Hump Day Hot Seat: Marlana Tollaksen

My super cool and talented friend, Marlana Tollaksen, jumps into this week’s Hump Day Hot Seat. She’s an amazing illustrator and textile designer who is full of wanderlust, can’t help but be a badass babe, and totally appreciates a mostly black wardrobe like myself. Learn more about Marlana, her work, and how she hopes to expand her creativity below. Check out her ridiculously magical doodles on Tumblr too. You won’t regret it!

Marlana, thank YOU for stopping by today and letting strangers get to know you! “You don’t know me!” 😛 Go ahead & get yours, Milengie!!! I’m so proud of you! Love and miss you mucho, my lovely!!! xoxo ❤

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1. Who are you?

Marlana T.  Artist and maker of things.  Wanderer and procrastinator.

2.  What do you do?

Professionally, I’m a freelance textile artist and illustrator.  Otherwise I have this ongoing art journal project I pour my heart into. I have three now!   In it I make intricate drawings depicting my thoughts and feelings and hand letter the entire text. It’s also a way to keep a record of my travels and all the interesting people I meet along the way.

3. When/Where/How did you get your start?

As far back as I can remember I’ve been making artwork.  As a child this was always my main focus so it was a no-brainer to go to art school.  I studied textile/surface design at FIT with a concentration in decorative arts.  My professional foot in the door was ten years ago at a small textile studio my friend and I called “The Rat Den” for shit pay where my artwork made someone else rich.

4.  How long have you been at it?

My entire life!  I’ve always been working toward something even when it felt while I was working toward nothing.

5.  What is the most important thing we should know about you?

I’m direct.

6.  Is there anyone else in your field that you particularly admire?

My good friend Joanna Mulder.  She’s a shockingly versatile artist and is endlessly talented.  She can literally do/make anything.

7. What other types of art are you into?

I really love screenprinting and printmaking.  Though I don’t have too much experience in either, I’d like to maybe someday get some.

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8. You got any crazy hobbies or unique talents?

My new fave hobby is making handmade clothing out of scrap fabric while on the road.  I was just in Mexico for three months, where I made two bikinis and a shirt out of my jeans and some leather and t-shirt scraps.  Now I have this dream where I travel with, like, no clothes in my backpack and I just make my wardrobe as I go along.

9.  What’s your favorite vice?

Weed, baby!

image110. How do you make it over the creative hump?

I make it a point to put myself in interesting new settings and situations.  The only time I feel creative interruption is when my life is stagnant.

11. If someone was to write a Craigslist missed connection about you, what would it say?

We met in _______ a couple years back.  You looked really upset and told me you had to take a shit and I never saw you again.

12.  What is your most prized possession?

My resilience.

13. Truth or Dare?  Elaborate.
 
Dare.  I like to be challenged.

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Hump Day Hot Seat: Jessica Natal

Chillin’ in today’s Hump Day Hot Seat is an awesome friend and one of Jersey City’s finest! No matter how much time has passed, we always find ourselves having a blast together. She’s a rad chick – as wild as her hair – who can’t stop, won’t stop. An experienced graphic artist for hire, Jessica Natal, is someone to keep an eye on, both literally and figuratively. You just never know what she’ll get into next. Thanks for hanging out with me on .stART here., Jessy! And I got mad love to give…

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Photo © Bernadette Cruz

1. Who are you?

A 35 yr old graphic/web designer with artistic tendencies from the mean streets of Newark, NJ.

2. What do you do?

I web, I art, and I coffee. I coffee a lot.

3. When/Where/How did you get your start? 

I was about 4 or 5 when my sperm donor told me that the world was a huge painting. Thus began my love affair with texture, typography, and color.

4. How long have you been at it? 

I took a hiatus when I was 20 (had to go to work), but I found my way back at 31 after a soul sucking position working for a government contractor.
 
5. What is the most important thing we should know about you? 

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As Vampire Queen Merceline, Photo © Bernadette Cruz

I’m a work in progress. I fuck up. I over-design. I make jokes. We wake up the next day and life goes on.

6. Is there anyone else in your field that you particularly admire?

I really love Jessica Hische. She’s managed to bridge the gap between illustration and typography and it’s amazing to watch. Jessica Walsh is another fave – check her out. She’s incredible. Mind you, the “Jessica’s” is not lost on me.

7. What other types of art are you in to? 

I’m really into collage these days. It sounds corny, but you can make some cool shit using old letters, newspapers, and mod podge.

8. You got any crazy hobbies or unique talents? 
 
I’m really good at pissing off meatheads, cursing, and karaoke. That last one always surprises people.
 
9. What’s your favorite vice? 

Good ol’ fashioned whiskey.
 
10. How do you make it over the creative hump? 

Walk away. I shut down my computer, I put the brush down, and I answer the call from
within me for “drankin’.”

11. You eat food? What kind? Like to cook? 
 
Total foodie. Anything with cheese and sauce tickles my fancy.  The good sauce though,with more salt than anything.

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Selfie  © Bernadette Cruz

12. Truth or Dare? Elaborate. 

Truth. Mostly because there’s nothing you can ask of me that I haven’t already done.

13. What is your most prized possession?

Probably my ability to adapt. You can shoot anything at me, and I’ll adapt. And I have to say, those are my proudest moments.

 

Hump Day Hot Seat: Christine Soner

Coming in hot with this brand new Hump Day Hot Seat featuring one of my homies, Christine Soner! Hailing from Jersey, Christine grew up in a creative family where music, painting, and sewing were celebrated.  She graduated with a degree in clothing construction and design and quickly became a visual merchandiser for major clothing retailers, like Benetton and Macy’s. Check out what she’s into these days, at play and while working for IKEA, as she answers questions provided by Finch & Ada. Big thanks to Christine for hanging out on .stART here. MUAH!

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1. Who are you?

A curious, creative, Jersey girl with a good heart.

2. What do you do?

I do corporate PR for a major home furnishing retailer, IKEA.

3. When/Where/How did you get your start?

I started off as a decorator in the Elizabeth store in ’93, and about six years in, a position opened for a product placement person with corporate. So I went for it, got it and was able to remain at the store, since it’s so close to all the media offices in NYC. My main function is to help media outlets get the products or images they need. I’ve also been a stylist for photoshoots if someone needs one, be it a television show, publication or online outlet, I help with corporate events, I was a founding member of our Pinterest account, I blog for our design blog TheShare-Space. I’ve even created original content for our Instagram account, in my office, with my iPhone. So I’ve had my hands here, there and everywhere.

4. How long have you been at it?

This November it will be 17 years total in PR, 23 years total with the company.

5. What is the most important thing we should know about you?

I’m a fiercely loyal friend as any Leo.

6. Is there anyone else in your field that you particularly admire?

I absolutely know nothing about anyone in the PR field.

7. What other types of art are you in to? 

13620113_10154339424262053_3597889990066158415_nI began getting heavily into street art about 10 years ago, and yes I had a Banksy and Shepard Fairey phase (lost interest in them at least 5 years ago). I was at galleries, museums and warehouse shows every week and weekend, throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens. 5 years ago I inherited a house, so that became the focus of my spare time and money. Then 3 years ago my free time got focused on becoming caretaker of my mom, so all my social activities and working on my house, has had to take a back seat. Ironically the last thing my living and dining rooms need, is art. This summer I am taking random days off from work, just with the intention of seeing some exhibits and installations. I recently went to Grounds for Sculpture in south Jersey for the first time, and it was great. Storm King Art Center in upstate NY has a special exhibit of Dennis Oppenheim’s going on. Govenors Island was just overhauled with the installment of The Hills and the longest slide in NYC. In Rockaway Queens there is an installation by Katharina Gross I want to see, and lastly, a retrospect of the late, great fashion illustrator Antonio Lopez, at El museo del Barrio in Spanish Harlem. He was one of my 80’s idols and we attended the same designing school in NYC.

8. You got any crazy hobbies or unique talents?

Pinterest has been my only hobby the last 5 or 6 years. I’m a virtual scrap-booker. I use to save lots of magazine pages of fashion and interiors, and when Pinterest came along, I freaked out. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve purged a lot of physical stuff. I also love that with technology, you can go smaller and lighter. Albums to tapes, tapes to CDs, CDs to audio files. I nearly wanted to kill myself when Apple stopped production of the iPod. At least now with the 6s+, I bought the 128 gig so I can store the current 80 gigs of music that I have.   This year my goal was to take all those magazines pages, some dating back as far as the early 1980s, photograph them with my phone, then upload them to Pinterest. I’m also tackling a lot of my photos by uploading them into albums on Facebook. I also think it would be cool to put certain photos into Chatbooks, actually hard cover bound books.

9. What’s your favorite vice?

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Unique cocktails with things in them like cucumbers, rosemary, lavender, fresh ginger, etc. Relaxing and drinking with friends is the best. And Pinterest. I’m obsessed with Pinterest.

10. How do you make it over the creative hump?

Take a break and go on social sites, Instagram and Pinterest. Then I just dive right back in.

11. You eat food? What kind? Like to cook?

Yes, a bit of everything, except I don’t really like fruit, nuts or too much spice in what I’m eating. And tofu freaks me the f*ck out. I absolutely hate cooking. I like cleaning and organizing.

12. Tell me about the last time a project blew up in your face?

I can’t recall a project completely blowing up, but when you’re in PR, there can be a lot of set backs as you move along through a project. Things are very reactive, so sometimes you have to put out little fires along the way. You can be dealing with many different personalities and working styles. Not everyone is good with deadlines, which is disrespectful. When that happens, your whole project get’s thrown off balance, and usually means scrambling at the 11th hour.

13. What is your most prized possession?

My Pinterest account.

Hump Day Hot Seat: Anthony “weird*eye*one”

AnthonyWeirdEyeOne_HumpDayHotSeatPhoto © Jason Vasquez, Hump Day Hot Seat Alum

1. Who are you?

I’m Anthony “weird*eye*one” and I currently live at the beach in Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey. I’m originally from Newark & Roselle Park.

2. What do you do?

I’m an artist, muralist, illustrator.. and A street ninja (aka, street artist). For years, I painted my characters & art everywhere I could, and I made small panels with my art on them, then glued them up everywhere, high up on buildings, signs, trees, vans, trucks, wherever. I’m semi-retired from that now, but I still paint my art on walls at abandoned buildings, and I still put up panels every once in awhile too. It’s cool to know that people will put the effort in to collecting those little street panels.

These days, well, the last four years actually, I’ve been putting more focus on my studio work and painting murals, showing my work in galleries and doing commissions for my collectors/fans. Recently my art work has made it to galleries in Australia and Japan for a few upcoming group shows.

3. When/Where/How did you get your start?

Oops, I covered some of that in the last answer.. Well anyway, I was always drawing when I was a kid and making stuff. I went to Seton Hall for college, learned some stuff there, managed to keep my own style & vision through it all. Also, for years I filled up tons of sketchbooks, most of which I gave away, either the whole book or just individual pages. I stuck to this one character, which was kinda box shaped, sometimes he would look fun and friendly, and other times he looked downright evil. This character is what I started painting everywhere, on walls, trucks, abandoned buildings, freight trains. Eventually, the characters were joined by abstract patterns and this carried over to my studio work that I showed in galleries.

Now, over the last two years in my murals, I’ve been slowly dropping my famous characters and keeping the abstract patterns, and arranging them in some sort of shape and motion. My studio work has evolved into something different, but I still keep the style & patterns that I’ve always used over the years. It’s just more detailed now and I’m using the negative space more around the main images in my paintings. Another thing most people will notice and have noticed with my work in the galleries is there are the illustrated works that I do and larger abstract “mash-up” paintings, which are smaller versions of my giant murals that I do outside.

4. How long have you been at it?

Since 1999, doing stuff pretty much “under the radar” by staying anonymous whenever I would paint my characters on walls. The little wood panels I was putting up all over the place, I would write my name on them and they were pretty consistent with the art I was putting on walls, so people were starting to make the connection. So, when I started showing my work in group shows and eventually solo shows, I already had a pretty good following that came from my street art. I have taken breaks here and there from my work, and last year I took about 9 months off after Hurricane Sandy because I needed to get my house back in order. It was a good break for me though, probably one I needed at the time.

 5. What is the most important thing we should know about you?

Besides being an artist & a muralist, I’m also a commercial artist too. I paint and design for the home fashion textiles industry, it’s something I do on the side throughout the week. It’s actually pretty fun and it allows me to change things up during the week so I’m not only working on my own art.

6. Is there anyone else in your field that you particularly admire?

Too many to mention… Well, I’ll start with the artists whose art work I’m lucky to own.. Alex Pardee (who I’ve actually become friends with. He’s one crazy talented guy, but super down to earth). I also admire Jeff Soto, Sylvia Ji, Nychos The Weird, ROID, Dan Witz, AMUSE, Meres, RIME (aka, Jersey Joe), ASKEW.. and The list goes on.. Oh yea, Salvador Dali and Frida Kahlo.

 7. What other types of work are you into?

I like everything from graffiti, low brow, surreal to the classics and some sculpture type work. I also like comic book art and some anime.

8. You got any crazy hobbies or unique talents?

Well, hobbies, I guess photography and no that doesn’t only cover me taking pictures of my murals, haha.. I do on occasion go out and just take pictures of stuff.

Unique talents.. I’m an expert at roasting vegetables, all kinds and somehow they remain firm and crunchy! I make some amazing hummus and falafel from scratch, and probably the hottest salsa on the planet. I use ghost peppers and habaneros!! So yea, it’s pretty hot.

 9. What’s your favorite vice?

I would have to say art is my vice and painting my art on walls. That’s why I’m glad I got some abandoned buildings that are my “secret” spots where I go paint whenever and whatever I feel like painting, plus experimenting with some different ideas and techniques. I like having my secret spots to use when I’m in between the “legal” mural projects I get.. Or else I’m pretty sure I would be doing plenty of illegal painting elsewhere!

I’m also addicted to collecting vinyl toys from Kid Robot and I like all things dark chocolate!!

10. How do you make it over the creative hump?

When I hit a “block”, I just relax, maybe do a little sketching. I’ll go do some gallery hopping, look around the internet at other artists, blogs and sometimes wander around Queens or Brooklyn looking at graffiti and street art.

I’m sad that 5 Pointz is gone, that place was so inspiring to me!

Luckily, I’ve been on a roll and full of ideas now for the past 14 months.

11. You eat food? What kind? Like to cook?

Yes, I eat food, haha!! I’m a vegan.. When I’m painting at a wall for an entire day or an entire weekend, I usually have bananas, a container of peanut butter and some granola. Just some easy snacking food to eat when I take short breaks from painting. I do like to cook food, but I suck at baking! My diet is plant based, healthy, yada yada, but I like my junk vegan food like the awesome vegan donuts I get most Sundays from Cinnamon Snail in Red Bank. They’re so good!! I even like to make tofu scrambles with chipotle peppers and seitan.

12. Tell me about the last time a project blew up in your face?

Every single time I’ve tried to bake a cake, haha! For real, I’ve had a few paintings that I was simply not happy with and this happened when I’m about 90% done with them. The re-do ends up being significantly better, way better! However, I can count on just one hand how many times this has happened, so it’s a rare occurrence.

13. What is your most prized possession?

My parents, my sister, her new husband and my niece, so basically my family.

My camera. My two external hard drives that hold photos of every single piece of art and mural I’ve ever created. My Windsor & Newton paint brushes that I’ve had forever.

Hump Day Hot Seat: Ali Smith

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© Ali Smith

Today is a bit of a Wednesday Rewind too! You might remember NYC-based photographer, Ali Smith, when she was previously featured on .stART here. in Fresh Friday Finds and a Hump Day Hot Seat in 2013. Find out what she’s been up to lately as she answers questions provided by Finch & Ada once more here. Be sure to check out Ali Smith’s MOMMA LOVE photo book and follow her on Twitter and Instagram too!

1. Who are you?

That is deep, my friend. Still not sure. Thus far, I am a photographer. Musician. I stand around 5’9″. I have started moisturizing because I’m noticing fine lines. I’m happy to be a mom and a wife.

2. What do you do?

Take pictures and try to make a statement.

3. When/Where/How did you get your start?

I started as a touring,  recording musician.  I took pictures of everything and everyone around me which involved a lot of craziness and black clothing. After years of touring, I craved more female connection because touring and playing music is largely about vans, sweat and men everywhere. Once I decided I wanted more female connections in my life, I reached out to artists who’d inspired me- Alice Walker, Exene Cervenka, Sandra Bernhard, Mary Karr, 35 in total- photographed and interviewed them, and that became my first book, Laws of the Bandit Queens.

4. How long have you been at it?

I’ve been at it since college and since I was touring, so early 20’s, but I haven’t had to do any other type of work besides photography for 15 years or so.

5. What is the most important thing we should know about you?

That I was never a drug addict ( my least favorite public myth about me from my music days). In fact, I never did any drugs. Not preaching, just setting the record straight.

6. Is there anyone else in your field that you particularly admire?

Donna Ferrato, Amy Arbus, Diane Arbus, Martin Parr, William Egglesteen, Paolo Roversi, Alec Soth, Joshua Bright, Bob Carey, Cig Harvey, Cristina De Middel, and Jennifer McClure.

7. What other types of art are you in to?

I recently saw some paintings from students who were really into and adept at photo realism. After years of being surrounded by high concept and modern art, I was taken aback at how incredible realism can be in painting. How stunning. Right now, I’m into that. But I appreciate all manner of art, as long as I feel I’m not being conned by someone with a budget and no ideas. Ideas are queen.

8. You got any crazy hobbies or unique talents?

Talk to me in ten years when my son is 14, and I have time for hobbies again. That said, I like to get crafty with my bad self and make all sorts of things- chocolate, soft toys, models of volcanoes that work.

9. What’s your favorite vice?

Whiskey is my favorite vice. Also crap TV.

10. How do you make it over the creative hump?

Forge ahead. Like a Sherpa. Up that hill. With breaks built in to catch your breath. (the breaks are a new idea for me, but definitely smart)

11. You eat food? What kind? Like to cook?

I do. Anything that has the letter “r” in its name. I like my husband to cook.

12. Tell me about the last time a project blew up in your face?

Thank GOD that hasn’t happened often at all, but now that you’ve made me say it out loud, it will. THANKS A LOT, BERNADETTE! But really, honestly, it has only happened when I have compromised too much and let peoples’ worry and micromanaging win out. Then the product turns out lame. 

13. Truth or Dare? Elaborate.

Truth. Because I am not the type to run naked to the mailbox and back on a dare.

14. What is your most prized possession?

Can my child be a possession? If not, then my husband.

Hump Day Hot Seat: James Austin Murray

 

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©Max Noy Photo

1. Who are you? 

My name is James Austin Murray. I used to go by Jim Murray, but if you Google “Jim Murray artist,” good luck finding me. Now I go by my full name.

2. What do you do? 

I build and make paintings, what I mean by build them is I make the solid substrates they’re on and shape them as a starting place for the painting.

3. When/Where/How did you get your start? 

I’ve been making art of some sort since high school. I studied Illustration at Parsons School of Design, and I spent a long time doing work that was in some ways illustrative, but now my work has become completely abstract. I find it so much more engaging and the work evolves differently than figurative work.

4. How long have you been at it? 

See above.

5. Is there anyone else in your field that you particularly admire?  

Richard Serra for his ability to do massive powerful works that have magic. I also admire many artists who’s names are not yet household names. A few of those are Diane Scott, Keiko Narahashi, Mark Zimmermann, Alex Couwenberg, Valerie Brennan, Susan Carr, Erika Diehl, Don Voisine and lots of other living, hard working artists. There are so many excellent artists working today.

6. What other types of art are you in to?  

I’m pretty impressed by all artists and artisans, particularly by people who believe in what they do and have found a way to do it life long. I have huge respect for the artist that never gets to show much and works their entire life. To me it shows that they are or were true believers in their artistic endeavor.

7. You got any crazy hobbies or unique talents?  

I collect art, it’s not so much a hobby as it is a love. I think it’s important for an artist to understand what motivates a collector and there is no better way of doing that than collecting. It’s also becoming a retirement account. I don’t know about stocks, but art I know what I fall in love with. Yet it’s something I hope never to have to sell. Lots of people think that collecting art is exclusively for the rich. I spend an average of maybe $1000 a year, that’s less than someone spends if they smoke two packs of cigarettes per week.

8. What’s your favorite vice? 

Lust and Italian wine!

9. How do you make it over the creative hump?  

I can’t relate to artistic block anymore. I have a daily studio practice, and it’s about getting work done. There’s always busy work I can do if I’m not feeling “on” so that when I am feeling clear headed and ready to rock, my studio is ready for me.

10. You eat food? What kind? Like to cook?  

I would eat Japanese every day if I could afford it. I’m a decent cook. I learned initially from my friend June Chung who taught me how to cook Italian food in France. He had lived in Italy when he was learning to sing Opera.

11. What is your most prized possession? 

I think it has to be my workspace. I could loose everything and be OK if I could continue to have a space to make work. It’s my personal rabbit hole and my playroom.

 

 

 

 

Hump Day Hot Seat: James V. Mignogna

 

seattleviewtourists_Photo © James V. Mignogna

1. Who are you? 

James V. Mignogna The V is for Vincent. It was my grandfather’s name.

2. What do you do? 

These days?  Well up until about five months ago, I was working at the International Center for Photography in NYC helping to keep their darkrooms humming.  That, and of course, shooting any chance I could get. These days… well I gave that up to be a stay at home papa to my eight month old son.  I was able to build a pretty professional darkroom in my attic, so I’m still able to work. So I guess the answer to this question right now is, feed, corral, wrastle and otherwise adore my little gremlin boy (as in that Bugs Bunny cartoon, not Mogwai). Also, I’ve been printing. I guess you’d call me a fine art photographer. I’m currently printing out a series for a solo show that will be opening in September at the Mamaroneck Artists Guild in Larchmont, NY.  They are orotone variants… palladium prints… hand painted emulsion on 24k gold guilded vellum. It’s keeping me pretty busy.

3. When/Where/How did you get your start?

At Photography?  Well the old joke is that I got a PhD in photography from my father. “Push here, Dummy.”  Really, he was the first person who got a camera in my hands. He was a bit of an amateur shutterbug and always had a camera or two lying around the house. He was generous enough to let me play with one. I also took a photo class in high school. You know how people say they get hooked the first time they see an image come up in the developer? I’m no different. Maybe not super original, but no less true. Jesus, that would have been what… 27 years ago? Wow. I may not be as young as I think I am.

Anyway, I’ve had a camera on me, off and on, since then. It’s always been part of my identity, but I only maybe in the last six or seven years decided that I should stop running around it. This is just who I am. I’ve only been starting to try to show my work in a serious way in the last three years or so, but I’ve gotten some good responses from it. At the heart of it, it’s a connection to my pop. It’s been several years since he passed on, but it’s kind of an unspoken way I keep him close. Funny I should say that it’s unspoken, because for a time there, photography was the only thing we COULD talk about. Some fathers and sons have baseball. We had photography.

4. How long have you been at it?

I guess I kinda answered that one.

5. What is the most important thing we should know about you?

The most important. hmm. I don’t know about most. I guess that depends who you are. What would I tell you about my work? I guess that all of my photography is “straight.” There are some people who would tell you to “make photos, don’t take them.”  I don’t know. For me, I like to take them. The act of extraction from the real world is possibly the greatest strength of photography. I am a photographer by choice, not default. I like to make reference to painting and etching, but it is always photos of real things described as they are. For me to see what is in the world, to record and venerate that is an act of saying “yes” to existence. It’s an act of reverence. It’s really not that unlike prayer.

6. Is there anyone else in your field that you particularly admire? 

So many. Really too many to mention. Mostly, I still lean towards a middle 20th century look, so you’d find my inspiration in Frank, Friedlander, Erwitt, Davidson, Winogrand, Kertész, HCB, Mary Ellen Mark, W. Eugene Smith… I also love the work of Salgado, Kratochvíl, Kashi, Haviv… Ernst Haas and Saul Leiter… so many… I also draw inspiration from lots of my talented friends, Daniel Elliott, Denis Yermoshin, Sumner Wells Hatch, Ed Cheng… I really could go on and on and on, and I hate the idea of leaving anyone out.

7. What other types of art are you in to? 

Painting. I love painting. I’m also a great fan of etching and printmaking. Sculpture is a real love of mine as well. It is really the art form I would love to try, but it just feels so foreign to anything I’ve done before… I just imagine Cellini pouring the bronze for his Persius with the Head of Medusa and I’m just in awe of it.

8. You got any crazy hobbies or unique talents? 

Well I don’t know about crazy. I love to collect vinyl which is sort of common, but I also collect Laserdiscs. You know… They were the medium between VHS tape and DVDs. They are kind of like a DVD in the size and shape of an LP. You even have to flip them. They are just so wrong that they are perfectly right. I have about 500 of them now. I love movies. I’m a big movie buff. I also quite like to cook. I’m a bit of a foodie.

9. What’s your favorite vice? 

Wine. Wine and absinthe… and good beer.

10. How do you make it over the creative hump?

I try another take. Over the years I have gotten to what I feel is a personal look, but I do a number of things. If I get stuck with the traditional B&W silver gel street work, then I move over to the color abstract stuff… if that starts to challenge me, I move on to the hand painted emulsion / alternate photo stuff.

11. If someone was to write a craigslist missed connection about you, what would it say? 

“You: a hairy unkempt possibly unwashed shambling monster pushing an adorable baby in a stroller.  I was about to call child services when I passed you in the park, but didn’t. I fear I maybe should have.”

12. Tell me about the last time a project blew up in your face?

Well nothing really “Blows up” but often things evolve in a way that I wasn’t planning. It can be a real disaster if I’m too stubborn about that, but I give the process enough respect to listen to what the project wants to be. Ultimately I may still be left with a project that I want to get done in the end, but it’s all just a work in progress… both the images and myself.

13. What is your most prized possession?

My family.  Not really a possession, but you get the idea.

 

Hump Day Hot Seat: Emilio Florentine

Fresh Friday Finds alum Emilio Florentine is in today’s Hump Day Hot Seat! Get to know this Jersey City based artist as he answers questions provided by Finch & Ada. Thanks for stopping by, Emilio!

VLUU L200  / Samsung L200

Excursions, Aerosol Paint. © Emilio Florentine

1. Who are you?

Emilio Florentine

2. What do you do?

I paint exploding flowers. They are a visual study of the chaos within beauty.

3. When/Where/How did you get your start?

I began drawing cartoon and comic book characters at an early age. In my early teens, I enrolled in advanced art lessons after school in Somerville, NJ.

4. How long have you been at it?

A long time.

5. What is the most important thing we should know about you?

I own a fine art and apparel screen-printing business called Jersey City Screen Printing.

6. Is there anyone else in your field that you particularly admire?

The local artists and graffiti writers of Jersey City and Newark

7. What other types of art are you in to?

Screen-printing and colored pencil

8. You got any crazy hobbies or unique talents?

Skateboarding and Snowboarding

9. What’s your favorite vice?

Tequila

10. How do you make it over the creative hump?

The answer to the previous question.

11. If someone was to write a craigslist missed connection about you, what would it say?

The guy on the path train with paint all over his clothes, messy hair, and drawing in a sketch-book.

12. Tell me about the last time a project blew up in your face?

Today, ink dried in my screens too fast.

13. What is your most prized possession?

My drafting table

Hump Day Hot Seat: Sean Was Here

SelfPort

Photo courtesy of Sean R Sullivan

1. Who Are You?

My name is Sean.  I was born in Boston.  I studied Film & Animation at RIT, Rochester, NY.  I then lived in the North End of Boston for a few years after school before moving to Miami in 2010 where I currently reside working in the advertising industry.

2. What do you do?

I take pictures of people.  I try to candidly document today’s culture, lifestyle and fashion.  I make an effort to travel often to broaden my horizons while slapping “Sean Was Here” stickers everywhere I go.  In terms of paying bills, for the past year and a half I’ve been freelancing for a handful of ad agencies taking projects on an individual basis.

3. When/Where/How did you get your start? 

My first job out of school was as an Interactive Designer/Developer at Arnold Worldwide – a large ad agency in Boston.  While I was there I was exposed to a ton of great talent and saw people doing what they loved to do, whether it was in the office or out on their own free time.  I was able to make a few friends/contacts here that would set me on the path that has led me to the position I am in today.

4. How long have you been at it?

I started my ongoing “Sean Was Here” project in 2009.

5. What is the most important thing we should know about you?

I used to be really shy and introverted (and still can be).  Only in the last few years have I really started to come out of my shell.  I guess I’ve used the camera as a tool for this.  It get’s me excited to be out and meet/interact with people.

6. Is there anyone else in your field that you particularly admire?

In the field of life, I instantly admire anyone who is out there doing what they love to do – really going for it.  It’s too easy to get lost in a life you don’t enjoy and assume you’ll get to do the things you really want to do “someday”.  Life is too short and tomorrow isn’t promised.

7. What other types of art are you in to?

Street art!  Miami really introduced me into this scene. Artist from all over the world come to Miami to paint giant murals in Wynwood.  It’s really inspiring watching them do their thing.  I’ve never met as many talented artists as I have in Miami.

8. You got any crazy hobbies or unique talents?

A side hobby of mine is 3D projection mapping.  I’ve had installations at galleries, bars, and parties around Miami.  If you’re unfamiliar with projection mapping check out this video on my vimeo page: https://vimeo.com/28094289

9. What’s your favorite vice?

Endlessly scrolling through my tumblr feed while listening to chilled out music.

10. How do you make it over the creative hump?

Take a break.  Sometimes for a couple hours, sometimes a couple days.  Eventually I’ll come back to it and it will feel fresh again.

11. You eat food? What kind? Like to cook?

I don’t like to cook much.  I’m not a foodie.  In the last couple years I’ve focused on eating to live – basically focusing on foods that exist naturally in nature, keeping it vegetarian most of the time.  As an example, for breakfast, daily, I have egg whites, oatmeal (plain), berries, and OJ.  It gives me a great start to my day.

12. Truth or Dare? Elaborate.

Truth!  I’m pretty happy with myself these days so I’m pretty comfortable with being open about my life.

13. What is your most prized possession?

My health!  I feel like a lot of people take their health for granted and complain about what they don’t have.  If you are lucky enough to be a healthy abled body person you have been given a gift. Don’t wait until you lose it to understand how valuable it is.  Everyday I wake up healthy can be considered a great day.  Anything beyond that is icing on the cake.

Sean is heading out on a Eurotrip 2013 tour soon. Sign up now to receive Sean Was Here postcards of the photos Sean will take on the road. Visit his Postcards in your mailbox project on Kickstarter!

 

Hump Day Hot Seat: Annie Lee

AnnieLee

Photo courtesy of Annie Lee

1. Who Are You? 

I’m Annie better known as Ms. Lee

2. What do you do?

I am a high school art teacher.

3. When/Where/How did you get your start? 

I started in the fashion industry working in visual merchandising and made a career change a few years ago upon rediscovering my passions and values. I began to refine what I wanted in life, who I wanted to be, and where I chose to invest my life into. When I decided to switch and apply to graduate school for education, doors began flinging wide open left and right. I completed my masters program in Art & Art Education at Teachers College Columbia University. It is through my experiences in this program that I realized teaching is not only a career but a calling. Many people in this world fail to see that, but those who know it, live it out and change lives.

4. How long have you been at it? 

I’ve been teaching since high school but professionally this will be my first year as a New York State certified teacher.

5. What is the most important thing we should know about you? 

I never want to settle for anything less.

6. Is there anyone else in your field that you particularly admire?

I admire everyone in this field who understands and lives each day knowing teaching is a calling. Teachers stand in the shadows within the world we live in and remain unappreciated by the majority. It’s truly humbling. If you’re not in it for the kids, it’s not worth it.

7. What other types of art are you in to?

Besides traditional and multimedia art, another passion of mine is interior decorating. People go to places to eat for the food. I go for the interior spaces. I like analyzing the ambiance and atmospheres set by the arrangement of spaces.

8. You got any crazy hobbies or unique talents?

Mm I kind of have a lot of those. I like to dance. I’ve taught hip-hop and been part of several dance groups since my college days. I also love music. One of my secret fantasy professions is to be a DJ…. and a Knicks Dancer lol. Don’t judge.

Another one is missions. Most summers since I was in high school I’ve spent in Central America on missions doing work in churches and schools. Three years ago I had the opportunity to go to Zambia to work at an orphanage called Lazarus Project. One of my life goals I wish to pursue is serving third-world countries by helping restructure and rebuild their education systems.

9. What’s your favorite vice?

Being in solitude.

10. How do you make it over the creative hump?

I don’t know. I’m still in it. Story of my life.

11. You eat food? What kind? Like to cook? 

I eat lots of food. Homemade fried chicken and steak. I like to cook. I’d probably like it more if I had time to.

12. Truth or Dare? Elaborate. 

Truth. I love my brother more than my parents.

13. What is your most prized possession?

My bible.