wk13 – Artist Conversation – Tyler Turett


This week I was able to meet a great CSULB artist, Tyler Turett. Tyler is currently in his last semester here in which he will be receiving his bachelor’s degree in Animation. Tyler has big dreams and some big shoes to fill with his degree. I say this because his dream job is to work for pixar, because he said the first time he saw Toy Story he was amazed. Since then, he has always been interested in animation and wanted to make things like Toy Story

Over the years, Tyler has had many people inspire him but he can’t quite pick one individual. Each drawing takes quite a while for Tyler to make because he starts off with a bunch of character designs and tries out different shapes and sizes. He then makes about twenty rough sketches until he likes one. HE said his process is tough but in summary he draws the character once and then make a bunch of mouths for them because a lot of his characters use dialogue. He tries to do something different each time and entertain his audience. He makes an actual skeleton with his characters with joints and stuff and then moves them around. He actually hardly uses paper at all anymore.

One of Tyler’s favorite scenes on his drawings is the one with the carrots. He says that in the scene a man is shown cutting carrots very well and his friends are actually amazed by how well he’s doing it. The next scene is a flashback of giant carrots beating him up. His favorite characters are the basketball devil character, and the tall skinny frog looking guy. He is always making new characters so he can’t pick a favorite. Tyler is now in his last semester and is lined up for an internship in Portland for an animation company who will be making a cartoon show. He will be working for the show until they stop making it.

Tyler is a great artist and also a nice guy. His goal is to make his audience laugh at his work because of the comedy behind it, and personally I can say he achieved this goal because he is very creative and I was laughing at his scenes. I think it’s awesome that he will be making a new cartoon show and that he will be representing CSULB. I could also see some resemblance from his pieces in other Disney pieces like the devil basketball player. He looked like on of the characters  from Space Jam. It was great talking to Tyler and I wish him all the best in his new internship and future in animation.

Wk10 – Artist Conversation – Thomas Cressman


In this week’s artist conversation I had the opportunity to converse with a brilliant artist by the name of Thomas Cressman. Thomas is currently in his 5th year here at California State University, Long Beach and he is majoring in 22 metals. He loves metals and he first became interested in metals when he was a sophomore in high school, he took a metals class. He also had a professor that really inspired him to work on metal and directed him into this program. His high school was located in Seal Beach which is where he grew up. I was surprised when he said that he went to high school in Seal Beach and he took a class on metals there because those classes are rare now-a-days. I chose Thomas because we are very similar. We both love to work with metal, and we both fell in love with metal our sophomore years in high school.

The piece that he was showing us today was called “Living Forms”. In this piece, everything is based off of the ocean, in fact everything he makes is inspired from the ocean. He likes using the ocean because it’s a whole new world out there and he finds it so fascinating. His favorite animal is the octopus because they are intelligent and he just thinks their awesome. He says the scientific aspect of the ocean has always kept him interested as well. To make one piece it could take Thomas anywhere from 1 week or longer than four weeks. The metals he mainly uses are copper, brass, and silver which I could imagine gets expensive. Since metal does cost a lot, what he likes to do is sell his pieces after he puts them in a show.

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The process to make each piece is pretty lengthy and takes a lot of hard work. He starts off with a large flat sheet of metal, and then he takes his inspiration and drawings that he has mad of that inspiration and then creates that image in his mind. With that image he cuts out a sheet of copper in that same shape and then he starts a process called annealing which is a heat treating process so that he can work on the metal and form it. After he has formed what he wants he starts doing minor work like hammering the metal and adding texture to it. This is a lot of hard work that goes into his process and one mistake in the forming process could be major and force him to start over. I imagine that doesn’t make many mistakes since he has been doing this for over three years now. During the process he doesn’t like to translate what he is looking at but he likes to make it abstract.

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Thomas was a really cool guy to talk to and I enjoyed looking at his pieces. He had a really nice set up and I think it was probably the most professional gallery that I have been to. My favorite piece of his was the “Glossy-Backed Abalone”. The Glossy-Backed Abalone is pretty small but very shiny at that which made it stand out to me out of all the others. I also liked Thomas’ favorite piece which was located in the center of the gallery. The piece was called “Giant Blue Clam”. The piece was really large and he put a lot of work and detail into it. It’s pretty abstract but I could definitely see a clam when I looked at it.  Thomas currently does not have a website but if you would like to follow him on Instagram to see some more of his work his username is @Thom_cress6. My favorite piece is pictured below.

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wk8 – Artist Conversation – Rhiannon Aarons


In this week’s artist conversation, I had the pleasure of meeting artist, Rhiannon Aarons. Rhiannon is in her second year as an MFA student, but when she was just 17 she started formal artist training as an undergraduate at Otis. In her past she has worked at a non-profit teaching establishment to teach the disabled how to paint. Her artwork has been inspired by many artists, but one in particular that she mentions is Dana Reyes. Rhiannon is also interested in anything that is obscure or weird.

The purpose of her piece this week is to represent Satan in the Garden of Eden, and how women can be seen as demonic. In creating her piece she took scans of anatomy books. In the other drawings she used what is called Heckatan (Hecate) which are 3 heads inspired from myths, and since they are myths she researched what they would look like. To do this, she was scratching through paper, then put the paper through the printing press which is the dry print. The other drawings we see are digital prints. Amazingly, All of her pieces together took a year to make, and shown in the pictures below are the Heckatan, and what she drew from the research she did.

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In Rhiannon’s artist statement, she explains how there has been a lot of confusion, untold truth, and lies about the anatomy of a woman. She states that the “anatomy books that originally perpetuated the misinformation dispelled by Chalker relied on illustrations that were printed using wood engraving; such as, the line quality created by this method becomes one of authority, of an invisible author with an alleged neutral hand.” Rhiannon later goes on to say in her statement, that Reed and Page from “Crate for Remains of a Mythical Creature”  were on opposite poles but at the end, both women are buried in the same cemetery, they are both reduced to the same earth.

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These digital print drawings that she made, represent how the female body is represented as demonic. Not the female personality, but the female anatomy. How the writers and the illustrators, depict the female body with the lines they use are representing women as these demonic creatures. She used these skeleton pieces because as mentioned earlier, she likes weird things. She wants us to figure out what she is trying to get across in her work.

I think that with her interesting, weird work Rhiannon attracted a lot of viewers, which is what she was trying to do. When looking at the work I did not see anything to me that looked like a demonic woman. To me, it looked as if she was doing a somewhat Halloween theme, with the skeletons, and the heads. I thought it was interesting how the skeletons looked similar but they were all very different. In conclusion, I don’t think her point got across to me but I believe other people had understood the point she was getting across, how the female anatomy is represented as demonic.

wk6 – Artist Conversation – Sery Kwon

Hello everyone, in this week’s artist conversation I had the pleasure of meeting artist, Sery Kwon. Sery had 4 paintings on display for us all to enjoy. There was something about the paintings that caught my eye; her paintings all seemed to have like a road of some sort or just thick lines running through them. That is why I chose to choose her as my artist of the week because I was very interested in her work. Sery is a senior this semester at California State University, Long Beach. She has known she wanted to paint since middle school, and started actually painting how she paints her junior year in college. As it comes to my surprise she told us that her style is painting road map type of paintings of cities like Los Angeles and Dublin, like those pictured below.

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She does this because she likes drawing squares like maps. She likes to put her experiences into the paintings and make them abstract, and she starts with the location. Currently, she bases all her paintings on these maps of cities, states, etc. She even makes some of them up and goes with the flow. She loves the idea of looking at things from an aerial view which makes me wonder how much better these paintings could be if she could paint them from a plane or helicopter from above. I think she should definitely try this out as it would be fun and a great opportunity to make some great art. A lot of these paintings she said are working with different shapes fitting into space, and for the audience to feel what she was feeling…lost in the map. To also show her point of view from when she went to these places she saw the cities in color. All four of her paintings took weeks to make and the one that took the longest is pictured above on the left, and the shortest one is shown to the right of that one.

She doesn’t use too many materials when creating her paintings. She often uses acrylic paint and rice paper, dyes paper strips and puts them on top of the canvas. Sometimes she also paints with a brush as well. Her favorite colors are coral and purple because they make her feel happy. When she starts her painting she picks her colors first then she draws in her shapes and fills in color after. Her favorite painter is Mark Bradford because she like how he works in very physical objects. After she graduates this year she would like to become an art teacher and implement her road type paintings and ideas into younger generations.

These paintings are pretty cool to me because they are all the same style but yet they are all so different from each other. She uses colors that go well together and you can actually see the cities in the paintings. In the painting of LA, I saw a lot of spinning and circles and I could totally relate with it because of the fast LA pace and everyone going fast in circles. I think Sery will do great as a teacher as she is very knowledgeable, and fun to talk to. Do not forget to visit her website, thank you all.

wk5 – Artist Conversation – Josh Benz & Caren Solis

This week I had the opportunity to meet artist Josh Benz and talk to him about his piece. Unfortunately the other artist, Caren Soils that partook in helping create the piece was not available today. Josh does not have his own site yet but you can find his work that he posts on his facebook page searching for Josh Benz. Josh and Caren’s oil painting was very interestng, and I decided to interview him because I wanted to know more about it. I wanted to know more because It was the most relaxing piece in the room to me and you will see why in the picture below.

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Josh’s goal for the painting was to create a relaxing piece, and show the transition from childhood to adulthood. The painting started out as a somewhat self-portrait that Caren made, seen in the bottom left of the painting. After making her self-portrait, Josh had covered everything in paint. This action had angered Caren and she told him ” What are we going to do now?!” He did this because he wanted them to collaborate since they were supposed to work as a team. So they would take turns adding stuff little by little. Josh said he had things flowing, and she would have to force her stuff to fit. Her paintings were more realistic figures and he did implied paintings instead of literal. On their last day of painting they decided to paint together and put there ideas together.

The whole thing took  about 3 months, after they got to a late start. After they decided to keep her self portrait of the 2 people watching TV, they agreed on that he would paint what they were watching and she painted them watching. They wanted the colors to bounce off of each other and make realistic figures into abstract art work. Even though they had different ideas, the colors created a better sense of perspective which made their ideas work together.

This piece means a lot of things to me; my emotions are kind of thrown around every where because I have no idea what my imagination is trying to do. I definitely could tell that two different artist’s worked on this piece because of how things met in the middle. She started off with drawing the people watching TV and it also looks like they are floating on water. In the middle of the river, it looks like 2 different waters meet representing the 2 artists. On the left side of the painting you see realistic figures like people working and then on the right side there is a 2 headed dragon. To me, this means that sometimes we get so caught up on what’s in front of us that we don’t know what we are swimming in, or what is going on around us. So does this achieve the transition from childhood to adulthood? Maybe if you look at it a certain way, with how on one side you have people working and the other is a fantasy land, which is why I love Art, because every piece means something else to another person.