You had a totally different career before coming to California, one that probably took up a totally different side of your existence. What’s up with that? Were you painting and making stuff at the same time, or is this all somewhat new to you?
You know the fresh prince? It’s like that…my life got flipped - turned upside down…just not in a luxurious sense. When I lived in Arlington, VA I had a well paying desk job that slowly crushed my soul. I’m a systems engineer by degree and I always hear the same reaction of “wow, aren’t art and engineering like two totally different things?”. They’re really not. In fact, I’ve had to implement a lot of my engineering background into my art practice. There’s facility planning, there’s lots of process, and lots of trial and error…not to mention logistics, pricing, web design…I mean I could go on and on.
My friends in DC would never know that I was creative. As a kid I took classes at the Corcoran Gallery of Art and while earning my B.S. in Systems Engineering at Virginia Tech I actually took a few art classes but I never created a single thing in my post-college life until moving to Los Angeles. Call me a product of my environment but when you live in a one bedroom box of an apartment close to the city you just don’t have the room to make things.
We’ve pretty much known you since you moved to Hermosa Beach. Curious, how has moving to, and getting involved in, a small beach town changed your approach to how you work and play?
I live a very disciplined life. Creatives always get a bad wrap for being lazy af. Just take a look at my google calendar and you’ll see time for work and play planned out on a daily basis. There’s a lot of work that goes into being an artist and running a gallery. It’s not just creating…it’s building a brand. That said, living in a small beach town has afforded me the opportunity to get involved with understanding how to connect and collaborate with the community from the perspective of small business.
What’s up with ShockBoxx…..how did that happen?
Sooooo, ShockBoxx. It happened like all great things happen…on a whim. Ok, it wasn’t a complete whim but when Mike Collins texted me that he found a space it was game on. In the beginning we knew we wanted it to be a space where artists could show their work…if you asked me when we started how many shows and how awesome they would be…let’s just say it’s exceeded my expectations.
ShockBoxx was definitely a step in the right direction for art. It meant something…like something bigger than just myself and my art. It was an opportunity to show the community that there’s a strong group of artists in the South Bay and boom - now there’s a place for them to show it. We’ve come a long way in the last almost two years and I feel like things are just getting hotter and hotter.
After opening a gallery, it seems like your work changed for a bit. You started experimenting, but recently it looks like you’ve returned to a familiar theme, but with a new eye and attitude. How has the last 18 months affected your work and what do you feel about what’s jumping off for you right now?
You would be correct in that statement - yes, my work has changed. For one it has gotten larger and it’s also become more frenetic in style. I’ve started to work with a broader range of colors, different ranges of negative space, and many more different types of mark making. I recently created an online portfolio to capture the last four years of work and you can definitely tell I’ve been more aggressive when it comes to experimentation as well as creating a higher volume of work. The last 18 months have been a windup…and now it’s time to blast off.