads to art that is more innocent in self expression.
Who would you most like to meet living or dead and why?Without a doubt I would most like to meet someone who is dead, as I have several questions no living person can answer with authority.
When you are not creating what do you like to do?My most cherished time is that spent with family and nature.
How did you learn to access your creative talents and gain the confidence to put it out there for everyone to experience?I don't feel as though I ever learned to access hidden creative talents. Instead I feel as though I have spent time creating skills that are now at my disposal. How I use those skills may be unique to me, due to personal aesthetics, sensibilities, and experiences, but the skills themselves are generic.
Regarding gaining confidence to show my work, again I think that just comes with time. I like strange characters. If you like strange characters, you might like my work. If you don't like strange characters, there is very little chance that you will like my work, and I'm O.K. with that.
What advice would you give others just beginning their creative adventures?
My previous response tips my hand here. Growing is, for the most part, about time well spent. A lot of time well spent. So time is your most valuable asset. For most of us, making time requires sacrificing sleep and/or standard of living. This can be difficult and painful, but the rewards can be great.