The artist of the month for December is Cincinnati artist Peter Wilke.
Peter is a painter, graffiti artist and graphic designer, who has been expressing his artistic abilities around the midwest since about 2010
Check out the time lapse from his work at Resonance Music & Arts Festival 2016 below to see his artistic talents in action, then read below for a Q&A with Peter to learn more about him and his art!
Video shot and produced by Alex Thocker.
Q&A with Peter Wilke
Where do you think your love of art/your artistic ability came from?
I have always been aware of the culture of street art and graffiti from a very young age. But I really started paying attention to this art form when I was about 13 years old. I started to realize about an entire fascinating subculture that really no one was paying much attention to even though they were seeing this art form every day whether they liked it or not. At the time my brother (whom I looked up to very much and still do) who was not living in Cincinnati would mail me letters with graffiti alphabets he had done for me to practice over and over again. Shortly there after I was inseparable from my black book, my friends and I were constantly sketching and drawing during all of my classes throughout junior high and high school. I then started becoming incredibly aware of street artists around Cincinnati and was absolutely fascinated with there work. Beyond that my family has always been very supportive of my work.
How long have you been painting/creating art?
I have been using aerosol as my primary medium since about 2010.
What inspires you to create?
My friends whole are constantly supporting me and pushing me to be a better artist, when you surround yourself with friends who are all incredibly talented artists of all different styles using all kinds of mediums it motivates you to push your limits and get outside of your comfort zone.
How would you describe your art style?
My style at its core is definitely based of traditional graffiti techniques and then incorporating those techniques into a whole different crazy abstract style when I’m painting on canvas.
Could you briefly describe your creative process?
Well I usually start with a base idea and that is it, I just have a concept for the first few steps and then I just take it from there. Now this is no doubt a hit or miss approach, I usually will end up covering up parts or repainting sections entirely a couple times throughout the course of a piece. It is extremely rare for me to be happy with a finished product of my own art.
How has your art evolved?
After becoming involved with Essential Productions in 2014 I have become friends with some very talented people whom began to push me in a direction I have never really experimented with before. I believe this motivated me to take my art to the canvas and start using different mediums. I think this got me out of my comfort zone and allowed me to really start pushing myself in a new direction.
Outside of painting, do you create using any other art forms?
I attended The School for Creative and Performing Arts for theatrical lighting design and jazz guitar. Although I don’t practice lighting anymore, I do believe that it had a profound effect on the style of my visual art and still continues to influence me to this day. As for guitar I pick it up every once and while, not nearly as much as I should.
What’s your biggest challenge as an artist?
My biggest challenge has been learning how to market myself as an artist, transitioning over to working with Essential Productions I have learned that is crucial to properly market yourself as an artist, and to be honest I am absolutely horrible at this.
Best compliment you’ve ever received about your art?
“How is this even possible”?
What has been your most defining moment as an artist?
Painting at Resonance 2014 when Dopapod was covering “War Pigs” while fire poi was illuminating my Resonance banner definitely gave me some goose bumps.
What are your goals for the future?
To put a little bit more time into my art and market myself more as an artist, and eventually quit my real job to do art full time!
Where can people go to see/buy your art?
Any of the dozens of shows I will be painting at this fall and winter, or contact me directly on Facebook if you’re interested in commission work. I also have done quite a few installations in private homes and backyards.
Now for some fun stuff…
Supreme add banana peppers.
Favorite word? Least favorite?
Favorite word – Echelon
Least favorite word – Lower
Favorite knock-knock joke?
Strangest thing you’ve ever eaten?
Which cartoon character do you resemble the most?
Bender from Futurama
Worst haircut you’ve ever had?
My 7th grade emo phase haircut.
Favorite smell? Least favorite?
Favorite: Red River Gorge
Least Favorite: It’s between burning sage and festival portos’ on Saturday evening.