artists, chicago artists, interviews, street art

tip-toe

ok im back.

to start a summer of better posts and cool stuff. here is an interview i did with friend tip-toe. about europe, wolves, and tom waits. here it is. enjoy.

it looks like you stayed busy in europe. how was it?

Traveling is always fun and eye opening.  New places, new friends, new rules and new lessons to be learn.  Never, by any means, ever wear a hoody while trying to post in Paris.  The cops will follow you everywhere.  Seriously, there were times when they just circled me for hours, even when I wasn’t doing anything.  It was weird.

The best things were meeting new people and seeing the work of all my favorite artists in person.  The streets of Berlin are the best I’ve ever seen.

Other notes:

Always have a Compass ( though it won’t work in Manhattan )

Make friends that will either look out or bail you out. Ones that speak the native language are the best.

All the Parisians speak English but won’t unless they are really drunk.

Don’t ever expect to do anything on Sunday in Europe, nothing will be open.

Trying to explain existentialism to Londoners is nearly impossible.

Barcelona, pick pocketing, prostitutes can run faster than anyone in heels.

Trying to deal with the police when your drunk and don’t speak the same language is more difficult that you might think.

Always carry 50 euro in your passport, it will get you out of a lot of trouble.

your new work/series, is all about the archetype of the werewolf. twilight jokes aside. where did the idea stem from?

I think the idea originally came from a combination of listen to too much NPR and Tom Waits and it just kind of rooted from there.  I don’t really know anything about the Twilight what have yous, but I’m going to guess it is about teenage sex.  And if that is true I going to say, its sad how watered down are monsters have become.  I mean the werewolf has been around since the Greeks when real serial killers used to walk around in wolves’ hide.  But for me, I connected with the creature that is a victim of circumstance.  A man is exposed to an act of extreme violence, which with all reason should have killed him.  But he doesn’t die, instead survives carrying with him an un-healable wound.  And when the circumstance is just right he is transformed into the very beast that cursed his own life.  It sounds to me a bit like post dramatic stress.   Which is a burdening beast for sure.  But that is not only aspect of the werewolf.  From another point of view the werewolf is a creature of the night that lashes out at and unsuspecting society.  The Graffiti artist fits nicely into this model for obvious reasons.  Then there is Tom Waits and Rain Dogs, which has kind of been my theme album for the last year or so.  Then of curse there is Ginsburg and lunatics howling at the moon. I guess I just kind of mixed all that shit together with what I’ve been doing and some images came out.  I know there are going to be a few more Wolves before I move on to other things.  Each will deal different aspects of darker undercurrents.

i would think doing a lino/wood cut pieces is very time consuming? whats the process like from idea to print?

Woodcuts can be time consuming, yeah.   But the ability to produce multiples makes the time worth it.  And considering all the traveling I’ve been doing as of late, it makes the ability to post good work easier.  I can bring pre-made prints, on paper, with me a lot easier then I can find a place to make new work while I’m on the road. Trying to make new work while living out of a backpack and living in a new place every other week can be difficult.

As far as process goes, well that starts just like any other piece I do.  Everything starts with an idea of what I want to project/expose in the social conscience, whether it comes from and introspective place or a reflection of observations I’ve made (or a little of both) depends on the piece.  After I’ve decided what it is I want communicate I start to build an image library that reflect or coincide with those ideas.  I make some sketches and get to work.  Once I find something that I am happy with I draw it up large and start cutting.  Every step of the process the piece goes through an edit.  I find even when I’m cutting I’m making new lines as both my hands and eyes are flowing over things.

The cutting itself can take a couple of weeks.  But each new cut teaches lessons on how to get through things faster.  Going through the stack of plywood and the hardware store to find the lightest colored board can save you hours, being that the lighter the wood the softer the grain.  That alone makes the cuts easier and more precise.

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