The Independent Artist Podcast

Bucket Full of Snakeheads/ Mark Winter

March 28, 2022 Douglas Sigwarth/ Will Armstrong/ Mark Winter Season 2 Episode 6
The Independent Artist Podcast
Bucket Full of Snakeheads/ Mark Winter
Show Notes Transcript

Join co-hosts Douglas Sigwarth and Will Armstrong, professional working artists who talk with guests about ART & SELLING.  This week's topics include our spring show schedule, the courage to show new work, and young people selling at fine art fairs.

Welcome to the pod this week Mark Winter from Milwaukee, WI. Mark is a metal sculptor who creates his work from recycled and found metal objects. Mark learned his technical skills working in the trade of auto body repair but it was growing up as the child of a working artist that encouraged him to think creatively. In this episode, Mark describes many of his unique experiences on the road that has influenced him and his work.

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welcome to the independent artist podcast sponsored by the National Association of Independent Artists also
sponsored by zapplication I'm will Armstrong and I'm a mixed media artist I'm Douglas sigworth glassblower join
our conversations with professional working artists
hey welcome back to the show everyone will how are you feeling today oh I'm
just uh just peachy Douglas it's lovely peachy yeah lovely to be back on the air
with you having a little bit of signs of spring outside today here in Wisconsin so it's hopeful it's hopeful that it's
actually going to happen here we're going to have a change in season that'll be nice oh that's a fascinating topic
all right everyone keep listening now for horrificing conversations on the
podcast if you talk about the weather politics too I might as well
everything's going to hell so it's uh it is everything else let's keep it topical
no that is nice the birds are chirping and um I had to shut the windows here in
in Santa Fe so the birds are on the move and headed north headed your way on full
disclosure we are recording this Preamble quite a bit earlier than typical because we both have a big run
of shows coming up here I've got Winter Park and then we've got Bayou City and I'm going to be on the road solid so we
needed to get this the kind of recorded ahead of time so if everything goes to hell over the next couple weeks we won't
be able to talk about it until after Fort Worth yeah absolutely yeah we're going to Texas and and I'm headed back
East too headed all the way back to the east coast for uh artist fear coming up in May too after my Texas run so haven't
been back to my old stomping grounds and gosh it's been almost two years that's
cool yeah awesome yeah headed home got to see my folks how close to our home is Artisphere about seven hours oh okay so
yeah that does feel real close doesn't it really really close and I haven't uh been back to Richmond haven't seen my
folks in over a year and um so yeah they I will not be partying in uh Greenville my folks are actually
coming down for the show so it'll be fun to see them so nobody be uh twisting
Will's arm because he's gotta be present and alert for the fam well yeah right
yeah it's a different it'll be a different uh different kind of show but it'll be fun to see everybody on the
road too so yeah what do you got going on sir I'm flying out tomorrow for this
next run I know we talked on the Pod last week about what I'm dealing with physically so this is going to be a
two-week uh Endeavor to see just how I can maneuver at the shows with my
current condition with having these foot braces on my ankles and feeling like I'm
wearing two walking casts on my on my feet do not be shy about offering Douglas some help uh we'll we'll we we
got you back sir you're gonna be all right hopefully are you uh you would all thinking about um you know if this goes poorly or are
you thinking about surgery early and on uh hey um I haven't wanted to talk about
my sweet spring schedule because it I don't hate to brag but you know when any
of us artists are handed just the sweetest of sweet schedules and then you're told you can't do that it's like
I have to be in a coma not to to do this spring schedule so I'm going to try my
damnedest to make it happen but my body might not let me so I'll find out in the next couple of weeks just what I can do
and what I can't do yep uh we're all rooting for you so uh yeah be strong we
don't have to talk anymore on that topic it's a big one we'll see how it goes I wanted to talk to you about this well
you've been working in your new studio you've been cranking out some brand new work you've been working on a new series
ourselves and we're getting real close to showing some of these new pieces that we've been
working on for what feels like six eight months yeah and I've got some big nerves
about it do you yeah yeah I do and you texted me some photos of some new of
yours that's just you know really cool and quite different than what you've done do you ever get nervous putting new
stuff like that out in the public um yeah I I always do I mean you know
that I I have a bad case of imposter syndrome uh where I'll I didn't know
that yeah I definitely do you know and I guess I don't talk about it but you know I'll make some new pieces and it takes a
minute before I'm I'm really confident um in showing them I think I was talking
to William cuomina Poe about this uh he is always confident in his new work he's
like it's good and I'm like I was super jealous of that and I I just don't get
that right away so I'll I'll finish a new piece and I'll take a picture of it with my phone and um you know I put
words in my work for the first time I'd never done that and I've really been wanting to and I talked to I don't know
if you know the artist Bennett she uses uh words in her work all the time and
and I remember like at the beginning of covid texting her and and just like trying to get a little advice and get a
little confidence and be like how do you you know you finish a painting and like how do you go about having the
confidence to throw words down on top of it it could just completely screw up the entire thing and she was like yeah yeah
I don't know you just do it just just go for it and so I did I put words down and
I took a picture of it with my phone and um I don't know I look at it later I walk away from it I clean up I shut the
door on the studio I walk away and the nice thing about having the the shop about 20 minutes from the houses I can't
go back and stare at it it wasn't until the next day and so I didn't even look
at the picture on my phone I walked into the studio and saw the new piece and I was like well damn I'm excited about
that that looks not exciting yeah well it did so I'm I've got the confidence and uh the biggest danger in the words
to be honest with me is like I don't want to turn it into like
um masculine live laugh love
you and it's not but well we do that with the podcast here we we go back and
forth with titles and we do like we we kick a little bit in our heads about us at trite or is that like you know
generic you want your title and your caption to to to not dumb down the piece
in a way right exactly this to me like I did these and you'll see these I guess
on the on Instagram or whatever but um you know they're kind of like Gunslinger or Cowboy portraits and I'm still kind
of trying to figure out where I fit in with uh the west and uh the map that I
used for the background of this piece I I've talked about this before but uh the
Cartographer one of the cartographers that that documented the Native American territories from Fort Leavenworth all
the way out to Salt Lake including the top portion of New Mexico was a member
of our family it was a great great great uncle of ours and then another member of
our family who you can look up in the history books it's pretty cool he was a big leader in the The Whig party
um and Willie P Mangum but he took that map from all the way out in Salt Lake and carried
it back to DC in his saddlebags when he was headed back east on the back of a
horse so I mean there's some there's some cool connections that I have and uh
seriously dark connections too because a map of the Native American territories
was not used for as something other than to control the indigenous people of the
United States take over you say this is mine now right well here's where we go
in and kill all the horses and round up all the Buffalo and so it's you know trying to come to terms with that so
they are just kind of they're cool Gunslinger portraits but they're also
you know have my own connection to to history well we talk a lot about yin and
yang with the podcast but Renee and I have that same kind of Yin and Yang with our glasswork and you know these new
pieces we're working on she feels really confident she feels she sees them and she says I like them and if she likes
them she feels confident to put it out in the world and that's enough but for me I
I do kind of what you're talking about I I go well there's this and there's that and what if it's that and there's a new
back and forth and back and forth and maybe it's the Libra thing I don't know but I also have a little bit of the
Imposter thing going like I feel like I don't want anything that we make to
replicate anything we've seen yeah and then you start doing it and we see so much great stuff out there you don't
want your influences to seem like a knockoff right or an attempt at a
knockoff so I'll be like we can't do that because it looks like this we can't do that because it looks like that yeah so we really strive to make our stuff
look uniquely us which adds a little bit of a stressful complication for me in in
the process yeah I can totally see that I went through the same thing with this this series because I wanted to use uh
different parts of collage and I wanted to use like on top of that map that I talked about I wanted to use like some
old comic books like Western comic books too and I ended I'm not using those I have a whole pile of them that I I
bought and I didn't use them because it was starting to look a little bit like somebody else's work and I'm like I
can't do that I don't wanna step on those toes I don't want to get out there and be like oh this looks like
Dolan and I'm like well I freaking love Dolan and I don't wanna you know I could see you know if you look at the pieces
that I created they don't look anything like his work it's it's 100 me but I
don't know you definitely catch yourself you know Dolan's a good friend and I and I super admire his work too so I don't
want to look anything like it you know yeah I don't want that person coming in the booth and being like I said the same
thing down the street it's like oh brutal that's there's nothing worse yeah
the other thing that is different about what we're working on and this might kind of be a good thing for me moving
forward with what I'm dealing with physically is we are we're doing blown components that we're
working in a different way we're using smaller components that we're re-melting in an oven putting them together in into
larger pieces so these pieces it used to be you know where we blow something we
could spend an hour on a piece put it in the oven the next day do some finishing work for a few hours but the turnaround
rate is pretty quick on some blown vessels for example but when you're working on components and then putting
them together into something bigger we're investing a lot more time and energy to finish an entire just single
piece right and that's different than how I've worked before so that also puts a little bit of pressure being in like a
new element that I'm not comfortable with or familiar with yeah that makes sense so uh here's a question for you I
feel like I'm interviewing you um when you create a new piece like this how long are you going to give it in
your booth if it doesn't so um an hour I'm just kidding
I don't know I bet you I'm not far off right like like I probably am going to be tormented in
in um in Fort Worth because I think that's going to be the first time these pieces see the public eye I'm gonna be
like ah [ __ ] they hate it or you know what I mean I've heard you say the same thing how you right you're just like
okay I'm gonna put in the back I mean we all want that experience like uh Daryl Thetford talked about in his episode
last year the courage to say no he just happened to have a new piece leaning against the display and somebody said
hey what's this piece and then you know what I mean the demand just jumped right in and it just took off like wildfire
right that's a gift that's a gift to have somebody respond to your new work that like that yeah yeah it is and and
that's how I want to be I've got a kind of a western series and then my more urban series it's giving me the freedom
to create uh different stuff oh yeah and I have always had that freedom I don't
know and you know this this takes us right into the mark winter thing but um Mark talks about that this week about
just creating what he wants to make and I'm doing a bit of that yeah hey I have
a question for you you're working on the emerging artists program through NAIA
right and you know there's a lot of Wheels in Motion and stuff we're making the opportunity or we're reaching out to
Young Folks to come into this industry I'm starting to wonder if this industry is even what they want I mean are we
extending an olive branch and there's like do they want to come to the streets and sell like what we've been doing for
years what's your impression on the matter on that one my impression is that it takes somebody kind of special to do
it like I don't even know if the the young woman who won the Best in Show it
in Gasparilla I don't know if she wants to do shows you know like I'm telling you yeah like that's where the this
question comes from I see people who are making incredible work and you go to their Instagram pages and they've got
what like these thousands and thousands of followers and they put something up and they immediately get reactions like
crazy you go to their website and it looks like it's all primed for selling online I mean it kind of seems like that
Marketplace is for that age group maybe um but then you've got like Jaja and
jaja's in you know he wants to do shows he's going to be at Fort Worth this week and uh and he's doing some emerging
artist stuff since it's like year one uh or year one and a half for his his
business so that's exciting to see somebody as exciting as talented as he is so that's awesome I you know
look at any uh group of artists right you know across the board gallery or
Road artists whatever you want to call it and it does take a special person so
I don't think this industry is dead or dying but I do think it may take a special kind of person just like it
always has to convince them to come in and join us on the street so um yeah I think it's uh I think it's
still got legs and uh and the collectors on the road I mean are there are the collectors skewing older and older or
are we do we have a demographic that is ready to replace our parents who've been buying for years and years and years
um I I feel like I still sell to pretty young people you know yeah I've definitely sold people their first
painting and I have collectors you know this great couple in Chicago that um has
a couple of my pieces too that are in their late 30s early 40s so I mean you have to be established enough in order
to afford it we ain't sheep but um it would be interesting to talk to Camille about that from Coconut Grove she was
talking about how do you get younger people to come in and buy the work and she was talking about maybe introducing
reproductions into it and I I don't agree with that I like my originals only show even though I do have some
reproductions that I sell like it maybe one or two shows a year I don't know I did talk to her a little bit about that
at Coconut Grove weeks ago she said that they hired a PR firm and she kept
feeling like this PR firm was skewing to the young people and she kept saying
listen you got it you gotta keep and they're like trust us we know know what we're doing and she said she did and the
results spoke for themselves though they they brought in the people they brought in the buyers and a lot of artists said
they had really great shows so I mean maybe there is a little bit of a re-invention of the marketing a
reinvention of a lot of things that we just need to kind of step back and assess yeah and you know this this uh
conversation that I had with her was pre-coconut Grove so I don't know where she's thinking now um as as far as that
goes you know I think the thing that could really attract young people is the fact that you work for yourself in this
industry you're completely Your Own Boss and it really does seem to fit in line with what uh the millennial attitude
that I'm seeing you know kind of uh who who are you I don't want to go to this
job or that job they only want to work for themselves I think this would be perfect for that group we need more
people like nanika to come and kick all of our asses because it works is incredible I want more young people in
the business just so you know she would not be considered a millennial will she would be a gen Z my children are gen Z
and they hate it when we call them Millennial and I say you know what if you don't like being called a millennial then stop calling me a boomer okay
Boomer yeah exactly good point nice come back all right because nothing makes you
sound like um actually young man the uh Boomer is from the baby boom after World
War II and then they're gonna get like I've just fallen asleep not listening to you explain that they're like you do if
you hit that and then it's like their only response is like okay Boomer they just hit you okay Boomer
all right um hey so you had a great talk with Mark winter this week and as I'm
listening to it I'm thinking to myself this is just like a series of outrageous stories I mean he's got the best stories
in this interview will he does uh that's what I love about Mark and I was hoping uh we could capture some of that in our
talk and I I couldn't have been happier with the results so um sitting down with Mark was a super
easy talk for me I always look forward to seeing him at shows and uh he's one of the funniest guys I know so I'm
looking forward to everybody here in the talk all right here is Mark winter sculptor from Milwaukee Wisconsin
this episode of The Independent artist podcast is brought to you by zap the digital application service where
artists and art festivals connect hey will do you remember the old way of doing these applications with red dots
on the slides and self-addressed stamp envelopes do you still have a rotary phone Douglas no I don't remember that
well I just like that they were with us back then when we made the switch from analog to digital it's a huge switch and
now zap is the industry standard and they're always creating features that make our lives easier too so I do like
what zap does and I do like that most of the shows I apply to are ons application
exactly so I personally appreciate what zap is doing and thanks for not making us reinvent the wheel every single week
like we used to have to do nice to see you hey man I I've got my notes Here I just um I tried to spell
what a fart would sound like let's get just I think it should just be
one of us makes the fart noises and one of those giggles and it'll be the will and Mark giggling fart hour that's all
we're gonna do it sounds good we might have our own spin-off podcast also we're gonna talk about the yard and
you haven't covered I mean I mean uh yeah just just that right I mean uh I'm
sitting here thinking about our conversations that we've had at shows and it pretty much is is what are you doing what's happening up
there in Milwaukee well um currently getting ready for uh Winter Park okay written down soon I was surprised you
were available because so many people are are doing the the Gasparilla you're not a Gasparilla yeah I am sure okay I
just the way the calendar fell and the way things happen and family stuff and you know life in general yeah it worked out but
this is Winter Park your your first one yeah then since the so it was yeah it'll be the first one so last time I saw you
you were getting pulled over just outside of Denver oh that'll work out for you that was uh
okay sorry I was whipping through I was excited to be like almost there cheered Greek and I had been really good about
driving uh right around the speed limit and there was a construction zone and I
just completely blew right through it didn't slow down going like 75 and it
had been a 70 or a 75 right before that didn't slow down for the construction site was right in line with traffic and
they pulled everybody in the line really like the entire room now it makes sense
I thought I didn't know if there's an accident like do I pull over and see if he's okay like nah he's fine
he's probably racing together I think the dispensary is close to 4 30 and he was 4 20 he had to get there in time
I think you had uh you texted me something smarty it's kind of like a cautionary like
um way to go [ __ ] or something like that but uh yeah it was me and then a whole line of cars and of course I I
think I have the most recognizable art show vehicle on the circuit but um yeah
the huge truck with all the stickers on the back and like oh there he is there he is I'll pick you up from a mile away
like we got pulled over on the way home through in Nebraska as we entered across the state line or
where were we were somewhere where they checking to make sure that you didn't have any any dirty uh
man he wouldn't let me change lanes and he pulls me over for tailgating I'm not
a top Tailgater you know drive a big truck it's like you don't [ __ ] around on the road you know and take it pretty seriously so he he knew he was
bullshitting me but so he said well you know what it's going to give you a a warning because you know but why don't
you come on back the truck we'll get get that Warren this morning straightened out for you
go back into the squad car and here's his little companion officer major the
canine ah and I go what's your dog's name what's your dog's name what's major
I didn't have it that wasn't I don't smoke when I'm driving certainly it's just not worth it but he didn't he's
like so did you visit any dispensaries out there no sir really not my thing I said and he's like so what are you doing
out there where were you and I'm like oh we're artists we're traveling right looks like I got tinted windows
but it's not just stickers you know but all right so yeah he picked me out of the crowd for sure but you've talked
about those tinted windows uh down in Florida they get you for those yeah but they're four I don't know man I they
came with the truck when I bought it from uh Ray and Patricia it was theirs Ray Alfonso oh yeah so that's the way it
came you know but it's dark you can't see in I don't know if it's even legal I don't even know I've never had a problem
well if you've got the stickers on your your van you don't have to pull over at the um right the whatever the
agricultural pull-up comes in Florida people like people saying be careful if you're driving a rig that size or
whatever because they can [ __ ] you if they want to but I've never had any problems I don't know I was just pulled over for the Florida yeah inspection
sites before but you know when when haven't I been pulled over well you think of all the miles we put on how few
little how few things do happen it's kind of amazing you know it's true mostly good we're talking about covet
and dealing with uh assumed risk and I feel like it's riskier I mean it feels
like we're kind of on the other side of this thing finally but um and I don't want to get bogged down talking too much covet stuff but it does
feel like an assumed risk with what we do for a living right and all of the traffic stops and everything else that
we we throw ourselves on the line for right it's rough out there it is rough I'm gonna stick together so what are you
working on let's see I've been feeling really good man the studio time has been like prolific and relaxed nice and just
stuff is Flowing like never before and I feel that yeah I mean I don't know every
once in a while you feel like I make this Step Up the Ladder you know I suppose just as far as you're feeling it
right now yeah it feels kind of the same as it has for the last 20 or 30 years but sometimes just go oh that's a lot
better than it was before my time and make things that I want to
make I think lockdown and kind of reset my process some people that worked that
way I know am I the only one that misses lockdown I mean it was kind of great at certain
points we were up in Minnesota and we were kind of between places to live and we're trying to get down here to Santa
Fe and and I really I dug that studio time a lot but now I just rented a new
space so yeah that I'm looking forward to that being the next kind of Renaissance and so creating work again
and you're gonna um commute is that right yeah I'm gonna commute it's uh I just took the keys this morning so I'm
excited for the space the light is really good in there so I'm looking forward to it I can I can work really
big if I want I've got like 12 14 foot ceiling so I was thinking about doing some massive ones yeah that's a game
changer um yeah it is it is but I was going to ask you I mean I know a little
bit of Yuri's history and you grew up with an art background you have artists in the house growing up and tell tell
the folks kind of how how you grew up I I was told I was conceived at an art fair so
you know which one I think it was something probably someone somewhere in Madison you know I don't know which one
I guess it was slow sales that day or I don't know okay I was uh my mother had
been doing shows for 40 years you know all the little small way before there was tents and way
before there was I think you just showed up with your work in a bottle of wine and some headed to the fence yeah
exactly or whatever blanket on the ground and see what happens so they did that for a long time and I grew up kind
of going to affairs with her and kind of be an art fair brat did you know the other kind of art fair brats too like
did you run across like like Patrick nutbeck maybe was the only one but he was a little older Don netbeck's so he's
been a friend for a very long time but he was just old enough where we weren't friends he was a big kid you know he was
cool he was a cool kid um I don't remember socializing with any of really but yeah it was good and my
mom taught art in our basement in our home so every Saturday there'd be 20 or 15
kids in the basement wow for three hours groups um but grade school young very cool yeah
and I remember hating it because I couldn't I would want to play upstairs and he's like quit running
around up there you know I grew up on 20 acres but of course I have to play in the one spot where she's of course so
ever she invited me to come down and I'm like Adam I'm not doing your stupid art classes that's stupid I rebelled against it of course of
course she's lucky she didn't end up with a republican I was heading that way believe me yeah
so she there was Clay and and still lives and cray Paws and oil paints and
pastels and just kids making stuff and he had a kiln and it was cool and then
at the end of the summer there'd be a like a group show where all the kids would come and be outside and make balloon sculptures and I don't know it
was it was wild yeah but uh we do up to it a little bit once you kind of got over yeah uh hating it yeah so I did I
did finally pay attention and it was great having that you know as I decided to become an art
fair artist just having someone with experience going here call this person and bring this bring
the tents you need this you know I'm in my first art fair was in Cedarburg Wisconsin the little whatever Apple fest
or strawberry days whatever fruit whatever fall fruit related Festival there's cider there's [ __ ] on sticks and
little signs that say you know five o'clock somewhere and all that stuff of course um but yeah we like we live at Minnesota
during the summer time and and you get a lot of Lake oriented puns yeah you know a lot of Lake it easy make it to the
Limit and I don't know a lot of eagles themed somehow yeah oh man so that was that was it that's how I got started I
did this little fart fair and I think I made a thousand bucks wow the first thousand feeling God that could have
been I should that was that a thousand felt like a million yeah no it was incredible I couldn't believe it
so I kind of I was doing auto body repair I was I have a what is it I have
an associate's degree an automotive collision repair science and technology or something like that okay so was it
kind of like a trade school yeah yep it was I went to Laramie Tech in in uh or Wyoming Tech in the Army yeah
um it was great it was so underrated of it as far as learning skills it was it
was I'm glad it did it no regrets yeah sure you know it led me to all my tools that I still use today basically I mean
I have the same welder and then it got me into the shop and gave me the space to work and I just
started not working on shitty Rusty 1973 novas or whatever it was you know it's
just God that that work is just thankless oh God yeah so but that's
where you learned how to stack nickels I guess right yep exactly yeah you know and all the materials I used for my
first piece came from just stuff that was on my floor from broken car parts or whatever piece of a
fender or whatever it was and yeah it's like huh this was pretty cool and then
someone paid me for it and I was like light bulb yeah it's an amazing feeling I remember
remember you mentioned early on about like just making what you want to make but you do that and you you make exactly
what you want to make it seems like and you know the audience be damned or it comes to you yeah but that's that seems
to be kind of what your audience expects from you I would I would imagine but uh
you know I've been thinking a lot about what we're about this whole podcast idea and talking about our lives and art and things and
and humor certainly is a part of my work and I love what it is you know it's yeah that they don't always have to be
dark and whatever but I was given some really good advice early on to a couple of really good mentors and one of them
was that not everything has to be a masterpiece you know right and you move on you make what you want to make and I
just have always done it it's like if I try I make a mess
if I absolutely I'm gonna sit down and make this it just doesn't work yeah and I get
frustrated and I get but I'm always there working on something you know whether it's successful or not doesn't
really matter the work is what's important I think yeah I mean sometimes the faces that I'll draw on the notes
that I leave for my wife are better than I think the artwork you know I'm working on a piece and I'm trying to get super
uptight and then I start making those faces inside the pieces and I'm like why not you know and nobody ever they're
like I love that guy yeah and it's so you just do exactly what you want right and I feel like the audience comes like
yeah well there was a piece at when we were hanging out a little bit at New Orleans Jazz Fest we had this little guy
in the back your booth that seemed like totally just for you I can't remember if
it was on a crank or if you just pulled the I mean yeah you remember that piece yeah
but he just seemed like he was for you right and I mean he's probably gone that's probably long since sold I I
think that is true and I to me that's the only it's just the most honest way to do it yeah if I try to make a product
I just well you know and that's where I always thought like process is so much more important than product to me yeah
labor is more important than the fruits of the labor I think for me anyway you mentioned having mentors early on
um how did you go about finding them or how did they find you you know I was just again with my mother being kind of
in the fold there was a pastel paper named Greg McIntosh and I've ever came across him he's uh from Ojai
and he's a you know uh Nomad which is two of the Midwest circuit in the
summertime and he became friends with my mom because they're both spiritual and healers and givers and kindness you know
and he had no place to stay so he would stay in my parents uh unused camper trailer for like for months sometimes so
he'd come and just do Old Town do Lakefront to um Uptown whatever it was and he was
stayed at my parents farm he kind of we set a little Studio up behind my studio and he just became my late night
critique Scotch drinking wise wise man and he had you know he didn't
have two pennies to rub together but he always found money to leave a book behind for me he would leave this
beautiful Francis Bacon museum book City I don't know where you wouldn't get them from somehow every time you'd leave there'd be another book that's amazing
or another you know something and it's just boy he changed he changed my life for sure yeah and then I was up Beth's
father is a photographer and he was working at a really big advertising Studio here in Milwaukee
and I would go and kind of work odd jobs there and make kind of make props for before there was
Photoshop and things like that so I would physically make things they needed for these for these shots
and the other one of the photographers there was another cool guy and just knew about cool music and turned me on to
Joel Peter Witkin and oh man you know all this stuff I gotta go to how do you
find that when you're by yourself in the midwest yeah you can't yeah I feel like
there's there always has to be like with music or books or or both like the the
cool older brother right your nerdy friend or hanging out get out of my room
quit playing my audio Speedwagon records right I mean like have you heard of uh
it's like here listen to this okay but don't touch it yeah yeah I was I was lucky man they kind of came to me you
know and I don't know timing I suppose and me being willing to listen and pay attention yeah and take it seriously
taking it seriously is huge I mean listening to the things and sometimes they plant little seeds that you don't
realize you're uh you got to work on until much later yeah yeah well that's what they were talking about right yeah
and you're uh you've done that you met I mean I met a couple of people I bought a
painting from your buddy Gabe but I feel like you were kind of taking him a little bit under your wing and trying to show him
some art shows so you've passed that on yeah Through The Years too that kind of mentorship for sure I I do think so even
we try and you know and it's kind of funny because we try with some other friends here in Milwaukee they were interested and he's like oh what's how's
this work like well we can we borrowed them a spare tent we had you know they got into Madison off the square we made
sure they were next to us so that we could kind of be there for him because they didn't know how to do how to use ratchet straps or how to do anything you
know right and it wasn't for them they were just were paralyzed in the back of
the booth going uh oh and as far as I know they never did another show again you know and sometimes the light goes on
over people's heads and they're like oh [ __ ] I I would never want to work another regular job again right you know
and then you're hooked all right yeah right Douglas talked to uh your buddy
Tom virgin yeah yeah origin so Tom Warden uh talked to Douglas and you've helped him
a little bit Yeah man he's well he helps he helps me when I help him that's for sure um he's his Studio's close he's about
two miles you know nice and I mean that guy is just a wealth of tech information
and cool thing if he's like if I have my problem that I can't solve or I can't
fix he's he's the guy that gets the call you know he's the guy hey can you I'm always I feel like I'm always asking him
for something you know it's like so giving back is also really cool too yeah you know and we help each other out
of course it's good to have have a network of yeah you guys have kind of a have a
little art art scene going on in Milwaukee a little bit you've got Tom and um I don't know well NASCAR is up there
today too now I just moved up there I don't know if you've seen him yet but um he's he's
100 bucks so does he yeah did uh were you part of
that hundred buck chain that we passed around at Cherry Creek that one cracked me up but it was like
um I thought you like gave Whipple a hundred bucks to move something somewhere and then I gave you and it was like it
just kind of went around and circles you ended up taking a big painting up to Milwaukee for me that I'd sold at lakefront and but he hadn't decided
until Cherry Creek but yeah um yeah back to like the network of people like how
cool is that like can you take this to here absolutely put we're going there right now put it in the van yeah as much
as I like sometimes like to [ __ ] about art fairs and all the work and just like where are we going the weather's gonna suckers
those things are just so Priceless and that the characters we meet along the way and the stuff and
it's pretty great pretty good lucky dogs we get to be uh
sentimental about it right now because we haven't done that many shows in the last two years it actually when I'm
somewhere in Georgia filling up my tank for the 19th time at five bucks a gallon but seriously you can't even use your
credit card one time after it it's uh it's like it automatically shut offs it yeah at 100 bucks I'm like I still got
50 to go if you're gonna charge me five dollars a freaking gallon for my 30 gallon tank what's happening this year
for you guys what what's going on right so kind of the usual I guess we're still
um Jazz Fest oh nice jazz fest we are the first can you believe it then Old
Town we've got memories that you're my favorite date Jazz Fest I was thinking about that today like
jazz fest is just such a special ah thing you know it is we are such a barnacle on the ass of a music festival
it's like we're just so happy to be there you know no one's gonna give a [ __ ] if we're not there or not you know
I was like oh there's not that overpriced sculpture dude here oh Janet
okay the music is so good and the food and the oh it's incredible that's the
best here I've had tears of joy coming up down my face many times at jazz fest because you just have the experience
that it's hard to explain unless you do it you know and the food we can go on about jazz fest all day but so yeah very
Creek I guess and uh nice we'll see the rest of Des Moines most likely cool I'm
probably forgetting five other ones but you guys uh do you always do the same like ever ever have trouble ever split
up or do you guys just do the same stuff we yeah I mean it's obviously not always up to us right if one of us comes in one
of us doesn't we've been pretty lucky for the most part we get into most things we apply to
um not always of course but but you're operating at a high level it's not like right right exactly right you know
you're doing stuff there's one van so if you're going you're going into there you're not going you guys ever do uh
just go along as as support or no yeah cool any competition on that front at
all all or the metal and paint keeps you away from it yeah yeah it's it's good oh
no we it's just a team we're a team there's no doubt about it I mean I I can't imagine
just a lot of work for one person um it is but we make it work and we
always have fun and then we we just try to we like each other so it works out you know I mean that's everything yeah
and just also having having someone for that for the for critique is such a big thing like I've got three pieces in the
kitchen right now that I bring home because I can like talk about commuting I commute to my best mostly Paints in
our house okay that I can use about half an hour it's under half an hour every day and I different part of Milwaukee
just yeah so my studio is a suburb of Milwaukee called Menomonee Falls about
half hour uh just you or you have other folks working there right here I still it's my parents property where I grew up so I'm
spoiled it's you know big and free and I'm already what more can you say yeah
I mean I've got Acres of stuff my studio probably takes up about four acres
how much uh like Foundry stuff and yeah well the bit like the building and all
just random things and scrap metal and things I've been collecting see I've got a lot of crap way too much yeah you know
do you have kind of a junkyard out there yeah like many many junkyard is exactly
and yeah my dad is a retired engineer for Excavating and Grading engineer so he basically drove bulldozers to still
life right I so you operate heavy equipment so we've got a little Mustang Skid Loader so I can pick things up and
move things around and it's huge yeah um so yeah I go there and go through my
junkyard and pick up random pieces that I've collected pieces that you've been working on where do you get your stuff
and like where do you where are you like junk collecting or do you have to buy a flat I steal I have yeah I try not to
buy any new steel I really don't need to um I like when I do because it's just easy to work with and clean and all that
so I'm doing more and more of new metal lately because it's just so much easier but the first 18 years or so I just was
constantly picking up scrap wherever I get my hands on it some ill-gotten some legally you know
the details no and once the word starts spreading that I people bring me stuff
all the time you know I'll come I'll come to my shop and they'll be a pile of stuff at the door you know do you like
that oh yeah from Mo almost always just but you got to take the good with the bad you know there's of course my uncle
drops off his broken TV it's like ah thanks not not that kind of junkyard dude but
um all right thanks do you want this microwave and what no
I end up taking bags of stuff to the recycling for people like well that's
yeah that's uh not what I thank you okay right that's not what I I did on on you know on the good end people bring me
um another uncle just he's he's a picker and he's a collector and he's um he just
finds stuff and brings me this stuff I've got I don't know probably a half a dozen or maybe it comes and goes people
kind of it's really interesting to watch what people do I can tell who brought the pile over by what's in it right he's
just gonna it's got their signature like oh that's Uncle dick because there's a little piece of brass there or whatever it is yeah and you can tell yeah so
what's I mean what kind of stuff are they bringing you um It's So Random old tools yeah tools
and like antique lamp parts and just some sheet metal or lawnmower parts you know like there's a small engine
mechanic farmer down the road that saves spark plugs for me when he's done and the old metal lawnmower shrouds you
know and this old Simplicity bits and and that kind of led to I don't know if
the other body of my work is the the balls of junk yeah and those kind of
came out of that holy [ __ ] why do I have 700 oil cans or you know why do I have 9
000 wrenches that are what am I doing right the [ __ ] is wrong with me and then so the balls kind of came out of that
out of just well let's use them and stuff and then don't do any good sitting in a box right you know so I just
started making the balls and man every one I've made I've sold so far it's like that's awesome yeah they're always
different but they're the same you know so it's kind of interesting and fun and yeah it's it's a whole different style of work and like my studio I change from
going from my characters or from a from a a skull my whole world kind of shuts
down and I regroup and just start dumping stuff on the floor and have I have boxes and bins and
carts and things on Wheels and I just bring it all to the center of the room and just start going okay put them
together so when you mentioned like those balls you know the fact that each one of the ones you've made has sold does that ever
feel like a burden to you okay yeah yeah because once something once
you have something that that kind of sells you have to I I do anyway I feel like I have to make it again or do
something and and how do you how do you stay fresh with that right it's because it's it's starting to it's starting to
feel like work I'm gonna go a little but I think the balls are different because it's they're so random that each one is
individual I don't know how to explain it you know and then price you know money
is the I keep baseball rolling and the ball jokes let the ball jokes
begin yeah oh yeah let's get great very story in here so yeah
and and you know the thing with the balls that's more people bring me more weird things that shows now so that's
happening do they I've had I don't know if you get any of this but I had a box of vintage gynecological
tools human skull oh my god I've had the weirdest one somebody brought you a box
of vintage gynecological tools to the show hell yeah I had people bring me boxes of tools things that they're
kind of like car weird little key fob things like random little whistles and oh yeah I thought about you I thought
you might use it so welcome thank you you know it's kind of put in my drawer for 40 years yeah yeah so people bring
me all kinds of weird stuff and that's really fun uh you can't even make this
[ __ ] up okay in Des Moines like hey you're the first person that I've ever met that maybe could use this I said I
was telling this because I had another collector gave me a human skull as a trade years ago yeah I have a skull a
skull collection you know where he got it well yeah I do it's not important okay are you are you
a cop are you my friends are you a forensic expert of some sort is there
any hair on this this is going still so anyway um I was telling the story to this other guy and he's like well I got
something you might maybe could use I'm like okay he shows up with a bucket full of rattlesnake heads in formaldehyde oh
my God I swear to God and like an open bucket I can't see it a cap on it it was
like okay three gallon two gallon bucket you're not glass you've got to pry that
off the top yeah you'll take a paper like a tupperware thing and I open up like oh sure enough bucket
of snakeheads no [ __ ] it's like um oh my God what do you do with us so I
said yes and I got him there on my shop I got a bucket of snake heads you got a bucket of snake heads so if you ever
need one yeah well you call me first I know plenty of people on the art show circuit
that seem like they have a skull full of snake heads but uh they're rattling around in there like Jesus you know so
that's that was that was pretty wild I don't know if so if you've done um Main Street Fort Worth obviously many times
yeah and that's I love that show but I don't know do you have you ever do you remember meeting the one of the local
characters the guy that always has the colored suit on either one day it's yellow and the next day it's green or next yes
and the shoes not gloves right and if you've done the show you know who I'm talking about most likely I know
exactly his name his name is Pedro and Pedro came into my booth and he was
looking at the balls and he's like oh man this is um this is oh I got some
he's a beautiful I got some of these oh I got mm-hmm I got lots of them it's a
beautiful and he's going on forever I've ever told you sweet as you know and he's
just going out about how much stuff he has now and I I got boxes of them and he's pointing to these like antique bits
I've got in the ball like he's old cooled skeleton keys you know and [ __ ] you can't find like hard it's hard stuff
to find old vintage locks weird stuff cool and talking he's like would you want do you want some of us I'm like oh
you sure so yeah I went to Pedro's house no way and it well house is a weird
weird word because he lives yeah he was squatting in this place they had no
power a neighbor would run a cord over to him if he needed to use the power but he didn't want to turn the power on
because his landlord drove by you see who's in in there he'd get in trouble oh my God so it's a really bad part of town
and so I go in this guy's house and he goes oh come on come on and come on come on in and he's like bring a flashlight
so I get on the side and you it's so packed full of [ __ ]
in the entryway and he goes oh scooch in so I can close the door oh so I scooch in and I close the door and it's pitch
black and it just smells like turtles it's just it's you know it's just wet it's moist in there and I clicked my
flashlight on and will I swear to God he's like two inches from my face he goes hi
hi hi I was like I'm like oh this is how the winter Saga ends I'm gonna feel a
little needle prick in the neck or in the butt cheeks and that's that's it and you'll never see me again part of the
storage yeah that's where I keep them in oh my gosh like what the [ __ ] am I doing
why I'm in this I'm in this guy's house yeah don't go in that room that's where I keep ladies that's the lady Rose just
waiting for that Jesus that's a drop and but turns out he just had boxes and
boxes of organized seriously amazing [ __ ] he's been picking up off the ground for 40 years or so wow did you take some
of the stuff off of him oh yeah I loaded the back of my van up you know I gave him I gave him like 200 bucks I gave him
some money I forget what it was cool so I've got a friend for life and Pedro but um perfect yeah it was just crazy you're
gonna go you're gonna go Pedro shopping when you go back to Texas in April I would do it again absolutely so in the
the great thing is just to give Pedro a noun so as crazy as his house it's like it's
it's dangerous in there there's so much stuff it's top it's forming tunnels tunnels yes literally forming tunnels
and and there's Hills and there's mounds and and when you get to like you know so you know his fancy clothes he likes to
wear his his yellow suit or his red suit yeah there's one room it's just full of clothes and on the wall perfectly hung
up is the red suit with the hat and the shoes below it the blue suit with the hat the shirt everything's just just so
completely perfectly laid out on this on their own special hangers each one has plenty of room I was like oh man that's
his deal we just I don't know anyway things like that happen at our fairs you
know and those experiences I think are just you know so wonderful and I don't know they are man I mean the people that
you meet I don't know I remember being in a really really shitty Florida show down in St Pete somewhere and I met this
guy who came in and and [ __ ] his pants for emphasis in his story like he was
like and that's when they stole my chair and he lift his hand up and just and
just unloads one in his pants I was like that's oh okay I I didn't
wanna I'm glad I didn't catch that on video or anything I should have I don't know people are uh people are good and
then you you get the sometimes you're just out there on display for everybody to yeah and that certainly can be hard
tonight uh certainly the not becoming the gristle angry old man on the back of the
booth sometime can be really hard too to you I mean yeah totally how do you strike that balance I was going to ask
you about I mean I think a lot of times if you have a sense of humor in your work uh sometimes it opens you up to
being a bitter old crank you know if people don't get it and I
know a lot of folks that do have senses of humor and I don't think about that is like how do you walk the line between
doing what you want and then being misunderstood and people not getting uh
the humor or or understanding the meaning behind them that they were personally at the shows as you know um
perhaps Blue Ribbon is a big help um or whatever local variety of Ale you
might find you know and I think it's certainly easy to second guess and start
to question and go what am I doing who's no one wants to buy this idiotic thing and but then all of a sudden it happened
and someone did buy the idiotic thing you know and they love it and they take it home and they and it brings them joy and they're like okay that but that's
what it's all about too yeah do you does that beat you down at all kind of uh do
you you don't seem like a big second guesser uh but do you do you second guess your stuff
more than I should probably yeah I don't know it's tough I do feel like there are
those Personalities in the art show world where you've got um you know
people just making exactly what they want and they make it and they don't seem to doubt themselves at all and then
you got um and then you get Anthony pack and Anthony's like [ __ ]
and I love Ethan and it's certainly no slight to him but I think he takes uh every single one of those expressions in
his Booth it's just really personally yeah you know I mean it and it it is
hard to deal with with the the humans yeah right and it can beat you down and I think too like I always I remember
when I first started doing shows and that was neighbors of somebody who was the old cranky guy in the back I'm like she's just negativity of this tax is
this booth was toxic and you didn't want to go in there you know he's got his nose buried in his newspaper just all right he's bitching about where his
storage area is like really you know I kind of just said to myself I never want
to be that guy yeah you know because I didn't like it at all and you gotta
check yourself sometimes and I mean I used to say I could feel my ponytail growing in when I'd get real cranky and
you're like uh careful I can feel you know feel that ponytail just start to take form because it always seemed like
these the bitter artists that had been through every iteration of art show that
were just sour I don't know plus you've got Beth to keep you honest yeah sometimes and we'd check each other you
know she she's the same way we were just the last one we did together was Cherry Creek and she really didn't have any
sales it'll last minute basically on Sunday and everyone else around her is just killing it and he could just see
her just going okay hey over here what are you doing bring it back you know not today it can
be shitty on Monday that's fine you can do a hundred percent the whole
ride home you have to say a word I don't care but right now we're busy we're working this is work good you know this
is important to you yeah bring your A game you have to but then I mean sometimes I feel like I can't make any
money until I really bitterly complain that I'm not hey whatever works if that's you if that
works for you like okay let me get to work man this [ __ ] sucks I used to show you're like oh hi how are you sir
can I sign your shoes oh man wow did uh so you guys haven't done anything since
since Cherry Creek and you're not going back out until Winter Park which is two weeks from now or yes maybe next week I
did pause after Cherry Creek and then that was it okay so yeah and we we um been working on we bought a property
that we're gonna turn into an Airbnb slash Gallery oh nice Milwaukee so that's been really fun and time
consuming and project to work on yeah you do all that work your yourself too right yeah yeah we've been doing pretty
much everything except for floor sanding and I have my Carpenter buddies built the deck for me and but for the most
part we've been doing it all and it's been perfect it's been fun you know yeah that is I've never I've never done
Airbnb and uh other side of it before so we'll see cool what part of town and the
Bayview neighborhood oh I love the baby yeah that's cool it's a spot could not be any better if it's you
can walk to 14 amazing restaurants there's there's bowling there's a
library that's close to the bus line excuse me there's tattoo and tattoo removal right next door so you got
both sides you gotta you got what more do you need yeah I love baby you I was staying there for lakefront a few years
back and I felt like I was immediately part of the neighborhood like just went into the local watering hole and and
immediately met like the bartender was like you've not been here before what's your name come on over here well you
might like to talk to Amanda and her girlfriend they're getting ready to move to DC like it was immediate just like in
the fold yeah yeah it's a good little spot so we're excited about that it's
moving slowly but you know slow progress is still progress that's my motto yeah what's your your goal on that uh opening
this well this summer yeah I think so you know our goal was to have it open two and a half years ago but
the world did not agree with the with that plan so not not a big time for travel right in fact we we bought it
within with hopes to Milwaukee was supposed to host the DNC convention and um we were like oh my God we could clean
up free grand a night or who knows what um but that all got upside down um so yeah we've been just working on
that it's been kind of cool nice also as an investment I mean art fairs are great but it's a young man's game you know it
is for this game all right that many young people doing it we you know we're becoming the old guys yeah holy [ __ ] our
ponytails are growing in oh God stop saying that I can't I'm sorry
you're gonna turn to your side I'm going to see one yeah put my slip in my mouth
again yeah sorry Mark you really you do look great with a ponytail yeah really a
handsome devil right you know if I may if I may go back to um let's just read this really great
book called The War of art talking about the war of art yeah who wrote that one
Stephen pressfield okay it's pretty great and it's just talking about creative battles and and being creative
and getting through and but one of the great one of the greatest lines I took from it was about keeping your Stu your
place in your studio tight and clean and organized whatever that means to you it means different things to different
artists you know and the reason why you want to keep your place clean and tight
so when the Muse decides to enter she doesn't spoil her gown I was like oh
that's so cool she's coming in it's just a matter of
when and I don't want her to spoil her God when she comes and that's rude so I always you know I try to keep my
studio really functional and because it's chaos in my place so I have so much sharp Rusty dangerous
mountains of crap it's like you know it's that part to me is like the work how do you keep it or I mean do you keep
it organized at least so you can you know where your stuff is and yeah yeah I'm kind of hyper organized but I'm
you know diligent about it I think again that's that's the work part going there and doing all that
stuff and when it's time when the news does enter it's not work it's total play time you know it's it's just no news
Allowed no phone allowed just music nice so you take your phone and just turn it
off and or do you just leave it at home yeah check out the door I don't have Wi-Fi in my shop either so I really can't you know stream things so I just
kind of put it by the door and try to ignore it as much as possible that was my favorite
part about last summer and working out in my in-laws Barn it's like a big metal
you know Barn Building no service no Wi-fi you know I could take a break and
then walk to the edge of the property and catch a signal and see if there's anything but yeah it was all work super
productive yeah just turn it off yeah and I think that's also what the commute does you know and help you find this out
too is when you go to your studio of your commute there it's you go to work you
know I'm not going to sit around play video games or [ __ ] off I'm going when I go there it's a half hour drive yeah 20
minute drive I'm committed to going there to get something done I sort of looking forward to for sure so because
it's it's double-edged sword because sometimes it can suck that drive can be a [ __ ] nightmare you know yeah and
sometimes it seems like it's oh my God how long is this gonna take forever you never know what's gonna happen on the highway but the commute definitely makes
a different experience I think yeah and also taking my kids to school too I like
that time generally with them except now they listen to like the worst music which is
it's just I really have been encouraging them to get into their own stuff and yeah and I'm like I uh I have a really
broad range of stuff that I like to listen to and they think all of that is terrible but anyway taking them to
school like a half hour One Direction and half hour back and you come back home and then you have coffee and then
you do this and no maybe I should walk the dogs and it's like I want to go to work yeah and um I don't know I'm
looking forward to the to the very separate space and to find break time
when I want it so what do you uh what are you listening to in the studio what's what do you think man it's like
it's all over the place um when I'm working it's usually pretty heavy yeah because it's I'm always it's
ear plugs I have ear plugs in all the time and my machines are the tools are loud so you know I can't the music has
to reflect that I think when I'm I need high energy like your your average like a Slayer and Tool and all the corporate
Rock one the big ones but Souls fly I like the band Soul fly a lot and there's a band called Igor this French
kind of experimental weird Opera Opera and it's screaming and it's heavy and
it's just kind of nuts you know it's almost too much like over the top heavy
Rhythm pounding just relentless
you know but then also I mean I listen to Public Enemy and run the jewels and Johnny Cash and yeah the Bellamy
brothers and I mean whatever like you know it's Kris Kristofferson is I like you know I like Bluegrass I listen to
whatever fits the mood I suppose love Tom Waits I've always been a big time
weights fan definitely but when I'm when I'm cranking and working it's it's great
yeah when my dad walks in when I'm working and he just goes he looks at me like what the [ __ ] is wrong with you
what are you what is this why would you choose to put listen to this that's why I don't like uh I don't
like people coming into the studio to be honest you know what I I get a lot of it
but I deal with it because it's mostly my parents and their like today for example I show up in my
studio and I'm trying to go and there's four people in there my parents are giving them a tour of their of myself
but it's again big and free everything nothing has a everything's a trade-off
and I knew I get so many distractions of people wanting things fixed or oh man
like it doesn't it never stops you know it's it's mostly good because it's people that have things that I want too
they're you know mechanic or my neighbor or you know friends and family wants something welded or whatever it is sure
it just it's constant can you draw a line with that stuff yeah I don't know it's hard to it's kind of hard too what
are you gonna say when your buddy wants this plow fixed yeah come on bring it over we'll just do
this wow I mean everybody has their own burdens but yeah like if somebody interrupts me it takes me a really long
time to get my headspace back to where like especially if I'm working on faces and like I'm trying to say a lot with a
little and you have to get your your head right in order to be able to do it and then
um like it resets me and it's like yeah you were only in here for five seconds but now I gotta restart and and have
this and I gotta I might have to have another cup of coffee and I might have to do this I'm gonna change my brush and
the paint was flowing just right and yeah it drives me it drives me crazy most of the time but you know I and for me that's okay they come in okay take
their plugs off take the gloves off take the building helmet off take the welding jacket off take the take the pants off turn the welder off turn the fans off
turn the radio down we're already in five minutes you know yeah just just to say hello it takes
it's a it takes a bit so it's distracting but at the same time most of the people I
help are they give back you know I got people that help me out too so yeah
um you're very kind as well and I also I help them this habitat for ReStore or
Habitat for Humanity store you know I make friends with the the two near near me they need things repaired sometimes
you know so they'll get a broken table or whatever or they'll get a they want a hand truck well repaired or something so
he brings them over and I weld them for him and then he oh those guys they got their
fingers on all the good stuff it's like hey seriously yeah here's a bucket of broken wrenches or whatever like cool old Keys wrenches right whatever random
weird [ __ ] you know it's funny you had a Luke Proctor um not a fan no just kidding no I'm not
kidding it's amazing how are you watch a good dude always the best he made he
made me a set of custom hammers that I use I think about Luke all the time because I I I had this very specific
Hammer I wanted a that does a very specific job right and you just can't yeah they don't sell it at the heart at
Home Depot so I approached Luke I said hey would you ever consider he's like oh sure I could do that for you
and I made a kind of I made a prototype of sorts of what I wanted to look like and a few weeks later here you go oh
beautiful a little piece down to it oh God said best he's such a solid human being it's
such a solid human being and that was not a bad Luke by the way yeah yeah it's definitely a concert looks a giver he's
a giver he is just a really really small dude if you'll do it if you call him if he like you need your gutters cleaned
out just call him he'll come over he'll take care of it not a problem both of you guys kind of have that
Midwest kind of kind of uh the burden of Wisconsin yeah of helping and your
kindness yeah man yeah I think I don't know how many other artists get this happen to them I'm guessing you don't
have people send you pictures of them dressing up your work for Christmas or for Halloween
no over Mardi Gras or whatever day it is I never have I didn't assume so I guess
I had on here yeah I got a fair share of uh holiday decorated um hats on my pieces
which at first it kind of bothered me I'm like oh really take the hat off of
that you what the [ __ ] but then I realized like they're just they love having my piece in their home and
they're just having fun and they're just you know just not not trying to belittle me or demean mean anyway it's just like they're having fun yeah and what's wrong
with that you know there's nothing wrong with it what's wrong with being happy you know so I now I kind of love it when
I get an email from somebody that 15 years later they're still decorating their for putting Mardi Gras beats on or
whatever it is you know oh my God personalize it it's a whole nother cottage industry you could have for
yourself you guys separate separate the work when the other person is working daddy how do
you give each other space the physical space from my studio certainly helps me like like I said I'm I go I don't have
any of my work here unless I'm bringing it home for Beth to look at we see right now I was painting upstairs she she's
going to be Painting At The Bayview property that's going to be her new studio the bigger space so she can do
bigger pieces as well so I don't know we just coexist and I I come home I make dinner we watch maybe watch a show maybe
we don't she goes back to work she Beth works so much she works harder than
anyone I've ever seen the hours you spends it's just unbelievable so I just respect that and let her do her thing
and it works for the most part yeah she's she's driven
um for sure and I help her build you know construct the frames and keep the van running and load the van and do all
that other [ __ ] and make sure the booths are together and you know she has she does all the smart stuff I do the
the thoughts and the farts in the hammering hammers his person hammers that's all I
really is what else do you need he provides it's a valuable service farts and hammers right so I don't know we we
still have fun and we I still love the roadworks really it's still exciting you know yeah I do too I'm excited about
getting back out there and yeah I don't know I give myself this long between shows and I start to get stupid and
weird and forget how to talk to the to the humans yeah but yeah for sure do you
guys do Gallery work at all or is it just art shows yes I've done a little Gallery work Beth not as much as we I
guess the answer is right now no because there are none at the moment we had a couple galleries in New Orleans that were Beth was selling it and I was
selling it too red truck no I wrote a truck Beth had a show with Chris with Chris and tiolo for at before she um
just had her own thing going yeah so that just opened up a huge space here in Santa Fe yeah I heard amazing good for
her so then I have a little show at Kathy Rose's gallery and I used to show at a gallery I know the name excuse me
it's already gone Tresor it was called and it was good he sold pretty much
everything I ever gave him you know um I kind of missed that we haven't actively sought out galleries either or
looked for them or even approached them in any way it was like I haven't had to that's great I mean I like them for you
know the off season yeah um and then I I always use them to kind of keep the wheels on the wagon but I don't sure I
don't know it it right now I things seem so hot why take 50 off right
that there is now yeah of course I started doing um with a gallery from
um Pennsylvania Bruce renfeld and analog Gallery he started doing our context in
Miami so I for art week I've been doing that a couple years in a row with him
it's all he's all does all the work to show up you know he did one in Houston and one um Art New York and one in the
in the Hamptons so he every once in a while he'll drag me along to one of his events and that's
been pretty good yeah but yeah it's kind of kind of a great relationship I think hope you think so too it's a great guy
to just I mean what a casual dude I know just and he's just completely easy to go
and he's just he's got such good business since he works really hard you know he gets he gets [ __ ] done and I
just does show up with my balls there you go here's some balls yeah and then he did
an amazing install at uh JFK just recently too which one
yeah he's become a good friend doing that doing the context show different like next level thing you know the work
was just a lot more expensive and it was just the different the whole the crowd the scenes different and I don't know it
made the street kind of like oh street fairs I can just come inside this beautiful building and drop my work off
and leave and yeah everybody waves at your work with a chicken wings
so kind of something to do yeah but also just the prices are crazy right
everything everything is just it's just more you know real world right off prices right right but it was cool to be
part of that and see see famous stuff and it's tough too to crack that but yeah I mean you can really go and try
very hard but you have to be careful you talk about the prices that of the art uh
its prices of the booth too you can really you know in our world trying to
graduate from this to that get get screwed pretty easily yeah that's a big step yeah for sure so like I was just
happy to be there it was pretty cool to be a part of it you know um there's a story of baby elephant
thing it was amazing I went to Zambia to make a shoe for a baby elephant that got hit with a hatchet because who I mean
who hasn't gone to Africa to fix a baby elephants that's what I mean raise your hand if you haven't done that come on
I gotta I get a call from my friend a friend from in Norway his name is Danny and Danny is a horse wolf expert I guess
the word I don't know takes shoes back off his thing is called bear off so when horse horses aren't meant to wear shoes
that [ __ ] up their Hooves after a while so his thing was getting the horses back to health after damage the shoe had
caused so you started this whole school he teaches a school in couple different countries I think
anyway um he's in Norway now and he got a call from this elephant
orphanage in Zambia because they had a little baby named Sunny who was eight
months old and they found her with a Dragonair back right foot on the ground because someone
had tried to kill her with a hatchet or a machete or something so instead of killing her they just hit her spine and they wounded her so her leg was all
messed up Jesus it's a whole different world down there my friend I'll tell you that right now
um but anyway they found her and they've scooped her up and brought her to this orphanage pronounced the lie I always
pronounced it wrong but it's in Zambia near Lusaka and Danny called me and he's like hey would you be interested in
going to Zambia to make a shoe for baby elephant
what the [ __ ] are you talking about what hello you were like what you know I
had no idea we were talking about also yes yeah exactly I said where what and yes or my you know of course
so we kind of um did a bunch of Skype calls and then we had this little 30 second video of
this elephant walking I'm like what do you want to do here like what do you expect there's no power at this Camp we're
going to there's very limited resources but we kind of he had this design he had
the idea he came up with this paddle shoe thing that had a sort of extra wing on the bottom so when the elephant let's
walk would strike the ground first and correct her walk her gate look Okay cool
so I made a couple things up I thought would work some guy named Nigel from the UK paid
for my airfare used this David Shepard Foundation fun guy I think I never even
met the guy and we went to Zambia and we got there and it's yeah it's pretty
crazy um we got there and I just went what are we doing here there's we don't I can't
help this animal without do I know about elephants you know what am I doing so we just got to work you know and much
like making art we just kind of just you just got to work tried to do something you know so it's used little poor little
Sonny was developing these huge like hamburger-sized wounds on her leg because he was dragging the ground to
get infected was this a foot injury but you mentioned spinal is it to correct so
it was a spinal energy that's like nerve the nerves weren't you know working as
they should okay and it caused her to walk with a limp was that something she could grow back out of unfortunately the
story doesn't exactly end well they ended up euthanizing her a couple years ago because she the the the nerves never
healed and the Vets said well if they haven't healed yet they are never going to so this animal cannot survive in the wild
without human intervention and that's just not there they don't do that there you know it's not a zoo she's not a pet
it's a wild animal okay you know they do their best to protect them and it's you know hard to say the least
yeah we're gonna actually end up going four times I went four times back and forth to each time we did it got a
little smarter got a little better a little stronger farmer down the road had a welder so we could actually make things there the first time we went we I
was literally going through this garbage pile behind the orphanage of like old broken windows and aluminum shutters and
just weird stuff that they put in a pile and that's about how that's what I made the shoe out of was all these random
bits of [ __ ] I found on their in their on their property wow strapped it to her
leg and she it was it was working it was kind and then of course it broke because it's a [ __ ] elephant and it's like
this issue you know two ways eight months she was 580 pounds I think it was something like that amazing so she's
getting bigger it got more challenging and but she's drinking milk she's like energetic she's playing with the other
elephants in the orphanage and splashing in the water and being a baby elephant yeah so the first time she started
walking it was like my he was such a cool feeling just freaking so we went back uh version
two was like I said a little stronger a little better a little lighter this year I remember you oh I uh yeah I you know I
don't I don't know much but there was one time I was on like trip three I was super
sick just miserable feeling like just garbage yeah she knew there was a time
when I was sick and I was sitting in the steps and she walked over and put her head against put her head against my chest and put her trunk around my head
and I'm like she looked right into my eyes it was amazing so it was a cool experience but what I
wanted the reason why I even brought it up because Mark winter the auto body guy
didn't get the call Mark went to this artist got the call yeah I mean like I
do not that all about it not that auto body guy couldn't go and make a shoe well that's not what I mean like but the
guy that I knew knew I was knew how to make things out of nothing and knew I had this this skill that could be used
in this in this place and that's Mark went to the artist you know and it was just it was a cool
experience and then just going out and just into Zambian karaoke bars where they just
sing Kenny Rogers songs all night long what the hell is happening
I swear to God every time we went to These Bars it would be Kenny Rogers karaoke
did you did he go and drop a little Nazareth on him what's your what's your go-to karaoke oh
it's got to be um you know Digital Underground nice
right the elephant thing was pretty amazing again unfortunately she didn't make it but we should be tried you know
and and you did and you made a connection there too you know for sure and I still talk to the people I met there and and also the work we did
wasn't all in vain because they it raised a lot of awareness um even in in town in Lusaka she
suddenly became sort of the celebrity come see the elephant with the boot so people would come and pay the couple
bucks to go and meet Sunny so it raised money for the orphanage and and awareness so good work my friend that
was pretty cool that's an amazing story and I'm glad you told me that because sometimes I feel like we make work in a
vacuum and in order to kind of put ourselves out there and kind of hit that human cord yeah appreciate you yeah yeah
yeah yeah pretty much and then you know again that and that's the power of creativity and the power of of what we
do and reaching out and making all these connections and making people smile or making them put hats down [ __ ] or
getting invited together you know I mean I was gonna say I mean you've made that connection with people and they care
enough to put the Hat on on your work it's part of their family their tradition right it's part of their home
yeah I don't know it's important work even if we feel dumb about it yeah
thank you sir I appreciate it very much it was an honor I think what you're doing is super cool I'll keep it up I
can't wait to binge earlier episodes on the way down to Winter Park this time I think that'd be good thank you man I appreciate that a lot give my best to
your lovely wife I'm trying to say well all right brother peace thanks again peace
great talk with Mark I tell you what I thought that story that you guys were talking about where he was in the guy's
house that was going to turn into like a Silence of the Lambs or something didn't you yeah definitely felt like that it
was a kind of a it rubs the lotion on its body uh or it gets the hose again kind of situation I was I was worried
for him but you know he's he made it out it did and that last story about going
overseas and and crafting the Elephant Shoe that story had such heart to it I
like how we kind of brought it back to that it wasn't about the technical the
creating the metal thing it was about the heart and about the the Ingenuity
and the creativity behind it I thought that was a really good point he made a great story to hear on the podcast yeah
it was Mark winter artist that was invited I love that bit you know not art Mark winter the the metal Smith it's a
really interesting stuff well it's giving me hope because I tell you I
thought that I was just gonna have to give up and turn to Jay McDougall for a
wooden peg leg on this leg of mine but when he started talking about elephant shoes I'm thinking yeah maybe I need to
get myself a mark winter Elephant Shoe on this gimpy foot of mine I promise that is not your new nickname
I will not be calling you elephant shoes from now on this is uh yeah serious business serious business oh I know well
if I can't make light of it who else can exactly so um looking forward to seeing everybody
out there on the road by the way we did get printed up some new bumper stickers with our logo on it so if anybody wants
to pop that on their van so stop by one of our booths and we've got them for you yep and if you interrupt me while I'm
talking to a client uh I will there will be violence
he will uh he will spew Venom and hatred eyes your direction same same here but
uh no no we'll just have them out you guys can just come by and grab them they're they're free you don't pay anything spread the word thanks for
listening all that good stuff it's always fun to see the stickers out on all the road vehicles as we're driving around it gives uh gives Mark winter
another thing for him to poke fun at as he's passing me getting my speeding ticket
all right well guys thanks for listening this week and we will see you all down
the road thanks Douglas I'll see you on the road this podcast is brought to you by the
National Association of Independent Artists the website is also sponsored by
zapplication that's and while you're at it check out Will's website at
1:23:17 and my website at be sure to subscribe
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