What’re your current priorities?
Keeping my heart and mind open, trying to live in harmony with the sun and the moon, and the sea, and the land. All the jazz. Letting those things flow, and seeing what arrives from there.
We thought your contribution to Kennedy Magazine gave some great background into what you’re currently learning. Explain how art currently plays a role in your life.
My life is pretty low key, very ritualistic and habitual. I wake up and go to the beach to swim or surf, or I wake up and paint, and go surfing after (if it’s good). In LA, I drive around listening to AM 1260, an oldies station in LA that has been extremely inspiring to me the last few months. It’s mostly a cycle of drives to the beach, being in the ocean, and making art at home.
When those things feel like they are flowing, the art simply comes. It’s an interplay, and I try to keep living-art in harmony, but if I’m being honest, Living is the priority, “Sailing on the river of life” as Henry Miller would say, and when it’s being prioritized, the art comes.
How do you develop your work? Do you have a long-term vision, or is that process spontaneous?
The best moments for me is when work comes together really organically, almost magically, and then after you’ve made a few pieces, you start to see how all these things around you have influenced it, subconsciously or semi-consciously, or via osmosis. That’s my favorite. It’s a romance I’ve recently been having with these semaphoric tile paintings I’ve been making. I’ve started to see patterns & iconography in everything— road signs, beach towels, shirts; nautical flags, petroglyphs, iconography, emoji, favicons, et al. 20/20 vision is hindsight, but sometimes it feels like you are really absorbing the world around you and reconfiguring it, unconsciously. And that’s a good feeling.
You also specialize in strategy and communications. Tell us about how that plays a role in your world, and how do you keep it interesting for yourself?
It’s funny when you end up “specializing” in something you never had any intention of being involved with. It definitely expands your ways of seeing but at the moment. In my art practice, I’ve probably tipped the scale toward un-strategic — trying to make as much as possible, finding new ways of expressing, new mediums; some work, others not so much. Ultimately, everything we do, all of our experiences, influence all of our actions. It’s all one big trip, so I do consider my work biographical, a sort of visual sum of all my previous experiences up until the moment something is created.
How’s surfing going?
It’s really humbling to start a new challenging thing when you are in your late 30s. To be open to something, and say to yourself, “you have no idea what you are doing, and you have to learn from step 1.” Surfing is hard! Like learning a new language. It’s HARD; so i say to myself, it’s all good, you are learning, like learning to ride a bike, you are going to fall, you are going to have fun, you are going to get hurt, and you’ll have more fun. So making progress every time I paddle out is just...really cool. Every wave makes all the driving, and nose diving, and shitty pop-ups worth it. It’s cool to really focus on learning the foundational aspects of something new, and be active in practicing it on a daily basis. You can learn a lot quickly and feel your progress, which is a nice thing, even when I am sucking I still find so much value. Like, I can tell my paddling is getting better! That may sound like whatever, but it’s a big deal and i’m stoked on it. Today I rode an overhead left, backside, carving from high to low, it was my first wave of the day, and by far the best one. By far the best wave I’ve ever caught. Baby steps and being humble and just sticking to it, having fun, and you really start to make progress.