Monday, July 30, 2012

Alex Stewart, One Layer at a Time.

So I checked out the 24 Artists 24 Hours art show recently. It was held at a great gallery on Hastings called Sheppard's Pie. You can get more info on the event here.

I dropped by on Saturday night about 6:30, and painting, drawing, sculpting, glassblowing and recording were all well underway. I'd come mainly to see my good buddy Alex Stewart, and offer my support (and a can of Full Throttle), but I ended up meeting a whole bunch of great, very talented local artists, any of whom I'd gladly go see again.

Alex had several pieces started when we got there, and over the next few hours we watched him work on all of them - one stencil at a time. The whole process was mesmerizing to witness. I decided then and there to interview Alex for this blog.

A few pics, then, before we get to the interview itself:






Now that you've survived the 24 Artists 24 Hours show, what's next on the horizon for you? Besides sleep, I mean.

Hah, oh and sleep I did, next up is most definitely a few group shows! I’ve met a lot of wicked artists in the past few months and really enjoy the collaborative process.

What are your longterm plans, if any?

Future plans include many things mainly starting up my own studio and gallery, I would love to be able to help other artists in a more substantial way. That and I have so many ideas floating around in my head I would truly love to start working collaboratively more often and having a dedicated space for that would simply be amazing.

I'm really diggin' your multi-layered stencil technique. How'd you develop that? Did it come from your automotive painting, or is it more of a graffiti thing?

Honestly, I’m not entirely sure how it all came together, as a kid I remember my mom making stencils to put on whatever she may have been working on, so that could be where it all came from. I could also blame it on my job or my addiction to graffiti, the first time I attempted a multi-layered stencil was just after a rather long session on stumble-upon where I found a video of Logan Hicks working, after that I was hooked.

How do you know when one of the stencil pieces is done?

I never really know when a piece is finished, I’ll cut a stencil one day, spray it the next, and have it hanging in my house for weeks. Then one day I’ll walk by it and think, “god, that is bugging me,” then figure out some way to change it. So I guess what I’m saying is that my pieces are never truly finished in a traditional sense. They keep evolving as long as they are in my possession. Though there are a few exceptions, The skulls from the 24 hour show in my mind are finished, I am beyond happy with how they turned out!

It's kind of a generic question, but how did you get started drawing and painting? On a related note, are there any other artists in your family?

I’ve been told that as soon as I could hold a crayon I’ve been drawing. But I first started painting when my grandmother attempted to teach me to oil paint, which as you can see by how I work now didn’t entirely stick, I just don’t really have to patience for it. I love oil paintings (I love my grandmothers paintings) but it’s just not my medium. I guess in a way that answers the second part of that question. Both my Grandmother and Mom are artists, so I guess I come from a line of artists.

What other artists inspire you? Which ones would you most like to drink with? (You can include dead ones if you like.)

Hmmmm, artists that inspire me. I could list far to many, so I’ll just list the heavy hitters, Jeff Soto, Logan Hicks, and 2:12 are the three artists who’s work I check regularly just to see what they are up too. They all work in different fashions, that in my mind blend together so well. So I guess if I could bump into all three of them in the same bar, I would seem like a teenage girl at a spice girls concert in the 90s....

Would you say there's an underlying message to your work?

I’m not sure if there is a hidden message in all of my pieces, some yes, but mostly I just paint what I find beautiful and interesting.

Have you considered any sort of merchandising? Shirts, prints, your own energy drink... ?

This I have put a decent amount of thought into, and am currently working on a few things. So you’ll just have to keep a eye open!

Do you take commissions? What's the best way for people to contact you?

I do take commissions, when time and demand allows it, I can take on about 2-3 commissions a month depending on what else life throws at me. The best way to get ahold of me is either by email (enlifestudio@gmail.com) or just find me on twitter (@Enlifestudio) and get me a shout.

Is there anybody in particular you'd like to give a shoutout to?

Far to many! Mainly my friends and family for putting up with my ridiculousness, more than I care to count have I forgone a social life to paint, and I thank them for not disowning me for it.

Side note, anyone who brought me caffeine during the 24 hour show... I am forever indebted to you!

Thanks, Alex.



Thursday, July 26, 2012

T-Shirt Thursdays, Round 02.

Just wanted to tell everybody that last week's inaugural installment of T-Shirt Thursdays was a success, and that we're back this week with two new options:



How do those look, whisky lovers?

Thursday, July 19, 2012

T-Shirt Thursdays

So the Agent and I were talking earlier, and we thought that adding a new t-shirt design to my RedBubble store every week would be a nice idea.

But I got a little overexcited and added two instead:



You can buy 'em right here.

See you next week.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Talk to My Agent.

Today is a momentous day. An epic step forward. One small step for... well, you get the idea.

What's the big deal, you're undoubtedly asking yourself? Well, it's like this: after years of tentative moves careerwise with my art, I decided to go pro and hired myself an agent.

Many of you already know Tess McCann of MCNG Marketing. She first started aiding and abetting my career in the fall of 2011 when she helped put together my first solo show, Metal Flake. And when I say "helped", I mean I couldn't have done it without her. She hosted the show and made the whole event more professional; how she ever put up with my pre-show nerves I'll never know (dirty little secret: I'm always a basketcase in the days leading up to a show).

In the months since then, Tess has continually suggested things that would never have occurred to me, offered guidance and promotional help, pointed me in new directions, and in general taken a gigantic amount of pressure off me, artwise.

We've been talking around this idea for months, and after recent discussions it just felt right to make it official. Oh, and here's a word from my new agent now:

Hi! I'm super excited to be on board officially as Bret's agent. I have been a big fan since I first saw his work, I have several pieces hanging on my walls. I'm looking forward to helping his career thrive, because he certainly deserves it.

Really looking forward to this next phase. And it's fantastic to have you onboard, Tess.

P.S. For the rest of you wonderful people, if there's something of mine you'd like to invest in, please contact the Most Excellent Ms. McCann here and she can sort things out for you.

(Photo: Lindsay Bayne.)