Monday, June 14, 2010

Interview with Joshua Ben Longo

q)What is your earliest art-related memory?

a)I would ask my mother to draw superheros for me as far as I can remember. When I was around 4 years old I recall my older brother having a play date with some of his friends. My duties as a younger brother included entertaining them and begging for attention. Sooooo...... I drew them a pair of breasts in a lined spiral notebook and snuck it under the door of the room in which they were playing. For one reason or another they were not impressed with my drawing and proceeded to tell my mother. Needless to say I got in trouble.

q) Who has had the greatest influence on your work?

a)I have had a few great mentors and teachers, but the one stands out is Lenny Bacich. He was a teacher at Pratt Institute and the Bauhaus. He dedicated himself fully to his students and let them make mistakes and learn from themselves. He always said he never taught me anything, but just guided me when I went astray.

q) What are the main tools of your craft?

a)My hands, a needle, thread, scissors, a pencil.

q) Is a formal education important?

a)I went to Pratt Institute for Industrial Design. That degree has allowed me to finance my personal work for the past eight years. I dont think school is necessary for everyone, but I needed the discipline. Art school is a fantastic place to grow as an individual.

q) What is the biggest misconception about art?

a)That anyone can do it. That it is easy. That it is hard. That you need talent to succeed.

q) Which is more important in art - concept or execution?

a)Neither is more important, but a combination of the two allows for art that stands the test of time.

q) What theme or aesthetic are you most drawn too?

a)A good sense of craft draws me in. Beyond craft I enjoy figurative work whether it be representational or abstract.

q) What is your favorite piece of art in your home?

a)The stone fireplace in my bedroom.

q) If you could collaborate with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?

a)Tony Robbins.

q) Which emerging artist do you think more people should know about?

a)Colin Kilian.

q) What has been your greatest achievement to date?

a)Getting the opportunity to teach at Pratt Institute and share what I have learned with others.

q) What has been your biggest roadblock?

a)My own laziness. My bed. The computer.

q) How do you define success?

a)Not having to worry about money. Getting up and making art everyday without the worry of when I'm going to eat next.

q) What will be the name of your autobiography?

a)Handsome & Special, or Does Everyone Love Joshy? , or Goggy : The Joshua Ben Longo Story

q)What is the best piece of (art-related) advice you’ve ever been given?

a)Whatever you decide to do, make sure your the best at it.

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