title drop?

well it's been fun. a good time.

my blog must have abandonment issues.

dog's been going to the dog park. vegan menu options. my health has been improving.

vulnerability has it's rewards.


interview I did with The Dirt Floor

Here is an interview The Dirt Floor did with me...

Could you tell our audience a little bit about yourself?
Sure! I live in Portland, Oregon with my wife, two dogs,and our cat. I just moved to the west coast from Texas on a whim. Most of my time is spent working on my drawings in my workspace while blasting music through my ipod. Finding new artists and musicians is a passion of mine so I try to go to as many shows as possible. Most of the time I have a few projects going on and I will go back and forth between pieces. Like right now, I'm working on this pretty large drawing and I've got a large bird skull sculpture drying in the kitchen. For the most part, I like to keep my eye on the prize and don't take myself too serious.

How would you best describe your work?

These days, I try to keep a cohesiveness from piece to piece. For a long time I would make a body of work and try to see how different I could make each piece but now I'm more focused on keeping a flow going. A person can look at a piece I did a month before the one I just completed, and see a relationship between them. I couldn't say that my work is definitively this or that because it's ever developing. It's important for me to stay true to the moment I make the work.

Your father was a heavy metal musician, how do you think that has influenced your work?

My Dad and my Mom are both very creative people and seeing them enjoy expressing themselves did rub off on me. My Dad would have these records from Megadeath, Motorhead, Iron Maiden and other albums from a bunch of metal musicians. I remember being a young kid and looking through them and initially being a little scared by them, but that is also what attracted me to them. The artwork was so epic and beautiful. My mom was the one who showed me about the technical side of drawing and showed me tricks about drawing proportionally.They were both very supportive of me pursuing an art career and when I would draw pictures of zombies or skulls, they would just smile and it made me happy to see my parents giving positive feedback to my drawings. During my teen years, I had a group of friends that exposed me to a wide spectrum of music and it had a profound effect on me. At an early age, I saw this relation between the visual and the musical side of art and it's just always captured me.

What do you find most inspires you?

I find myself always looking at artwork on the internet or in books and magazines. Music is a big inspiration for me too. Sometimes I will hear a song and try to illustrate something that depicts the mood of the song. One of my pieces, "It Struck A Nerve", was titled after a Bad Religion song. The lyrics inspired me and I could relate to it. Immediately I began sketching out the ideas for it. It usually works that way. I will hear a song and it gets stuck in my head. Often, I will put a song on repeat and clear my head to let the song become the only thing I focus on. Then I begin sketching out ideas, compositions, words, or whatever feels right. I've always looked up to artists like Menglef, Pushead, Mucha, so in my own way I like to send some sort of a message back. It's kind of difficult to explain, but I see art as a visual language and I'm just trying to contribute to the conversation.

How do you think the people closest to you would describe you?

Hmm... They would probably say I am a goofball. Honestly, I don't know. You would have to ask them. My guess is they would say I am pretty easy to get along with. I'm laid back for the most part. My Christopher Walken impersonation is spot on about half the time. The other half, it is way off. When my wife and I are at a restaurant and I catch people staring at my tattoos, I like to look them in the eye and smile freakishly happily at them. I will stare for a long time too. Staring is fun! Oh yeah, I'm the king of staring contests. I challenge anyone. My eyeballs develop this glaze and I can go a very long time without blinking. It could get to the point where it seems as though I'm awake but I'm asleep and I'm staring. Everything gets drawn on around me. If there is something to draw with and a surface, I'm drawing on it. Oh, and I will never ever take the blame for a fart.

What are some of the things that people most often ask you about your work?

I get asked what type of mediums I work with, which would be primarily watercolor, gouache, and ink. Arches watercolor paper is my favorite! I soak the paper in the bathtub overnight before I begin drawing on it. It stiffens it up and I like the way the watercolor works with it after it's dry. The other things they ask are pretty much answered by the other questions being asked here.

How do people react to your work?

Mostly I get positive reactions from people. My imagery is considered unsettling by some but that's because the original idea came from something that was disturbing for me. It's kind of like a way to reach out to those who feel the same way I do so it doesn't bother me when people say I make artwork that is dark, because I would have to agree. I've been commissioned to do artwork for people and I really enjoy it. It makes me happy to see a person get something back from the hard work I put in.

What's the smartest thing you ever done and the stupidest thing you ever done?

Going to the Art Institute of Dallas was a good decision. Originally, I started out studying animation but switched my major to graphic design. Traveling to different states and living there for a while has been a good decision for me because I've been able to see how people from all over live. As far as the stupid choices I've made, there have been too many to list! Ha ha! No really, I have done some fucking dumb shit! It's undecided if dropping out of college two weeks before I graduated was the stupidest choice though. On a family vacation, when I was in middle school, my sister was sleeping in the back of the car and I thought I could singe a few hairs on her head with a lighter. I'm not really sure why that sounded like a good idea at the time but a rebellious seventh grader with a lighter and bored to tears is not a good combination. Sure enough, her hair caught fire pretty fast and my sister woke up to me smacking the back of her head, trying to put the fire out. My parents pulled over because they thought the funny smell was coming from the minivan. My sister never told on me and she kept it a secret from my parents so I owe her big time! Ha ha ha!

If you could have one superpower what would it be and why?

If I had one superpower, it would probably be the power to explode things with my mind. If I had the ability to fly or time travel, it might be too obvious I had the power and scientists might try to dissect my body to gain access to the secret of my power. By exploding things with my mind, it can't really get linked back to me. I can just imagine going to see Gallagher perform live and exploding all of the watermelons before he had the chance to. Haha! Wait, is Gallagher still alive?

What is something every artist should always remember?

It would probably be a good idea to remember why any creative person makes artwork in the first place. For me, it goes back to when I was in kindergarten and made those macaroni artworks, it just made me happy to do it. The same feeling of happiness comes to me these days, but perhaps even more so. As we become adults, we get distracted with bullshit that really makes no difference in the grand scheme of things. The only person anyone has to answer to at the end of the day is themselves. If you know you are on the right track, then keep going.

My website is www.alexdespain.com
Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/alexdespain/
Etsy: http://www.etsy.com/shop/DeSpain
Blog: http://alexdespain.blogspot.com/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/alexdespain
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AlexDeSpain


playing catch up

Here I am. back again. for yet another update.

Last Thursday Art Walk was fun and I had a good response from the masses. Chanel 8 news did an interview...

The City of Portland usually funds the security and port-a-potties but it seems as though we the people must find new ways of funding the event.

The Screamer Company released their issue of "Four" in Austin, Texas on July 30th. There are some pretty amazing artists in there and it is The Screamer Company's first full color issue, I believe. There is a page for me but I have yet to see the publication. Anxiously, I await next to the mailbox.

However, Cartilagine Magazine sent me a few copies of their "Beautiful Maladies" July 2010 issue. It was pretty amazing to see my 2 page spread of "Close To The End". They did a great job and hopefully I have the interest of a few more people. The work of the other artists in their was outstanding. It feels good to be associated with something as unique as that.

There are still a few "Evo" tee shirts left. I only have size large and medium left. Should I make another run? We'll see.

Today, Vanessa and I took the tram just to see the view. It lifted us up over the city in a shiny vessel that dangles from a wire. The swaying made me a little nauseous. here are the photos I managed to take.


Tee Shirt Mania

well well well...
I now have tee shirts made. "Evo" design.
They have been pretty successful so I may make more. Last Thursday is coming up. Prints have been made, shirts are ready. This production of work is fun and I enjoy prepping everything. A couple from Texas has commissioned me to do their wedding photo, only as zombies. My other piece has come to a stand still until I finish this new one.