HOLDEN MESK

CH.89: If you were to categorize or describe the style of your artwork, what would it be and why?

HM: 1992 mall food court meets Pee-Wee’s Playhouse with a generous dash of mid-century minimalism and chill vibes topped with a general appreciation for graphic design elements of the past. Sort of, in a way. Not all the way. You know what I’m saying? Exactly.

CH.89: Where do you draw your inspiration from?

HM: I really like to go on walks around my neighborhood and take in surroundings for inspiration. I usually always end up coming back home with like 3 new illustration ideas that I have to quickly write down so they don’t slip from my memory. In general though: music, the 80s, interior design, Epcot, plants, and vintage books are all things that inspire me in BIG ways.

CH.89: Can you talk a little bit about what your creative thought process is like when starting a new project/ piece of artwork?

HM: Usually I’ll think out a couple loose concepts, then doodle and play around with it. Every project and piece ends up being tackled in different ways every time! It’s the greatest feeling ever when you finally hone in on what you want to create and get to bring it to life. So. Satisfying.

CH.89: Is there anything in particular that you would want people to take from your artwork?

HM: I want everybody’s brains to feel like they just stepped into a hot tub where they can chill out for however long and appreciate the vibes. I love making work and influencing what exactly it is that people get to see for a brief portion of their day. If I can continue to interject more squiggles and bright colors into people’s lives then that’s a win for me!

CH.89: Can you talk a little bit about your lifestyle as an artist and what that is like?

HM: Every morning starts with me trying to make sure I eat a balanced breakfast. I usually do a pretty good job at this part! The rest of the day consists of me balancing my 9-5 web design job with my art stuff. I love my main job though and get to do so many cool things through it all while still being creative in different ways, so it’s not terrible to have to not solely focus on my art.

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?

HM: Like I said, I tackle projects differently each time. Usually I do have a set plan, but a majority of the time I end up going a different direction and exploring spontaneity. It’s always exciting and fun to see how a project is going to turn out.

CH.89: What is one major lesson you’ve learned as an artist thus far?

HM: Don’t compare yourself to other people and just focus on your own vibe. I was a little intimidated at first upon entering the art community (both in real life and social media) and I spent a lot of time overthinking different things. Now I realize I just gotta focus on me and do my own thing and everything will be amazing.

CH.89: Do you regard personal style & taste to be of highest importance?

HM: YES! 1000 percent. Art is the result of all of somebody’s personal style and interests combined into a composition. In my mind, it’s entirely up to the artist’s tastes and style to make something that is worth viewing and getting lost in. Skill comes after that. You don’t need to be an amazing perfect painter, but you do need to have a strong grasp of what your tastes are and what makes you happy to look at.

CH.89: What do you consider to be the hardest thing about being an artist?

HM: Losing motivation and inspiration. It happens sometimes! But I’ve learned to not treat this feeling like the end of the world and recognize it’s a natural part of the creative process. Highs and lows, y’know?

CH.89: What is one thing you love about being an artist?

HM: Getting to connect with so many people. It makes my day when somebody orders a print of mine and then sends me a picture of the print hanging in their house. Like woah, you connected with that piece so much that you want to look at it everyday!? That’s incredible and I’ll never get over that.

CH.89: Is there anyone in particular, any artist’s that inspire you in any way?

HM: I’m inspired by so many talented artists these days it’s hard to keep track! Even going beyond the illustration/collage world, like musicians inspire the heck out of me. Listening to a certain song or discovering a new favorite album usually results in my mind lighting up with creativity.

CH.89: What do you think of technology in terms of being a useful tool for artists today?

HM: I think technology can be a great friend and also a great enemy. It’s all about balance! Don’t get too lost in technology to where you’re falling out of touch with what really matters.

CH.89: Do you enjoy traveling? If so, do you have a favorite city?

HM: I love traveling and think it’s so refreshing to immerse yourself into a whole new environment with different buildings, people, smells, etc than what you’re always used to. I really enjoyed visiting Los Angeles a few years ago and wanna get back out there real bad.

CH.89: Do you have a favorite author or book?

HM: I sadly don’t read these days as much as I used to and I really want to change that! I love Kurt Vonnegut and Jack Kerouac. Anyone who’s reading this interview: if you feel so inclined please recommend me some books I need to read!

CH.89: Any future goals or plans for your artwork?

HM: Just keep creating and the rest will all fall into place. That’s my logic, and I try not to set too many future goals or plans and just live in the moment and keep on enjoying the ride. I will say though that it’d be super cool to collaborate with more brands and musicians this year!

CH.89: What does being an artist mean to you?

HM: Being an artist means making life more interesting and fun for everybody around me. I wanna take in my surroundings and experiences and then create stuff that people from all backgrounds can smile and feel feels about.

CH.89: What’s the last song you listened to?

HM: I literally just finished listening to the new Wild Nothing track “Letting Go” that just came out! I’ve loved them for like 9 years now and am so happy they’re still putting out solid stuff. Before listening to that song though I was bopping to “Emoji” by Brooklyn Queen. 🔥

CH.89: Any last words on the aesthetic of your artwork?

HM: Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift. That is why it is called the present. #livelaughlove

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