giovedì 29 gennaio 2009

Interview with Thomas Ray

q) Well, first of all please tell us

a little about yourself.

a) Hi, this is Thomas Ray; a 27 years old guy from Milan,

Italy. I'm graduated in Design.

I studied at Politecnico of Milan..

Now I'm freelancing as artist, illustrator and designer:)

and I'm single.

q)How would you describe your work?

a)My work speaks about me. About my past.

About my childhood.

About people I saw. About evol. About scars.

About hope. About my truth.

It's a continuous inner persuit.

It's the expression of myself through images,


colors and symbols.

It's speaking a languageI know.

q) Did somebody encourage you
to become an artist?

a)Nobody in particulr. I used to know what i was.

And day by day I'm always more persuaded to know who I am.

I believe in God.

q) What is your favorite medium?

a)Every time the best one to go straight to the point.


q) Can you describe your
from the seed of an idea
to a complete work?

a) First I think intensely about concept

until everything

is clear in my mind and I find

a interesting solution.

Than I start drawing.

q)Generally speaking,
where do your ideas come from?

a) Ideas come from my stomach than

go straight into my brain

and there rielaborated.

My right hand is the executioner.

q) How long does it take to complete a piece?

a)It dipends from demands,

inspiration, longing, maturitys.

Few hours or some days.

q) Who are your

favorite artists.
And who are some
artists you are
currently looking/listening to?

a) There are so many artists

I love that

it could be unfair choose

someone instead of someone else:)

q)Are you
represented by a gallery?
Do you have any
upcoming exhibits?

a) I did some solo and collective shows

at the Limited no-art gallery in Milan.

I have a friendly relationship with them.

Anyhow I prefer to be rapresented by myself.

I did also some other shows in Italy.

I will do a collective show of screenprints

called L00P on February,

here in Milan(.....) with other illustrators,

designers, wannabe artists...

curated by Arianna Vairo and Martina Merlini.

q) Do you have any

'studio rituals'?
As in, do you listen
to certain
types of music while working?

What helps to get you
in the mood for working?

a)No rythuals. I used to help myself with the music.

She helps me pull out certain emotions.

Each time different. Each time specific.

I listened to everything from Wolf Eyes to Cassius!

Now I prefer silence and the thought/illusion

that things become without many external influences.

q)What is your favorite a) taste,
b) sound,
c) sight, d) smell, and e)
tactile sensation?

a) I have continuous different tastes.

Because evolution and growth are life.

q) Do you have goals
that you are trying
to reach as an artist,
what is

What would you like
to accomplish in your

a) I try to reach credibility through continuity

and high quality of works. I want to accomplish

a big part of myself that needs

to express himself through drawings.

q) When have you started
using the internet
and what role does this form
of communication play for you,
for your art, and for your

a) Internet is amazing and usefull to find

and contact people all around the world fastly.

This is great also for my job.

There are much more opportunities

(but more competition too).

Internet offers so many

visual input: from extreme trash porno

to virtual museums.

But it never replaces real experiences,

and it could become a cage, an artificial heaven,

a killer place where you can find your tomb.

You must have knowledge about medium.

q) What do you obsess over?

a) I'm not obsessed about anything but

very interested about the concept

of vaginas as doors

of entrance/exit for ourselves' knowledge.

q) Do you have prefered working hours?
Do you pay attention to the time
of the day or maybe specific lighting?

a) I use to works in bright rooms.

It's impossible to me working in the dark.

My drawings are full of thin lines and particulars so

I need lights to do the very best because

I don't believe in random works.

q)Do you do commissioned works?

a)Of course. If they don't crash against

my moral principles and my believes.

q)Any tips for emerging artists?

a)Always be honest with theirself,

and follow their own and unique

way without envy for the others.

Do their best in relationship with

their own possibilities.

q)…Your contacts


martedì 20 gennaio 2009

Interview with Pearpicker

q)Please introduce yourself.

a)Hi I'm Bene , 24 years old. I study illustration in the forth semester. When I do art I call myself 'pearpicker'. It is 'Birnenpflücker' in German. That's what my mom called me sometimes, when I was a kid and did something stupid. But this doesn't mean, that I call myself like this, because I think my art ist stupid ;-) I just like the name. q)Where do you live and work? a)I was born, I live and study in Muenster, Germany.

q)How would you describe your work to someone who has never seen it?

a)I love to and do mostly draw ugly, hairy, overweight and mutated people/creatures,
halos, metamorphoses and masks. Unnaturalness is totally after my fancy. I see naturalness and normality everywhere, so why should I draw it!?

q)How did you start in the arts? How/when did you realize you were an artist?

a)Like almost every kid, I started drawing in the kindergarten.
I always drew and painted, but the first time I remember, where I started loving it, was at my grandparents, where I spent a lot of time and where I drew a lot. My grandfather often read fairy tales to me and my sisters and inspired by that, I drew figures and creatures out these fairy tales. I always had problems with calling myself an artist. I knew/know that I had a certain talent, but I first realized, that I'm something like an artist during my studys. Circa one and a half years ago.

q)What are your favorite art materials and why?

a)I like old, yellowed paper and pencil best. I mainly draw with drop action pencils and ink pens, because I like the fine line you can draw with it. It's perfect for detailed drawings, which i do mostly. I also like the use of digital coloring, because it's easy and you have a huge scale of colors.

q)What/who influences you most?

a)Oh, that's not easy to say.
I believe my ideas come directly from my mind, which is a little weird sometimes. There's nothing that influences me knowingly. Except life in general and other artists, who can be very inspiring, too. I always search for good artists on the internet and there are so, so many talented and inspiring people out there.

q)Describe a typical day of art making for you.

a)Unfortunately, there are too few days, where I can make art all day,
because of my studys (which I love by the way) and my sidejob in the callcenter (which I don't like, but is neccessary to finance myself). But when I have a free day, I sit at my desk, draw, listen to music, drink coffee, in between I read comics, artbooks or magazines and simply enjoy it.

q)Do you have goals, specific things you want to achieve with your art or in your career as an artist?

a)I haven't found a place or category, where I see myself and my art in the future.
But I would love to do artworks (posters, lp-covers) for bands, editorial illustration and maybe draw comics sometime (that's what I'll try in the next time). The most important thing is, that I'm able to live by the money I earn with it. I never want to do anything else but art.

q)What contemporary artists or developments in art interest you?

a)Some of my favorite comic-artists and/or illustrators are Anke Feuchtenberger, Atak, Martin tom Dieck and Gipi. Some of my favorite painters/artists are Max Neumann, Egon Schiele and Horst Janssen.
And there are a few upcoming artists/illustrators i know through, who I believe, will have success in the future and who I admire. Frederik Jurk, Ward Zwart, Tommaso Meli and Brecht Vandenbroucke are some of them.

q)How long does it typically take you to finish a piece?

a)It doesn't take long. Normally not more than two hours, cause my drawings are usually not bigger than A4 size. Actually I'm working on a bigger piece, where only the sketch took me more than one hour. It always depends on the size.

q)Do you enjoy selling your pieces, or are you emotionally attached to them?

a)I didn't sell any pieces yet, just traded some with other artists.
But I'm definitely emotionally attached to my drawings. My walls are full of my favorite own works and I would miss each single one. There are some which I would never sell.

q)Is music important to you? If so, what are some things you're listening to now?

a)Music is very important to me. I always listen to music and I'm emotionally attached to music, too.
At the moment I mainly listen to Portugal. The Man, Arcade Fire and The Velvet Underground. They are my favorites. I can always hear them and they never bore me. I get bored of things too fast. Especially of music. I'm always searching for new bands. q)Books? a)I like reading and I read a lot at the moment, which is a little bit unusual, cause reading-time is mostly rare. The last books I read were 'The catcher in the rye' by J.D. Salinger and a few books by Charles Bukowski (I love this guy!) and Cees Nooteboom. Currently I read a novel by Janosch, who is also a great illustrator.

q)What theories or beliefs do you have regarding creativity or the creative process?

a)(Sorry, I have no good answer to this question right now.)

q)What do you do (or what do you enjoy doing) when you're not creating?

a)I love watching movies, listening to music, playing guitar, reading, playing games and meeting
my friends.

q)Do you have any projects or shows coming up that you are particularly excited about?

a)Yes, there's an upcoming solo-exhibition in September, in Hannover (Germany), which
I am very (!!!) excited about. It's my first solo-show.

q)Do you follow contemporary art scenes? If so, how? What websites, magazines, galleries do you prefer?

a)Yes, I follow the german comic scene which I do by reading the magazine 'Strapazin' and
visiting (they publish the best german comic books). The German art/illustration magazine 'Jitter' is a nice lecture, too. Most younger artists I know and whose work I observe are people I know by Through this I discover a lot of great websites, galleries, fanzines etc. I have no special favorite, cause there are too many.

q)Ask yourself a question you'd like to answer, and answer it.

a)Are you lucky?
Yes I am!

q)Any advice for aspiring artists?

a)Always get and stay in contact with other artists, collaborate and interchange with them, build networks.
Show your art to others, publish it in the internet, accept criticism, never stop doing your thing. Nobody will notice you, when you don't present yourself to the world.

q)Where can we see more of your work online


Interview with Dan Lydersen

q) What is your name and what do you do?
a)My name is Dan Lydersen and I paint.
q)When did you really get into art?
a)There was no single point when I suddenly got into art.

I was pretty enthusiastic about it from an early age. I
didn’t start painting until I was around 17 though.

Until then I’d done everything from acting and playing music to
making little installations in my room with found objects.

Painting was sort of a revelation for me and gradually
replaced most of the other mediums I’d been experimenting with.
q)How did you come to the realization that you should try your

luck at art on a more serious level?
a)It wasn’t long after I started painting that

I decided I wanted to make a career out of it.
I just wanted to spend
as much time as possible making art so the

idea of doing it for a living was very attractive.
I knew it was impractical
but I couldn’t really imagine being happy doing anything else.
q)How did you discover the particular style that you have?
a)It was a long process. My enthusiasm towards painting was

really tested when I went to college. I didn’t feel like
the art department valued painting very much.

A lot of the students and some of the professors were
a little apathetic
towards painting, like there was nothing left for

it to do and that we should all just move on.
That wore off on me a
bit and I spent a lot of time working in other genres.

Eventually I came back to painting, but my approach was much
different then it is now. I spent several years making large-scale,

multi-panel abstract paintings, mostly in black and
white. The work was ok, but I think I was still a little insecure about

the validity of painting and I was trying too hard
to make work that was academic or intellectual.

When I went back to school for my MFA I was forced to really
reconsider what I wanted out of painting.

I got over my hang-ups about painting and decided to just trust
instincts, even if that meant making work that looked back

in time as much as it looked forward. The responses from
my colleagues were overwhelmingly positive and it was

the first time in many years that I was truly excited about
painting again.
q)How would you describe your style?
a)It’s sort of like the Most Wanted paintings

in Komar and Melamid’s People’s Choice series, but with
hermaphrodites and bearded children. 
q)Who or what influences your art?
a)I’m attracted to the ugliness

in what’s commonly considered beautiful and vice versa.
Much of my imagery is
derived from historical paintings, but also

contemporary advertising and popular/consumer culture. These things can
seem so banal and prosaic that I think we tend to take them for granted most of the time,

though they’re really pretty
strange and fascinating if you step back and take a fresh look at them.
q)How often do you create a new piece?
a)It depends on the size. A small painting takes me two or

three weeks and large ones can take up to four months.
q)What kind of success have you had with your art?
a)Things have been going really well since

I finished graduate school a couple years ago. Responses to my work
have been great and I’ve been selling enough work to keep the whole project afloat.

All of that is great, but it doesn’t
mean much if the work isn’t intrinsically satisfying.

Luckily it has been, but you have to maintain a degree of self-
criticism so as not to slip into autopilot and start imitating yourself.

Keeping the work fresh and staying excited about
it is the real measure of success, but it’s harder to quantify than how much work you sell

or how many shows you’ve
q)What would be the ultimate goal for you and your art?
a)There are plenty of grand projects that I’d like to embark on

if I had more time and resources, but my ultimate
goal is really just to spend a lot of time making things and to stay excited about doing so. 
q)What do you see as an accomplishment in the way of art?
a)Art serves so many different purposes for different people,

there’s no single way to gauge artistic
accomplishment. For me personally,

if I can sustain a regular studio practice and continue to make work that is
interesting to me, that’s accomplishment enough. As for whether or not

my work is successful in a societal or art-
historical context, that’s not for me to decide.  
q)What kind of message, if any, do you try to convey through your art?
a)I don’t have an ideological agenda, but my work is definitely informed by

my own particular worldview. It’s
important to me to remain critical of human culture,

but without becoming jaded or didactic. Life on earth is beautiful
and disgusting, blissful and horrifying, and I try to implant these kinds of

experiential dualities into my work while also
maintaining a degree of level-headed satire and cultural analysis.
q)Sum up your art in one word.
q)Any additional comments?
a)Everything is different, but the same.

Things are more moderner than before. Bigger, and yet smaller. It's
computers. San Dimas High School football rules.
q)…your contacts…