You want to just paint while I talk to you?
Yeah, if it’s cool.
So for me I think of myself as an artist when I’m in the artist space in my head. And that is when I’m trying to see anything from a different perspective, when I’m trying to make any transformation. It’s all about transformation.
Art is a sort of alchemy. Like right now I’m trying to put my energy and my imagination into a rainbow colored owl. So I think I’m always in arts mode, sometimes it’s kind of hard to focus on it, but it’s always there running in the background, but I’m always trying to look at shit from a different point of view.
There’s a transformation in perspective?
Yeah a million times over the course of the day if I look at something, see it in a way that to me is an initial reaction, what I would say is an obvious way, then I take that and try to look at it in any other way, then I’m being an artist then I’m what I call servicing my muse. She wants me to look at shit differently. She’s all about change.
Sorry to make you stand outside in the cold.
That’s okay. Can you tell me more about your muse?
Uh okay I should clarify I do have actual human muses, people who inspire me and who make me want to be more creative. You’re one of those. I’m not really spiritual I don’t really worship nothing or believe in too much, I believe in a few things though. But I don’t know I guess I have a muse of change and movement. Even more so than change it’s all about movement as long as I’m moving forward, sideways, changing or evolving then I feel like I’m servicing that muse so I guess you could say that’s the thing I worship is moving. That’s the thing that makes me feel good.
So entropy is the slowing down of all movement. It’s like the heat death of the universe. All atoms vibrates, entropy is the loss of energy from that. So eventually the universe probably won’t end in a big fiery bang, it’ll just freeze, everything will stop moving on the atomic level. I think if that’s the bad thing, if that’s the end goal that we don’t want, the only way to service the universe being the universe is to move, keep moving, keep going.
Move back, move forward as long as you’re moving, she’s happy.
When did movement become important to you?
Um. At a very early age. You know I had some personal tragedies in life, quite a few of them and so I kind of had the option to give up. At a early age. Just thinking. And certain like certain lines of work that I did, odd jobs that I had, sort of encouraged movement and so I put that into the macro level in other parts of my life and how it might be useful.
What do you think the greatest thing that art has done for you is?
Uh, what has art done for me. It hasn’t given me much except a little bit of peace here and there and has bought me comforts, temporary comforts, little moment of peace, I guess you could say some money, some notoriety in certain circles, but those ain’t too great to me, the greatest thing it’s bought me is a little bit of peace and ability to state what I think a little bit better, so it’s made me a little more eloquent. Graffiti is a weird art for me because it’s a art and a craft. T a physical aspect to it.
People like to do graffiti, and some of them just like to have their work made in a big size but they don’t want to do the physical aspect they don’t want to climb stuff, be out in the cold, they don’t want to hop a fence and whatnot and that’s a part of it. So you know I try to never be elitist but part of me when it comes to graffiti is like mmm did you do that on a sunny day with a bunch of your friends with a cherry picker so you didn’t have to climb a ladder or climb a building? Get the fuck out of here.
The same way if somebody said I like to work with wood but I hate sawdust under my fingers or I like to work with metal but I hate being in a hot room. But if you make good shit it doesn’t matter if you suffer through it. So if I made this mural and it was a bright sunny day, it would still be the same mural as in the cold but I do feel a little proud of myself.
There’s something about being in the elements for sure. And your art is in the elements.
Yeah that’s the thing, I live in a city that is known for it’s winters kind of and I want that to be a part of my art I want that energy.
What gets you out of bed to do your work every day?
My legs. I decided a while back that art should be my calling. You see Venn diagrams of like what are you good at, what makes the universe a better place and what makes you financially viable and what can you live off of. I was an EMT I was a truck driver. But art—it’s not like it helps the universe I feel, it’s not like saving lives directly like being an EMT but I feel like art can make the place we live a little better.
Even if I’m not good at it, it’s easy for me to do like I do art when nobody pays me for it because it’s fun and then if I’m really good at it and really lucky, really lucky, and work really hard, I could make a living of it. But the adventure of hey maybe I could make a living doing this, combined with hey this is fun, combined with hey let’s make the universe a little less ugly makes me want to do public art.
I make a lot of art for myself and when I go through dark times sometimes I don’t want to share my art but then I’m like ah let me share some art and support art. Even if I can’t make art for some reason like I’m just feeling really low, that’s very rare but it has happened, I’m like okay well let me at least go experience some art, go support some art.
Do you think about how your public art is inherently impermanent?
Yeah that’s what I like about it. Some art is timeless. Like I so appreciate the fact that the pyramids are still there and that Mona Lisa is still around but then I appreciate the fact that maybe some day somebody will walk by, see this owl, think oh I love owls, let me take a picture of this owl, or let me take a mental picture of this owl, smile and know that they got like a special treat because this owl won’t be there next time they come by.
So I believe that there’s nothing wrong with memories, nothing wrong with holding on to memories, sharing them, just don’t try to make them stay. Don’t try to live in that state, move.
It’s the same with people sometimes people enter your life and leave your life and you know you do something maybe you shouldn’t to try to get them back and whatnot but then I'm like just live with the memories, don't throw away everything don’t try not to think about them, think about the good stuff, but don’t just constantly try to recreate it, know that it’s passed.
That kind of comes back to what you said about alchemy.
Yeah it all comes back to movement at a basic level. If I had a goddess that’s the one I would worship. She ain’t done me wrong yet. These are interesting questions I expected more like what’s your favorite color.
Do you have an answer to that?
I do like black because it contains all pigments and chrome and it reflects all pigments.
I think I actually just have one more question for you.
What? Gemini. Presbyterian, on my mother’s side.
What does beauty mean to you?
I think you can find beauty in a lot of stuff. Beauty means strength and bravery. Bravery is real beautiful. So if you’re brave enough to be yourself or be what you want, that shit’s always beautiful. Sort of an honesty, which goes along with bravery. Probably more so, as long as you’re honest like you can be scared and timid but if you’re just honest like this is me and this is what I like.
Same with art, you don’t have to be the best but if you’re honest and you're still trying to put a pure thought out there to the best of your abilities, that’s beautiful to me. That’s why I like folk art so much. It wasn’t people who had like any training or skill, but they just had to get this statement, this energy out, so they just took whatever paint they had, paint, muds, whatever, and they made art, they painted a picture with it, told a story.
That’s why I like folk art so much, I consider graffiti folk art. Other than that beauty can be anything and it varies for me day to day.
Two of my biggest crushes were David Bowie and Nina Simone and physically you can’t get two people who look more apart, but they’re both so beautiful to me in and out, physically, musically they are just two of the most beautiful people to me. They both were pure whatever they were.