AS: I enjoy drawing / illustration, hand lettering, graphic design and photography, so I find it hard to categorize my work. My personal work of late has focused largely on illustration and lettering, while a lot of client work has been in the field of branding and communication. If I was to use one term it would probably be “interdisciplinary artist”. I studied fine art before transferring to a communication design program at an art school, so I’ve developed a bit of a blended style, using both traditional and digital techniques to complete a piece or project.
CH.89: Where do you draw your inspiration from?
AS: I think I draw mostly from the subcultures of music and snow / skateboarding and the people that run in those circles, my friends, colleagues, idols etc. A lot of people within these communities are creative minds in one way or another, and that really plays a big part in terms of inspiration. People feed off each other and motivate one another to stay active, be productive, and keep creating.
CH.89: Can you talk a little bit about what your creative thought process is like when starting a new project/ piece of artwork?
AS: Sometimes it is as simple as a line from a song or a specific place I’ve been to that sparks some kind of idea that I then include into a piece. Sometimes I just want to pay homage to something or someone, so I use that as a starting point. Again, it often starts with things that surround me, be it music, people or travel. I’d then decide how I’d like to convey the message. Sometimes it’s just by drawing letters and words, other times I feel there needs to be some illustrative elements to support the message. I don’t think I really have a well thought-out plan in starting / completing a piece or a project, it’s all fairly random and I tend to follow whatever I’m feeling at the time. However, if it is not appropriate to the end result in a Commissioned piece for example, I stop, reset, and start again.
CH.89: Is there anything in particular that you would want people to take from your artwork?
AS: Not necessarily. I just hope people enjoy looking at it, and that they can relate to it individually and personally on some level. In certain pieces I hope people get that feeling of curiosity, that they want to look at it for a long time, exploring and finding new things within the piece and even making up their own meaning.
CH.89: Can you talk a little bit about your lifestyle as an artist and what that is like?
AS: It’s a great lifestyle and offers a lot of variety for me. In the winter for example I get to spend a lot of time snowboarding and I often bring my camera along, sometimes it’s work for a magazine or brand, but mostly for fun. Then there’s personal projects or just drawing and / or client based graphic work that keeps me busy. It’s really quite diverse. I do need to support my passion for art and design by working a couple of days a week at the local ski shop, but I’d rather see that as a good balance rather than a burden just to pay the bills. At the shop I’m always surrounded by people and there’s lots of talking / conversing, whereas when I’m drawing or working on a project I’m often alone at my desk. Photography, especially in the winter with snowboarding, gets me outside in the fresh air and it’s healthy. In the summer I try to travel often and go see new places and meet new people, or go visit family and friends in other places of the world. All that I’ve mentioned above gives me inspiration and motivation to keep creating and learning. It may not be the most profitable lifestyle, but it’s rich in experience and in the end I think that’s what’s important. I like to think of being an artist as a lifestyle instead of a “career”.
CH.89: When starting out an artistic task, do you think it is better to have a particular direction/set plan guiding your way? Or, is it better to act on impulse and go from there?
AS: Mostly impulse. Unless it’s client work that has specific guidelines, I like to wing it.
CH.89: What is one major lesson you’ve learned as an artist thus far?
AS: It’s not always a steady and secure life, but if you’re spending time doing what you love you’ll be happy with very little.
CH.89: Do you regard personal style & taste to be of highest importance?
AS: I do think it’s important to develop a unique personal style, one that at some point will become your calling card, something people recognize you by. It’s a natural extension of being creative. Although it’s also important to branch out, expand your horizons and become well-rounded.
CH.89: What do you consider to be the hardest thing about being an artist
AS: Thinking about the future. I don’t really have a long-term plan to be honest. It may be the hardest part, but I think I’m okay with it.
CH.89: What is one thing you love about being an artist?
AS: The freedom.
CH.89: Is there anyone in particular, any artist’s that inspire you in any way?
AS: There’s a few too many to list. But for sure Mike Perry as an artist and illustrator, Chris Piascik for hand lettering, and Eric Thompson for photography.
CH.89: What do you think of technology in terms of being a useful tool for artists today?
AS: I’m very much reliant on it and find it to be extremely useful. A lot of my work starts off by hand and is finished digitally. Cameras, computers, scanners etc. are my friends and I enjoy playing with them. I think I just grew up in that generation of kids that were introduced to computers and the internet at a young age, but I never was so attached to it that I spent all my time on MSN or playing computer games. I played outside a lot and I always enjoyed drawing. At some point I found a way to create things with my hands and then add more to them by using a computer, and end up with something kind of cool. That combination opened my eyes to what was possible within those realms. It’s so vast though, so I’m excited to ccontinue exploring and learning what else can be done.
CH.89: Do you think being an artist allows you to view the world differently from those who don’t follow creative paths?
AS: I think everybody sees the world a little differently. Those who follow creative paths might try to see a bit more at times, or look for more, aside from mere facts. Neither is superior though.
CH.89: Do you enjoy traveling? If so, do you have a favorite city?
AS: I love traveling. My family is fairly spread out, so I often travel to visit friends and family. My favourite city is Vancouver, where I was born and partially grew up. I also adore Cape Town, where my father grew up, and Chur in Switzerland where my Mom lives. I recently moved from Vancouver to Laax in Switzerland, which is my favourite place to be in the winter. New York has an incredible energy and creative spirit that is always inspiring as well.
CH.89: Do you have a favorite author or book?
AS: My favourite book is The Dirt, written by the members of Motley Crue and author Neil Strauss. I’m also a fan of The Lord Of The Rings trilogy by JRR Tolkien.
CH.89: Any future goals or plans for your artwork?
AS: I’d like to put together a book sometime in the near future. And I’d like to try and exhibit as well as collaborate more with others.
CH.89: What does being an artist mean to you?
AS: It’s my life and livelihood. It’s something nobody can ever take away from me. It’s not a job I can get fired from. It means a great deal to me because I know it will always be there for me.
CH.89: Any last words on the aesthetic of your artwork?
AS: I want to put the F back into art. Just kidding.
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