Starting this month, the Essential Productions blog will feature an Artist of the Month and a Band of the Month series. The posts will include a Q&A as well as a time lapse from each artist and an exclusive performance from each band.
We’re kicking things off with our first Artist of the Month, Gavin Gonzo Gerundo!
Dots and lines…lines and dots. Until you see it in person, it’s hard to imagine the depth and beauty that can be created by primarily combining lines and dots. But Cincinnati-based painter Gavin Gonzo Gerundo does just that, creating incredibly unique, beautiful pieces of art.
You can see the magic for yourself in the time lapse below, then read on for a Q&A with Gavin to learn more about him and his art!
Video shot and produced by Alex Thocker
Q&A with Gavin Gonzo Gerundo
Where do you think your love of art/your artistic ability came from?
I’ve always been interested in art and dabbled with it throughout my childhood, but I draw most of my skills from my years in design school at DAAP. It wasn’t until I changed majors into horticulture that art really took over my life. I found that once the art was more about my own personal expression than it was about technical drawings to meet a deadline, it really became a part of me.
How long have you been painting/creating art?
I have been creating art as long as I remember in some way or another. I think we’re all born with creativity, some just choose to hone in while other go down different routes. The biggest push for me to create came from Essential Productions when they started to bring me to shows to paint. Because of the opportunities that have arisen from this, I have easily created more art in the last year than I have in my entire lifetime. They say you have to put 10,000 hours into any skill to master it, so now I’m just working on getting myself there, and to whatever comes next.
What inspires you to create?
Music, art, and nature are my biggest inspirations. Music acts as a form of art in itself and portrays feelings and scenes from a very subconscious place inside us. In addition to this, the rhythm and sounds of the music can really influence my live painting.
Art in itself has been another huge inspiration for my art. Gazing into the works of some of my favorites like Van Gogh, Magritte, Seurat, and Monet provide me huge inspiration. For a lot of these pieces, the subject is unimportant. What really draws me in is how these artists developed a way of seeing and portraying the world around them. In this way, it acts as inspiration to create from my own eyes and hands.
Nature acts as infinite inspiration. The world around is so full of amazingly perfect forms and shapes. From the plants to the animals, to space and everywhere in between, the universe is a work of art.
How would you describe your art style?
My style of art combines line work with pointillism to create forms full of movement and life. The flow of the lines creates movement within and around these forms and help define space. While lines can be used for movement, I also use rigid, more geometric line work to create puzzles and patterns for the brain. The dots, or points, act to represent light on these forms. I would say there is a psychedelic element to my art through color choices and content, but this psychedelia is enforced with a background of design and composition.
Could you briefly describe your creative process?
I usually start of every piece by first choosing the main subject or concept. When I decide on a subject, I usually sketch it out from a few different views and take note of distinguishing characteristics of this subject. From there, I move to composition. Where would this subject be placed on the canvas to establish a composition? Once I decide this, I move on to tying elements related to the subject into the other layers of the painting. From here, it’s all a process of layers. One layer at a time, I tie the whole painting together into a complete concept. Sometimes I’ll have an intricate, well developed concept and other times I’ll jump into painting with little to no direction.
How has your art evolved?
My art evolves every day. By pushing myself to try new things and make “happy mistakes” (to quote Bob Ross), I can turn every painting into a learning experience. I strive to improve my art with every piece I make and this comes from stepping out of my comfort zone and giving myself room to grow.
Outside of painting, do you create using any other art forms?
As far as art goes, I have been getting more and more into graphic design. Especially when working with geometry, I’ve found graphic art to be a really cool way to make something that would take countless hours to paint in a matter of minutes. It’s very different but I’m working to connect my style of painting with the graphic side of art. Aside from visual arts, I also really enjoy playing music. Nothing quite like jamming out with friends and shredding the keyboard. I’ve found that musical and visual creativity go hand in hand.
What’s your biggest challenge as an artist?
My biggest challenge that I’ve dealt with is believing in myself to make a living as an artist. I spent many years avoiding taking myself seriously as an artist because I was too caught up in thinking about how to financially provide for myself as an artist. It’s certainly been a daily challenge but I come to the point where I’d rather be a poor artist than a wealthy chump wasting my life away. It still takes a lot every day to push towards this dream, but I’ve had to push apprehension out the window and learn to move forward with confidence and believe in myself.
Best compliment you’ve ever received about your art?
Being compared to artists that I look up to makes me feel the best about my art. When my art makes people think of artists like Van Gogh and Alex Grey, that makes me feel like I must have done something right!
What has been your most defining moment as an artist?
Painting with Papadosio for the first time was a huge moment for me as an artist. They were the band that inspired me to get back on my feet as an artist. When I started, I set my goal to paint with them and that came to fruition within a few months. That was when I really realized the potential of where my art could take me.
What do you have planned for this summer?
This summer I will be hitting a lot of the Midwestern festivals in addition to a few shows a month! It’s already been nonstop painting and I couldn’t be happier with how busy I am with art! I’ve got about 15 festivals booked at this point. I just got back from painting Summer Camp. One of the ones I’m looking forward to the most is Resonance.
What are your goals for the future?
My goal is to improve myself as an artist with every piece of art I create. I never want to stop learning and I think there is always room to make yourself a better person.
Where can people go to see/buy your art?
I’ll be all over the Midwest this summer at festivals and concerts doing live art and gallery setups. You can find my schedule on my art page on Facebook.
My art page, Gonzo Gear (on Facebook and Instagram) serves as my art portal currently, but I am in the process of creating a website specifically for my artwork.
Now for some fun stuff…
New York style with pineapple, jalapeno, and bacon.
Favorite word? Least favorite?
My favorite word is “the,” I use it all the time. My least favorite is gurgling. It’s like moist but a much more audible version of it. Nothing good comes from gurgling.
Favorite knock-knock joke?
Knock knock. Who’s there? The box.
Strangest thing you’ve ever eaten?
A praying mantis…I was a weird kid.
Which cartoon character do you resemble the most?
I feel like Shaggy and I have a lot in common. We both have a bad-ass dog, the munchies, and are really not trying to fuck with any ghosts.
Worst haircut you’ve ever had?
My last haircut was a buzz cut and it was pretty traumatic. It’s been 5 years and I haven’t cut my hair since.
Favorite smell? Least favorite?
My favorite is a toss-up between almond extract and fresh asphalt. My least favorite smell is vodka.
Favorite four-legged creature and why?
I’ve really been digging goats lately. They make hilarious noises and silly faces. I think it’s impossible to be sad in the presence of a goat. Plus, they’re lawnmowers. One day I dream to have a pet goat of my own. One day…