Thursday, September 3, 2009

Interview with Paul Torres

q)Please introduce yourself.

a) I am an artist living in Los Angeles Ca, for most of my life, born in Chile, and raised there, I had my first interest in Art at the age of 2 with comics, and started drawing at the same time, my father hired a german tutor for me and my brother, him being an architect taught me some drawing too, then enrolled in correspondence schools at the age of 9, and came to the US at that time for 1 year, and fell in love with the culture here,the music, the movies ,cars, toys and the different types of personalities ,and nationalities and races, almost circus like, that fascinated me, which I have never seen in Chile, which is much more homogeneous there.

I came back to the US at 18 years old, and enrolled in US Army for 2 years that what quite an experience, did lots of artwork for them .At 21 I enrolled at Otis Art Institute , studied Illustration and Fine Arts for 2 years , then studied at Art Center which I have a BFA in Illustration .

I started my artistic career, by just letting people see my work , like neighbors , family , coworkers, and sold my first painting to a neighbor for $45 when I was 16. I then started doing painting commissions and portraits when I was in the US Army, after I left Otis Art Institute I got my first job with the Animation Industries Studios , DIC Entertainment in Encino Ca, doing Character Design and Background Design for " Slimer and the Real Ghostbusters" , worked also on "Cool World" ralph bakshi productions

At the same time I started Showing my Paintings in Art Galleries .

q) Where do you live and work?

a)In Alhambra Ca

q) How would you describe your work to someone who has never seen it?

a)I describe my work , as Realism with an edge, with undertones of social , and political commentary, and humor

q) How did you start in the arts? How/when did you realize you were an artist?

a)I had my first interest in Art at the age of 2 with comics, and started drawing at the same time, my father hired a german tutor for me and my brother, him being an architect taught me some drawing too, then enrolled in correspondence schools at the age of 9

q) What are your favorite art materials and why?

a)Pencils , color pencils, markers, Oils , I love pencil work because I can get the effect that I truly want with the forms, and markers are great for more lose work, and Oils are my favorite for painting, although I like acrylics for underpainting.

q) What/who influences you most?

a)Renaissance Art, Barroque Art, Italian and Spanish the most, then French Impressionism , and Goya, Brueguel, Dix, Dali, Paul Cadmus are my favorite for ideas too.

q) Describe a typical day of art making for you.

a)I need to get some excercise first, get up early like 5 or 6 am go to the park run a little , push ups, then I have to make strong black tea, and I am ready for painting, I try to work on 2 works at the same time back and forth.

q) Do you have goals, specific things you want to achieve with your art or in your career as an artist?

a)I want to make people happy with my work, and be able to improve and change the world as much as I can, with my work and also to enpower myself to be more independent, and have more of a voice with my work for a worldwide audience, and to definitely enpower others all for a good cause, to help other artist get better , and give them opportunities, and to give voice to the voiceless, by bringing awareness,

q) What contemporary artists or developments in art interest you?

a)Paul Cadmus was my favorite, he just passed away, I have very few living artists that I like, Harvey Dinnerstein and I cant think of another one, all the other ones I like they are no longer here.

q) How long does it typically take you to finish a piece?

a)It depends on the size, I can finish a medium size in 1 week, but my more involved works, 2 months, and my big ones about 3 months

q) Do you enjoy selling your pieces, or are you emotionally attached to them?

a)I mostly enjoy selling the works very much, with the exception of my very best works, which I have bought back 2 of them already, then I keep them for a while, and put them up for sale again

q) Is music important to you? If so, what are some things you're listening to now?

a)Music is very important for the mood of the work, I listen to mostly 80's and 70'a some 90's, rock, and some blues, jazz, and some caribbean spanish music like merengue.

q) Books?

a)Lots of history , detective series, art techniques, and biographies

q) What theories or beliefs do you have regarding creativity or the creative process?

a)I think first one should study as much as possible other artists, and then absorb it and make it knowledge, for one to use at anytime , a little here, and a little there, and always be in contact with your sorroundings, and aim to do something different and entertaining

q) What do you do (or what do you enjoy doing) when you're not creating?

a)I enjoy dining out , chinese food a lot, and lebanese, italian, and also going to the beach, and talking to artists friends, and movies, and some time alone

q) Do you have any projects or shows coming up that you are particularly

excited about?

a) Yes my Solo Show at The Grand Central Art Center in Santa Ana this Sat Sept 5th

q) Do you follow contemporary art scenes? If so, how? What websites, magazines, galleries do you prefer?

a)I study the new contemporary scene a little, and also La Luz de Jesus Gallery , and Copro Nason , their shows a lot...

q) Ask yourself a question you'd like to answer, and answer it.

a)Well, what have I given up for art? and I say so much.. and I don't regret it at all :)

q) Any advice for aspiring artists?

a)Yea, start copying the renaissance masters, and work from life as much as possible, with a pen , pencil anything, it's the practice that matters, and start creating your own visual language

q) Where can we see more of your work online?

a)You can see more of my work on Myspace, Facebook, and my website

Thank you so much !

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