Your work shows an empowering side to women that instantly drew me in. Can you tell me more about your choice of subject matter and what is is you would like your women to communicate to their viewers?
There is nothing more beautiful or inspiring than a strong woman. I was raised by a single mother. My wife is the reason I began an art career in first place. What better way to honor all of their efforts than to try and bring out their strength and beauty in every piece I create?
You state that your family is the biggest source of inspiration on your creative journey. I love this! Can you please explain how your family has inspired you in such a profound way?
Growing up I always wanted to do something with art as a career but I knew it would be hard to make a living. I decided to pursue a career in the IT world instead. I had a great job and I was making decent money. One day about 13 years ago my wife had an opportunity to relocate to Portland, OR for her job. In order for this move to happen I was going to have to quit my job and find a new one. My wife asked me to take this opportunity to pursue my art career. Without her belief in me I would have never taken the “risk” to pursue my passions. Since that day 13 years ago I have been going full time doing what I love, creating art. My kids are very supportive of what I do as well. My daughter is going to college to get a degree in graphic design. This makes me one proud dad.
Your work stands out and is unique as you feature female subjects with over exaggerated features. Is this style intentional?
It did not start out as intentional. When my art career first started I was painting different things every day. One day it would be abstracts, the next it would be dog portraits and landscapes. I was trying to figure out what inspired me the most and could be my niche. The first time I painted a female portrait of my wife I accidentally painted the eyes too big. I loved the way it looked so I shared it on social media. People loved it and it sold instantly. From there it became my “thing”. Over the years I have lessened the big eye effect but it is still part of my portraits. I love painting eyes so what better way to make them stand out than to make them a little larger than normal?
You are clearly into artistic experimentation using a variety of mediums from spray paint to oil paint. How do you feel these choices of mediums communicate your artistic vision? Do you see yourself experimenting even further in the near future?
I just like to have fun with my paintings. Sometimes I feel the opaqueness of spray paint is the best option for the piece I am creating. Other times it might be something transparent like watercolors. The great thing about being an artist is that I am my own boss. I get to experiment and try new things whenever I want. Sometimes it works and sometimes it does not but I am always learning.
You are participating in the 12th Annual BLAB! Show beginning Sept. 9 at Copro Gallery. You created a very powerful piece called “Happy Pill”. Can you please tell me more about your inspiration and the meaning behind this new piece?
Unfortunately, depression has affected many family members close to me. I know how they struggle with this on a daily basis. I usually do not like to tell people what the meaning of each piece is. I like for them to take from it what they want. I am sure it has different meanings for each person who sees it. I was lucky enough to have worked with Terra Jole from Dancing with the Stars and Little Women: LA as my muse for this piece. She was so open and willing to pose for all of my crazy ideas. This was one of them.
What’s next for you on your creative journey? Do you have any upcoming projects you are looking forward to?
Right now I am putting most of my energy towards opening an art/photography studio here in the San Diego area. This space will have an art gallery for my clients to come see my work in person when they are in the area. I will also have a huge new studio to create in. It will also have a photo studio so that I have a place to photograph my models I use as inspiration for my paintings. When I am not using the photo studio I plan to rent it out to other photographers and models on an hourly basis so that they can create the images they want if they do not have their own studio to shoot in. The studio will come equipped with all of the lighting equipment and backdrops. There will also be props for them to use. They will just need to bring their camera and wardrobe. Other artists can also rent out this space so that they can photograph their art for reproduction.
I do have a special 2-day show coming up in Westminster, CA on Oct. 20-21 at Art Center Gallery. There will be tons of prints and originals for sale.