Did your creativity begin with the style of work you are currently putting up?
As long as I can remember I have been a creative person. From a young age, I have always filled my spare time with creative activities, whether they be creating types of art, playing instruments and making music, or even creating short films that I had written. I have a passion for creativity and it is often the most driving factor for almost anything I do in life. My current style of work has been the product of the evolution of my creativity over the past three years, due to a somewhat enlightened exposure to stencils and street art. This was a new medium to me and gave me more motivation to create because I found myself becoming more and more passionate about it the more I did it. My style has evolved and expanded from more simplistic single stencil paintings to larger and more complex paintings, involving a series of layered, multi color stencils instead. I believe my work has become more universal in its themes throughout the years as well, and I hope to continue expanding my creativity to its full potential in the future.
What inspired you to get into the politically charged themes?
The majority of good street art requires some sort of value or meaning to the public, mainly because if an artist is going to risk getting arrested to put his/her artwork up somewhere in public it better have a meaning worth the risk. I think this is what pushed me to involve politics and social justice issues in my work, not only making it more meaningful, but also adding a layer of depth to the piece. I also find that modern politics can be extremely frustrating and like to express my opinions on it through my work. I believe art is a great way to bridge the gap between people and politics as it really draws attention to the problems at hand and often gives an alternative way of looking at a situation.
We met you when we put up that high school art show and were instantly impressed, not just with your work, but with you and the way you show up. How did you figure that out, and do you think that “showing up” is something that most young artists struggle to figure out?
I believe that being a great artist is only half the battle in becoming a successful artist. An artist can be extremely talented, but if they don’t take the extra step to put themselves and their work out into the world, they most likely will not see any success with their work. When I became more serious about my artwork and being an artist, I knew that I just to find a way to start “showing up”. I believe that getting involved in local galleries and shows is one of the most important steps in the development of an artist and in getting yourself out there. I also think that many young artists struggle with this concept of just “showing up” because there isn’t really a definitive way to do it or come around to it. That’s why I’m really grateful for my experiences with Shockboxx. It gave me a good entrance to the local art scene and gave me lots of insight on how the gallery and art world works. Through their many open call shows, it was more accessible for a younger artist like myself to start getting involved and I think they have opened doors for plenty of new artists.
How are you feeling about heading up to college?
I honestly have mixed feelings about heading up to college in the coming weeks. I’m definitely going to miss the art scene in LA with all the galleries and art shows that are constantly going on here, but I am also excited to mix it up and experience the art scene in Santa Barbara. I’ll still be in LA during summer and a few times during the year so I’ll be participating in the art scene down here. On another note, I’m very excited to start taking all sorts of new, higher level art classes at UCSB and really further develop my skills as an artist.