Do you travel just to take reference photos, or do you take reference photos while you travel?
Both. I love finding things to photograph while en route somewhere, but I also love meandering or following my nose or going somewhere I suspect will be interesting.
What’s the significance of these reference photos, what kinds of places do you look for to shoot?
I’ve developed a pretty good nose for where high school kids go to get stoned and mess around with spray paint. Basically an in-between area, any space that is off the beaten path and not necessarily designed for use but where people congregate none the less. Spaces like underneath bridges and by swimming holes tend to be interesting.
What has the experience been like to break down the categorized/compartmentalized aspects of your work, like introducing reference photos into your final pieces and zines?
The last few shows I’ve done I’ve tried to treat more like a zine, incorporating prints, photographs and objects in addition to my drawings. For years I was stubborn and would only present certain things in a gallery setting. I don’t know where I got the idea that the compartmentalization was a good idea, but I realized I spend a lot of time on things other than the finished drawings. It stopped making sense to exclude from shows the photographs and prints and other things I make.
What other areas do you collect source material from?
The patterns come from security envelopes. I’ll distort these patterns on a photocopier or scanner and then screen print them into my drawings, generally as geometric murals on dilapidated walls. I also collect old coffee table books with aerial photos of American cities. I’ll tear out pages to print and paint over. There is a unique quality to offset printing from the 70s and 80s that shows up in a lot of these books.