The Independent Artist Podcast

A Constant State of Becoming/ Justin Teilhet

April 11, 2022 Douglas Sigwarth/ Will Armstrong/ Justin Teilhet Season 2 Episode 7
The Independent Artist Podcast
A Constant State of Becoming/ Justin Teilhet
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 getting inspired by the artist life, working on larger projects, and heading out for a run of shows.

This week’s guest is Justin Teilhet from Yellow Springs, OH. Justin talks about applying his lessons as a sculpture teacher to his own art practice and expanding beyond porcelain  into mixed media.  Justin also describes how a designer  influenced him to increase the scale of his work which lead him down an unexpected path which involved solving many new puzzles.
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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
Douglas welcome back to the podcast artists everywhere thanks for tuning in hey man how's it going it's going okay I
canceled Bayou City and I had some family things had a little uh stuff I
had to deal with and I've just been now making work and putting all my eggs in the Fort Worth basket so okay getting
ready for that I know you've been putting in some long days getting work made I have yeah uh I'm working on some
new stuff and and we'll see so uh anyway uh that's the end of the podcast nice talking to you guys we'll see you next
week Will's got to get to work everyone I know I did get the throw up emoji when I
tried to coordinate our Preamble that usually means I'm too busy I can't do this
I looked back and I was like if I wonder with oh like oh that's that's all I said to him I just sent him a barf emoji and
and moved on that's all that needs to be said I know what that means I'm kind of in the same boat and we had to cancel
Bayou City too because of this damn foot of mine which we will not talk more than 30 seconds about but um yeah physically
Winter Park wore me out and we just had to come home and assess a game plan right so uh do you have one like what's
your game plan my game plan is get to the next weekend and figure it out then
right right I hear you yeah I was watching one of Evan reinheimer's great
YouTube videos that he does for for artists it's kind of a a similar spirit I guess uh that we do the podcast in
where he introduces his neighbors and and does a little video but I was watching him he was talking about being grumpy on the road and he mentions on
there that it was his ninth show in a row I'm like Jesus Christ
well it's a whole different different beasts different mediums you can do that kind of a formula but sure can't do that
with painting that's for sure do that with glass either nope I was talking to my wife about it just yesterday feeling
a little jealous of uh like photographers you know that can do more shows than we can but it comes with its
own burden and it comes with its own stresses it's like you can't be jealous about it it's a completely different
business it is just like we've talked on the podcast about people hating on Jewelers Jewelers have their side of it
just like all the different mediums you have your positives and negatives so yeah yeah and if you're hating on
Jewelers we've determined you're just wrong you're just wrong and you're just I it turns out you're just an [ __ ]
hey man check that toxic masculinity at the door would you you know you texted
me yesterday about um you just kind of made a joke and I hadn't really been paying attention to the uh the news I mean I watched the
Oscars but you're gonna change the direction of the Preamble and make it all about toxic masculinity I'm like
Jesus Christ you're just gonna talk about me
is this going to be an intervention no it was just basically because that's all
people were talking about and by now it's gonna be completely an old topic
but uh yeah you know good news Doug if you don't like your neighbor uh it's okay to go punch him in the face man it
is I mean I don't know we get into all this stuff and people get heated and it's not okay uh it's not okay to get
physical Douglas it's not don't touch me
all right so Winter Park was good the thing everyone talks about at Winter Park is the awards so that's always a
big deal what generous award money they have going there yeah I was happy to see my friend David Figueroa win the best in
show award it was awesome yeah his work is really heady I've never honestly seen
that particular kind of work uh move me like it does and I was really happy to see him win so oh that's really cool to
be it's very industrial it's very it's concrete and wood and metal but I just I
find it to be really moving and really thought provoking work so I was happy
that the judges connected with that the title of the piece was internal structures that's a twelve thousand
dollar purchase award and the description they gave about it it does it talks about home life and Trauma and
all sorts of stuff and you're right there is a lot of deeper meaning to the piece when you look at it and it's it's
really exciting to see who they choose and and who the big Prize winners are I'm happy for them I am too I don't know
it's tough to get judges sometimes to spend the time and really take the time
to to connect with the piece and it was nice to to see that they did on this one you know I'm gonna say this too we're
talking about Awards it's really funny to me when when people when when judges
Breeze through and they're like they didn't even spend five seconds yeah on my work and it's like well I can
understand that with jewelry you have to get up there and look in the cases and it's really obnoxious if you're not going to get up there and look down but
you can honestly if the judge is looking for me they they can find me I'm big I'm right there you can see me from across
the street a lot of us they can and if they're not looking for me they're not looking for me so I never really get my nose out of joint about that it's like
well you know I'd rather you just Breeze by than to waste my time yeah yeah well
I don't know if this is new this year but typically when we've been at Winter Park they've chosen you to be shown to
the jury they say this piece bring this piece down to be judged this year they just said you've been chosen and you get
to choose so that put a lot of pressure on people to be like okay which piece do I choose out of my booth and bring down
to be juried yeah so we had a few people I saw online asking for some advice or
what the community kind of thought of their their selections right hey here's a dumb question for you um when they say
purchase award does that mean they buy the piece yeah so they buy the piece it used to be a ten thousand dollar cap but
now it's 12 000 this year it's up to 12. so it's not like Gasparilla where they
just give you a check they they take the art and they they so I mean his work isn't cheap I wonder if that I mean does
that cover it one of the questions that they ask when you're pulled is do you want to be considered for the best and
she'll purchase award making it clear that you can decline it but if you win
the best in show you are selling them that piece that's the award
I don't know if your piece is worth four thousand and they buy it for twelve thousand or if it's people are showing
only pieces in that price range for Best in Show I don't know how that works I'm gonna show them the two thousand dollar
piece you just bought a two thousand dollar piece for twelve thousand dollars nah
you know whatever okay cool moving on man I was really missing showing in
Florida this year so we'll see what happens next time and here it is it's a you know made a business decision not to
go and here it is the season is wrapped up and we're already into to April here and on the road to Texas it's like yeah
time is just moving on like crazy like the Sands and hourglass I began the
whole van Tetris yesterday because I'm trying already already
because I am trying like hell not to take the trailer to Fort Worth first of
all it's a small little booth I mean really there's no need for me to do that
but I'm having to like Marie condo everything I'm pulling everything out of the trailer I take a look at it does it
spark Joy no it's not about it will I use this clothespin clamp no I
won't it doesn't come you know what I mean it's basically my bag is zip ties no longer brings me joy
oh man I hear you I am going to uh I'm not going to start packing until Monday
I don't think I'm gonna I've got a lot to do I actually have to bring a trailer I was kind of making fun of you for
having to do that but I have to bring one sure I ended up selling a commission bigger panels than the woman that makes
the panels can handle so I had to go find somebody and I remember going to
Fairhope Alabama and doing an art show years ago and I I always keep my cards
and I've kept this guy's card and I really liked this guy and the guy was like well uh oddly I just sold my
business so he sold his business to the this this couple in Alabama really
interesting people it's Alabama art panels one woman part of the partnership
runs a dog washing business the other guy uh is he builds all of the panels and he got in a bad motorcycle accident
and lost his leg Jesus bought a fishing boat went down to Florida you know you were talking about getting bored at the
beach this guy got bored on his fishing boat decided he wanted to do something so instead of running construction he
bought this panel business from this other guy so I'm his very first client
and he's awesome he's like real real Southern he's like man I was thinking about just making like you know like
nine by twelves and things people do their paintings on and um I just want to do like that and I'm
like are you set up to do nine feet by six feet he's like man I mean if you're
paying me this is a gift right I mean it's amazing though like
these guys I'm seeing the panels they're incredible so uh there's a new panel maker on the scene Alabama art panels I
totally vouch for these people they're incredible cool awesome so I anyway the long story being I'm gonna take my
trailer after Fort Worth and drive to Alabama and pick these suckers up so this card you kept was it actually on
paper or was this just stored somewhere in the cloud on your phone like a photo of a card I get the worst case of dad
while you've ever seen it's about four and a half inches thick oh my god I've got back problems because of this wall
and I can't even sit down all right I think it's even harder to keep track of [ __ ] when it's on your phone on a
digital Cloud than just on a slip of paper at the bottom of a drawer somewhere
so yeah I've just been making work for Fort Worth trying to get ready this is a it's gonna be a big run I've got Fort
Worth then artist Spear and Old Town I'm trying to make all the work for those three in a row kind of right now which
is why my season hasn't started until eight yeah hey I was looking on social media lately and I saw uh Tom Tommy
spake uh glassblower over in Italy um I love him yeah he was doing uh him and
his family were traveling through Italy and it took me back to and we did basically the same tour have you done
any of that that have you done any overseas trips or anything that's inspired your work or anything like that over the years nope no I
like to stay in America because I'm American when we went to Italy it wasn't so much
getting inspired uh to do particular like glass style it was more like the artist's life because we backpacked
through through Italy and we were just youngins we were like you know 24 25 years old and we did the old-fashioned
uh Rick Steves guide book we got our airline ticket in and out and we read this little guidebook and we showed up
in the Cinque Terre and looked for Steve in the middle of the square and he pointed us to a pension to go to and it
was just such a just a great experience and but what it did for us was it it
really set us on the course of this life that we're living which is just letting
it unfold and kind of like doing things one step at a time and it seemed like
being in a different culture like that that we learned something that was so uniquely different than America where
here we're so externally motivated by everything and over there it's like kind
of like living the simple life in a way and I've been trying to go back to that in my head because of the brakes being
thrown here on my foot it can really put you into a tailspin when I'm just so
used to working hard every day and just when we did this podcast saying we're
not going to be on that treadmill anymore I'm getting off of that treadmill in July I got back on that
treadmill full force anyway that whole thing about him going to Italy made me come back to it makes you feel like
you're drawing that try to try to catch some of that inspiration again is that what you're talking about just taking me back to that time and just being like
you know what I don't have to plan this whole year out I can just like go to the next show
how am I feeling I got through it this business gets hard when we're trying to book these shows six months in
advance we're planning an entire freaking year yeah I I don't know how exactly I can break that treadmill but I
know exactly what you mean I I really do find myself listening to that kind of Daryl Thetford in my head yeah uh try to
slow it down or at least put my energy where it's important yeah you know like I I mentioned being jealous of like Evan
being able to do nine shows in a row I'm really not um thank God I can't do nine shows in a
row I remember doing the Oklahoma City show one year and by the seventh day of
that grueling experience I I was saying some really nasty things to people it's
hard too much so I'm glad I I don't know I'm putting my energy where I think it's
the most important and we'll focus that way I've cut some shows that have been
really hard to cut from my schedule oh I know that I'll probably revisit later down the road I'm not
doing Des Moines this year and that that kind of breaks my heart a little bit I love the people that run that show it's
it's kind of a family atmosphere almost but I'm looking at you know where my
production is and and where my travel schedule meets and it just doesn't meet well you made a hard decision to say
don't do Florida and I mean I shouldn't say hard decision but it was a decision
that you had to kind of like commit to you know and then while you're in it any of us would be thinking should I have
made that decision or shouldn't have I and seeing the people down there the sales and what people are talking about
and just committing to this April thing and you're now you're just like firing
on all cylinders with getting a body of work for the you know the next three months and I'm glad you got your new
studio because it seems like that's really really working for you it's it's getting you in the zone where you need to be
yeah I'm totally in the zone right now and um you know my wife is going down to
Fiesta I'm gonna have uh I could work even stupider hours as long as I take
care of them yeah you can put in those long days if you need to or want to like
last night I woke up yeah I I woke up last night at uh about four o'clock
which is probably your typical getting up time you maniac nope not anymore nope
but I looked at the clock and I was like God I'm awake I kind of and that's the only time I actually missed having the
studio in the house because I would have gone I've gotten up and gone down the hall but um I'm much more productive in
my own space yeah so one of the things that's been interesting me over the last
year on the podcast and I've talked to a couple of people like Chris dahlquist or
Eric Lee is about these bigger projects that artists are doing these commissions
these these big installations like we've done at the Museum or like we did for Capitol Lakes retirement home and so
I've talked to Justin who he's on the podcast today he's also getting pushed in that direction he's doing some pretty
big massive work for hotels and and some really big pieces and incredible pieces
incredible pieces and I wanted to talk a little bit about that when you transition from I'm not fully away from
The Collector who wants something for their mantle but also like incorporating into some bigger type projects and so it
was kind of a fun conversation that we had just thinking about our work differently in different settings
yeah when you work larger to me it has been really freeing I like working
larger when I transitioned to larger pieces and this will make you insane
being a glass blower I just started using bigger brushes you know like well
I've been using a number two what if I use number 12. and it's like oh man this
and it becomes a lot more gestural and I've been really getting down into
it so it's been cool to work larger for me and I I like the way that that has an
influence on my work and I've had people I had a client uh in 2020 that wanted to
do a big triptych which I'm getting ready to do another one now but uh because he saw his friends and so this
came from that I can be yeah awesome I can be the the giant triptych guy in
that neighborhood and that I've got a designer that I work with man there was
a talk on social just just now about designer and what your designer cut is
and yeah some people are like nope no cut yeah you know I don't don't do it at all I'm like okay totally respect that
um my take and the reason I'm giving like this lady gets 30 that there is no
way like there is no way in hell they're letting me in the gate there's no way
they're gonna come see me at a street show there's no way I'm getting into this 12 million dollar house uh minimum
I mean this is like we're talking about like a 9 000 square foot house that ski
and ski out in the biggest ski resort in the United States you know and it's like there's no way I'm getting in the
security gate without this designer that's where she's getting her 30 yeah and so well it's it's different across
different mediums and the scale of work that you're doing and that sort of thing for sure I mean uh at least for glass
vessel makers it's usually that uh that interior designer who found one piece
that fits in their design that they want to put on a mantel and they want a discount on it even though they're getting
you could approach these people and still make that sale as a glassmaker but
working in what you're describing you know that's where you have to kind of take all the factors into account I saw
a talk back when Chihuly first came on the scene in the 90s and I never in a
million years thought we'd be doing installations you know like I but at
that time when I was a student and we had you know we're going through the line to have him sign the books and all that kind of stuff one of the things we
heard him say in his talk he was less interested in making a piece for
somebody to look at or an object he was more interested in what does his work do
to an environment and how does he change an environment and that was the point when he was hanging chandeliers over the
canals in Venice and so I mean of course he everybody has
seen his collections and his big assumplages and all that kind of stuff sure and so when we were approached at
one point to do our first one uh this was for the Museum of Wisconsin art The
Collector asked us they said we want you to make something you can see from a mile away my first thought was well what they want
is a Chihuly and we're not gonna do a Chihuly because we're not Chihuly why would we do a Chihuly especially for a
museum that isn't what he was asking he was actually asking what would we do with it and we put some time and thought
into it and aside from the design I'm not interested in discussing how how we came about the design it added all of
the other complexities to it that I would have never imagined I'd be stepping into stuff like working with
Architects to make sure the thing doesn't come down on people's heads that's a huge thing yeah yeah I'm
dealing with that right now yeah a phone call with an architect right now these panels that I was talking about earlier
in the show sure um each one of them is 75 pounds oh right you know uh so how you can't hang
that [ __ ] on sheetrock yeah well we're talking thousands of pounds I was dealing with for this installation so
when I've gotten into the two or three major projects that we've done I've made it imperative that I am not taking
responsibility for it that I'm turning my design over to their Architects so their Architects can do whatever needs
to be done with weight specifications load bearing and coming up with the
problem solving on their end and then I also get lawyers involved so that we
have signed off documents that absolve us from any of that kind of stuff stepping into that was a whole new realm
for me right that I was happy to do and excited to do but it is something that
you don't have to deal with when you're making up 18 inch vessel to sit on
somebody's mantle that's why I hired for this big big thing the first time I installed it I hired an art installer so
he's the one that's insured I know my work is gonna you know it's gonna hold together it's not gonna fall apart and fall in somebody's head but if it falls
off the wall uh it's on that guy he hung it he's the one that's bonded and insured not me so I'm not signing off on
anything I've passed the buck on that one yeah but I I dig what you're saying it's a really expert find the one who
knows who's the expert in their field let them do their part reach out to them as a resource you know one of the things
that I really jived with when crystalquist was on last season she talked about how
entrepreneurs artists entrepreneurs they're not typically skilled in every
aspect of what they need to do but they're comfortable and they are good at assessing who the right people are to
reach out to to do just like what we're describing you know the lawyer who's going to protect us if the contract
falls through financially or the lawyer is going to protect us from liability if somebody gets hurt you know they think
about the things we wouldn't think about or the architect who's going to actually make it stay together or on the on the
ceiling so anyway and I don't know that we all are I mean I I certainly am not but I'm getting into that this this past
couple of years where I feel like I'm in a spot where I'm like you know what I'd rather pay the guy to do the thing than
do the thing yeah you know I don't want to drive like I I do know artists that like my boy Greg Turco who will do like
a custom tour thing with his custom work and then he'll go and deliver all of his stuff and do a big lap around the the us
but okay I like that that works for him for me I'm like okay I've started using
those Services where I'm like hey why glove this thing to New York I don't want to pack it and worry about it
getting dropped you do it you're insured you know uh deal with the art installer
let him hang it and be like hey this piece is Warped um what do I do with the Warped piece and I'm like that art installer that I
hired back in in Utah he taught me how to deal with it he taught me how to lock it to the wall so it's not warped
anymore I'm like well I wouldn't have thought of that you know so I'm all for hiring the right human for the job for
sure so that's what I was interested about in talking to Justin this week and
he did just that he's learning new materials he's reaching out to new resources he's solving problems and he
has found himself in the past several years shifting out of the mode that he's
been in for most of his career so it's really exciting to hear from him hear his voice and hear him talk about the
new stuff he's been working on yeah it's amazing I always admire Justin it's been incredible to see the transition that
his work has taken over the years it's an incredible talk and I just want people to hear it let's get right into
it alright here's Justin tillett from Yellow Springs Ohio
this episode of The Independent artist podcast is brought to you by zap the digital application service where
artists and art festivals connect no Doug I was sitting down and talking with my wife yesterday she had just come in
from her studio and she was complaining one of the big shows they decided to do a do-it-yourself reinvent the wheel
application I hate that hate that so much seriously I mean it's like typically an application that would take
you two minutes on zap all of a sudden it's going to take you an hour and a half to reformat all of your images to
their specifications it just made me think about how easy applying with zap
is you just click a few buttons you've got your 1920s all formatted and you are
good to go 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 man thanks for bearing with me I
apologize I'm so hard to deal with I'm I'm feeling that everyone's starting to feel that way because uh it's tough for
me to to get to get back to everything but uh I'm glad we're glad um I actually feel like I need to start
out each of these episodes with apologizing to everybody because it you're not alone I mean we are all just
like feet to the fire right now we are all running at a speed that is insane
and not sustainable so I really appreciate you taking some time away from your valuable work to to talk to us today that's good stuff yeah it's good
well let's start off and talk about what you do what do you make oh well that's a
long story um actually what I make you right now you mean uh yeah well what what's your
medium let's talk about your medium first of all okay well I was up until sunrise working on a piece that's been
commissioned that is actually the the raw material is wood um so you know I guess I these days I'm
having to get used to the the concept of being a mixed media artist um I mean a lot of your friends a lot of
your peers out there have always known you as a porcelain artist but are you branching off into different mediums well you know I I've been with Clay
believe it or not since I was five so I I did a long stretch in my youth of of
working with Clay you know on a course non-professional level and then went into it really full time in the mid 90s
and was Potter I I never really had a line of functional work per set and do
dinnerware things like that but more vessel oriented pieces right visual
pieces and I taught for a short bit I I taught sculpture at Stivers School for
the Arts in Dayton Ohio and I mean they had a great Ceramics facility next door and they asked me to teach and I said uh
that sounds great but I I just don't want to teach Ceramics you know I get up in the morning I make Ceramics I spend
the evening talking to people about Ceramics and then I travel around showing the Ceramics and then I make
more Ceramics you know let me be in a different studio so I taught sculpture in our studio there was primarily steel
plaster concrete mixed media wood all sorts of things and it really sort of
allowed me to Branch out just creatively in my own time it was it was a departure
almost so with teaching sculpture it was also allowing you to experiment with new
materials and kind of grow in your own sense as an artist yeah I suppose so I
mean I as I taught I learned a lot about materials and and methods but you know
as I was doing that I was still doing ceramic so when I when I showed work under my own representation it was
applied in the field of Ceramics so everything that I did and showed whether
it was sculptural or anything else it was still fired clay six years ago or so
I was doing some work for a designer that was placing my work around and I I showed her a recent piece that I
had done and they ended up ordering you know a huge one of this new style it's
about 15 feet long and that sort of launched into this next body of work it
really came from my teaching you know I was I was teaching all these lessons at some points in time sculptors that were
new to it beginners and so I always started in the beginning with uh principles of design starting with
imitation and then exaggeration and repetition and progression and tension
and juxtaposition and you know I was having a lot of fun with it too so these are principles that were always
important to you in the designing of your work exactly exactly I mean even back when you were doing vessel as
primarily what you would show at a show right um it was rarely a single piece I mean
obviously you'd sell a piece individually but they were often displayed as sets as Collections and how
those different forms worked together exactly which tied into the themes you're describing here yeah yeah it was
like a conversation you know between the objects I was teaching this methodology
and exploring it with students and then going right back into my studio practice
that that I had developed and had been going on for you know nearly decades so
when I when I began to apply my own lessons to my work just starting with
basic principles you know repetition um and and using repetition as the
palette and um density as my shades so I could I
could compose an image or a piece um based on these pretty simple things
it was a slower time around then shows and galleries were okay but it was kind
of a Hold Steady period I had more time to experiment and that's where that work came from so the wall piece that you did
yeah that this designer identified as something that they would want to expand
upon was that you taking your your lesson that you're saying yeah and then
the demand was matched and it was able to then kind of funnel into a bigger
scale right yeah I mean that's really that's it in a nutshell and after that the mixed media started because I had
done a small piece it was about 12 inches by 28 inches or something it's a
small little piece to hang on the wall and I'd done it in porcelain out of hundreds of linear elements that were
sculpted with curves when they all went together it created a composition
someone saw that in a photograph and of course you know this when you're looking at a picture of your work first question
is well how big is it it might be as big as a house it might fit in my pocket I'm just not sure there's no contacts exactly so they saw this piece and they
said hey that's great we want one of those we need 11 feet long by five feet wide and and I said to them that the
practicality of doing this in porcelain is it's just over the top we'd be we'd be using pieces that are five feet long
fired without any bows or ripples or any you know just technically it became
impossible but I knew what they wanted I knew the design that they wanted I said but you know I can reproduce this piece
in enameled wood it's going to have the same visually you won't know a difference but then it becomes practical
so I became a woodworker to do this piece it's in it's in Hawaii now when
they first requested that and you were like well this isn't going to work in Ceramics yeah did you have that moment
where you were like wait a minute am I kind of leaving this material behind right just I'm so connected to my whole
career right that's a that's a good question
um I I I tend to look at the other side I get so excited about tools and materials you know getting to getting to
play with something new that that um I I didn't at that moment really look
look back though the the other materials metal wood things like that are still a
small part you know of what I do these these larger wall compositions that I'm
doing though I'm working on a wooden one now they're still primarily clay I mean they're framed but yeah it's it's still
it's still a small part but I I am enjoying it the photographs of that peace course led to other ones in that
style I have realized though that it to answer your question a little bit more
deeply that I threw my first pot when I was five you know and and that's a
different story but I had never gone more than a few months in like 40 years
without throwing a pot I I feel you on that I'm feeling the same way I'm like
kind of like stepping into your shoes and I'm thinking okay what if I started considering a series or something that
was a departure from glass and I start getting this like this feeling like you know sad inside like right right but
also exciting it sounds like it's exciting because you've got this puzzle to solve that's opening new doors it is
it is and I you know I I it's been a while since I've sat at the wheel it's been you know it's been a year or
probably since I really sat down and did a good session I thought that that would
be huge you know I'm but it hasn't been and I think that what it boils down to
is fingers wiggling you know as long as I've got some material in front of me to
manipulate somehow then then that part of my brain satisfied the connection to
the wheel was more yeah I guess it was more emotional than it was really
connected to a need to do that particular material in that particular manner do you think it's so it's also
kind of getting out of the comfort zone like you know we work so much with a material for years 2030 I mean your case
since you were a little kid and we feel like we know this material there's still the new things to learn
with it but for the most part we feel like pretty good with it and then to step away from that and be like okay now
while I'm having to learn solve new puzzles with wood or new puzzles with with metal and you get in a vulnerable
place of having to do that rediscovery of what am I doing am I out of my element here yeah yeah that's a that's
that's every 10 minutes every every 10 minutes um that's why I was up till the sun came
up you know I don't know there's something I I guess inherently
satisfying about that need to solve that puzzle you know I mean it's it's it's
hell when it's happening but that 10 minutes we all get at some point in time
to sit across the room by ourselves staring at that thing that we just finished and it's done and and oh I
remember when that that that piece broke off or I remember when that went awry you know but but now here I am it's it's
realized that moment you know is what we're what we're after the satisfaction
of like I didn't know exactly how it was going to turn out but I got to the other side of it and then the discoveries that
come from it and we're still bringing the years of experience of being an
artist of artistic design and principles and all that sorts of things to new materials so it's not like we're coming
into a new material like as beginners or anything even though we feel like beginners when we start this stuff yeah
yes you know that's what's one of the great things about the way we've gone
about it we've all gone about it from so many different directions and it takes all those directions to make it work but
so oftentimes we are in the company of our peers and and that's when you realize like you can't you can't just
tiptoe through this I mean there's people are amazing at what they do and
and seeing that on a regular basis it just it really I often feel like the
best I can do is be on par with these people you know that I'm that I'm surrounded with on a daily basis on
a on a monthly basis whatever it is this this artwork that I see by these people that that are it's just it's astounding
you know and and just to just to be able to stay on par with that is what I think
challenges me to to keep going with it Justin we've talked to so many people
over the last year and some people who I have looked up to
you included I just I just had a talk with Tony cray that's going to air next week and what a guy yeah what a guy
um but the Common Thread amongst all of these great artists
is this feeling of like feeling a little bit insecure about the
company we're among you know like we don't feel as good as the best Among Us
or whatever and right and then you know but those folks are feeling the same so
I think we are all kind of holding each other to a higher standard we all want to attain the best that we can be and
that's good I mean it's maybe that's one thing about this this community that we were in is it is really pushing us all
to high standards and working higher not imposing it on to other people but from
an internal Place sure no yeah I I I agree the minute that my work is good
enough I guess I'm done you know is that you know so it's it's there's there's always a lot of room to grow
um yeah Bob Dylan said never stop becoming and you'll probably be okay
and and that's that's that's good words I mean you know if if we can achieve and
we can achieve it and we can achieve with our with our abilities and and as long as we have something to chase I
think we're gonna be okay I thought I'd heard every Dylan quote
there is my dad's a huge Dylan fan and he's always throwing Dylan lines at me I've never heard that one that's great I
love it well he just came up with a new one 10 minutes ago so it's hard to keep up it's hard to keep up with a great one
like that so um you come up with this idea to to try something new with the wall pieces
and you put it out there we sometimes have a vision of where we think something's going to go
and you experienced something that is a surprise like the work got pushed in a
direction from an external influence from from a collector from a designer who had Visions for where your work
could go and you're kind of following that can you talk about that experience a little bit Yeah so I I looked at clay
as a material to to place into whatever mode I needed it for and vessels were
the mode that I was in for so long and that was all about form in in that form
I could always break down into a line I mean you know I had these basic
Silhouettes and and so these lines were really thought out and keeping that in mind when I was asked to do a piece to
hang on a wall I needed a focus a focal point of the piece so I went back to
that kind of humble line yeah you know I tell people a lot of times I'm a failed minimalist I strive to show something
interesting through Simplicity that is super challenging because you know more
is you know it becomes other things but I tried to focus on just that that
simple line and from that using a basic design principle that I had taught
repetition I was able to show this line and accentuate it through the density of
the material that I used now that's a whole lot of big descriptive words but basically in areas that I wanted to be
darker deeper I used heavier density of of smaller parts and we're talking you
know ten thousand tens of thousands of of small ceramic parts that were handmade and fired and then assembled
into resin underneath and with that is my palette I was able to do some
monochromatic piece is a mono well to start a large monochromatic piece that
focused on a simple line movement in the gross form I mean seeing the overall but
then on a more intimate look seeing these thousands of Parts making all of
this texture and detail that sort of brings them to life but still going
monochromatic I mean they're they're you know the first one I did was black is it yeah five by 15 foot black wall hanging
yeah yeah um and those are you can see those on Instagram oh believe me I've gone deep
into your Instagram a lot of great stuff on there 90 work
and and a couple pictures of my dog so and a demolition of a studio here and
there yeah oh yeah that's right bulldozer knocking over the old building that's right yeah I'm in my new studio
now so we tore the old building down one of the old buildings down and built a new facility that I had been you know
sort of dreaming about for 20 years I gotta say it obviously looked like a building that could use some bulldozing
and re renovating however I'm sure there was still that moment when the bulldozer oh my God and it was like wait a minute
stop I'm not too sure about that what am I doing here yeah
um yeah that was my I mean I used that building that you saw get pulled down
oh 15 years 20 years something like that it was where my so when I got started my
mother was a painter so in high school and as a youth like I said I was throwing pots when I was pretty young I
was I I liked the creative Fields I didn't really find a place in them in
any sort of official capacity I was sort of aloof in school and you know whatever but I love to draw I love to paint my
mother was a painter I was all surrounded my folks owned a picture frame shop so I grew up around oh you
know just looking at people's paintings and prints and everything else that they'd bring in and was exposed to that
early on but in high school I started a family pretty early on and uh have a
great Sun now he's all grown up and I'm real proud of him because he's kind of followed in my footsteps and gone into
the creative Fields himself cool even after watching and seeing how difficult it is but he did it so yeah after that I
wanted to go into a creative field but felt really limited on what I could do that would actually be a living so I
went into Design Graphic Design illustration was the Arts in high school just stuff you were dabbling in or were
you taking our classes or anything like that yeah I was I mean I did we I was lucky I had a really good art department
at the school that I went to I mean they had different departments within it so they had a ceramic studio so you take
Ceramics one two and three and drawing one two and three and painting one two and three in photography and separated
up not just the general art classes and I had I had gone through all those those classes and done pretty well I had sort
of taken a gap my high school career from working in clay very much I I was
just too cool for it you know I had that I was like I'd been doing this art thing since I was a little kid and you know
whatever I just I don't know something was wrong with me so one day I think it was a senior at the time early on and uh
I was in a painting class and I'm painting an oil painting and I I kind of look around the corner and I see this
room full of these Potters wheels and all these people on them just doing like doing it wrong and I thought well now
wait I know how to do that come on so I just put my paintbrush down and I started we had pretty cool art
instructors there they were they were open-minded as long as we were doing good work and and I sort of meandered
over there and started throwing pots and it was amazing I mean I was I had so
much fun with it and instantly just kind of shifted all my focus to that area of
of high school but at the time I mean I had no concept that this was something I
could pursue right it was you were just in the moment with it yeah yeah it was
just so dang fun to get your hands in there and squish it with your fingers and turn it into something that was
exciting making stuff so I got back into it a little bit and sort of set up a wheel you know at home
and and was doing that and then went to a quick two-year program and did graphic
design find an illustration and I did a lot of pen and ink drawings things like that well let me ask you because you
know you have them your mother is an artist by nature and they have the frame shop and whatnot was the influence from
your folks to pursue a more professional type career or or was it to to explore
the Arts since they already kind of had that that that sensibility about them they they were great they were sensibly
encouraging because they knew that the Arts were a legit path they didn't think
it was outlandish and yet they knew the pitfalls of it and the difficulties of it they knew I had a young family you
know and then I needed to do something so the design field was a way that I could do that you know have a job and
right 401k and all that stuff I I lasted about two years okay I I I I could in
the program or as a professional after the program professionally okay so you made it through the whole graph yeah
program okay yeah it got me a suit went into a job interview with a big portfolio and that's an image I want
everyone to step back and visualize that one I'll wear it to the next show
my tail back then too I did I did totally I did totally and one of my yeah
one of my instructors was just she couldn't she couldn't handle it but I kept it and still anyway so you know
yeah I lost in the field about two years and I just couldn't I hated it I mean I I was using my hands and I was using any
creative ability that I I could muster but it just was a field that wasn't for
me it was trying to interpret other people's Visions whether they were
reality or not if I had set up a wheel and a little electric kiln in my garage
at we had an apartment and I live in this cool little town in Ohio called Yellow Springs and twice a year they
have this street fair it's man it ain't an art fair it's a hairy Street Fair you
know and it's anything goes it's the greatest it's a pretty interesting little deal but uh and it's got it's
turned into something else but um so this was like in the late 90s okay
and I was kind of floundering a little bit I knew I hated my job I knew I loved clay I knew I loved making stuff out of
stuff yeah and and I got a booth down at this street fair and you know had all my
little Ceramics and I was probably what was I I would have been 20
so the early 20s and you know I think I made like 600 bucks right and and man my
head exploded that wasn't enough right I was done done man I am checking out and
doing this yes and then you know it was a tough road I didn't have so in
Ceramics I won't get too technical but you know I didn't really have anything I certainly didn't have a gas Kiln or anything like that but I got a dog cage
I lined it with a ceramic fiber I put some handles on it boom Hannah maracup Potter you know like that's something I
can do I can't even tell you how many how many pizza ovens Glass artists have turned into into little things you know
you find you just make stuff work you put it together and I was a raccoon Potter for eight years something like
that I don't know then I built my first gas Kiln and started doing stoneware um with I I focused on wood ash glaze
it's very textural surfaces and then I jack hammered that one out and put a
filled in that I had gotten from a company in California that was more like
a scientific instrument than a kiln and that's what allowed me to do a lot of the porcelain that I was doing with the
the copper Reds and the celadons and and things like that which is what I had
been doing for 10 years almost when I started doing the more sculptural wall
installations and then of course now they've led into the the mixed media and and that's that's the little category
under my name now it's mixed media so when you apply to are you still doing the the fares like that you I do a
couple I I do a couple about 10 years ago or so I you know I was doing just
art fairs yeah and and I had a gallery um uh in Columbus Ohio that was
representing me and she took my work to to some of the shows sofa and things
like that oh great and then I was doing shows myself I fell into this kind of hybrid this
different thing it was architectural digest puts on a design show in in New York yeah and I was invited to do that
and it was the hugest expense I had ever seen in my career but bit the bullet and did it anyway and connected with a lot
of designers that were placing work in public spaces and in you know large
residences this is an Avenue that I'm hearing more from other artists who are
working like you and I find it interesting that this is something that has been around it's not new but it is
something that is like a crossover to a different uh level or a different style of selling work that I'm really
currently really interested in so well unfortunately yeah after a long run
and an amazing show uh that show is no longer okay um it was on Pier 94 and
Pier 94 began to sink into the Hudson and yeah uh there was a lot more time you
know and don't ask me about the details but I you know that show is no longer that slowed me down when I started doing
that I did it for about 10 years you know I was able to not have to do so many uh fares
um and kind of was able to it was pretty lucky I had some pretty good luck um getting into some things and was able
to Pare down I now have a gallery that I'm working with that's in California and they've been taking the work to to
some of the shows they had it before covid they had it at Art Miami in uh 2019 and plans on going back there this
year but I'm still doing to make a short answer long I am still doing um some
shows I have a soft spot for Cherry Creek I love Denver I did it last year and was lucky enough to to win an award
so I'm way back in there I'm really really looking forward to that one so you're in a place where you can be
selective about which ones you do you choose and which ones you put your
energy and your efforts into because you've got this other kind of aspect of your business that has really good
attention that is that is funneling in some Revenue yeah well when I'm lucky I
can be selective and I I've been kind of Lucky and uh we'll we'll see what happens next but um I I don't know what
is going on right now but I am just over the top swamped I'm getting nearly daily
calls it seems like with inquiries to to work and projects and uh it's good uh it's good
I'll take it are these all like private collectors who are they see a friend and they're like I love what's in their
house and now I want it or is this coming from a designer that's placing you in corporate places or is it all of
it well it's a little bit of everything I am these right now I am getting a lot of of calls from individuals that have
either seen the work or somehow seen the work and won a piece for themselves like they saw it on viceland for example and
they're like I gotta have that piece yeah if anyone has two chains number
please because I'm still again working my deal out he doesn't have to steal the piece
um that was pretty funny I was watching that clip that they were joking about
stealing your feet tell us about that clip and how it even came to be it okay so it's it's kind of a full circle that
we were talking about one of the early ones I did it was this large black wall installation and Porcelain 15 feet by
five feet it's one of my first like public space commissions and it went to
the Palms uh casino in Las Vegas wow I went to do the installation with the
installers and and was there for a few days myself it's pretty nice place but it wasn't in a public space well it
wasn't the lobby or anything like that they had these three they call them Sky Suites I think anyway they were just
stupefying I mean each room had an elevator it had each room was two
stories had its own pool like a hot tub that cantilevered out the side of the building over Vegas 25 stories up or
whatever and just just craziness like there was a bar with I
think 21 seats just in you know and this is in the room anyhow so that's what
they they got this this large piece for that room and I I put it in there and then I don't know a few months later I
get a strange letter from some production company in Brooklyn saying you know will you sign off on on this uh
it's possibly going to be used in a TV production all right and I'm I'm thinking like maybe some reality show or
something that we're like it's just you can maybe see a corner of it in the background or whatever yeah I didn't
care I signed it and sent it back and I was telling my son about it and I was saying that piece might show up in some
kind of TV show and my son jokingly said yeah it should be on most expensivist
sorry which is this viceland show with two chains as a host where he just goes
and points out outlandish things that people are spending their money on it's
a little tongue-in-cheek I mean they definitely have fun with the idiocy of some of the the Grandeur that goes on
out there but anyway and I'll laugh and I thought I thought yeah that's pretty funny well so it turns out that was the
show that is hilarious he was spot on with it and he was he was they were
doing a spot on the most expensive hotel suite in Las Vegas and it happened to be
this one wow and so he's sitting there on this couch in the room having this interview with this you know guy yeah in
a purple suit he's asking about different things in the room and he points back to the piece and he says I'm
interested in in this one now you know and and says something about maybe what you guys aren't looking something
something and they actually do a full-blown cutaway animation of like two
chains and this height this art heist where he goes in and he rips the piece
off and like is running down the hallway it's it's outrageous
I saw it on TV I didn't even know about it or anything someone called me say hey
man turn your TV on yeah so that was and I'm yep that was that's everyone gets
there you know 15 so there you go yeah right good times good times that's
awesome that was through a consultant an art consultant that that had seen my
work that I've worked with a good bit they're great great folks well it makes me think you said something earlier you know your graphic design days you said
you lasted two years and you felt like the you felt like the majority of your job
was to realize somebody else's vision and try and make you know creatively
um make happen what they want happen for them but I kind of think a little bit
you created your wall pieces and you created them in a smaller scale but now
the demand is big and they come to you and they say well we want this F-15
footer and you go well we can't actually do it in clay and you come up with a new way to do it but you are doing just that what I'm describing you're realizing
these visions of people have dreamed up and you can Infuse Your Design element
into that scale and you're solving those problems so maybe that that technique or
that whatever is bringing you full circle and coming back to those early days I think I mean there's definitely
an element of that and I definitely work with people often to see what what their
sensibility is what it is they're looking for and the thing that was so frustrating about working in in the
design field was I work with people all the time that thought they knew what
they wanted you know they had this imaginary thing that was perfect and pristine in their head but it really
doesn't exist you know there's there's not a lot of Rhyme or Reason to it but they they think it's there
trying to interpret that was was always real difficult with what I do now the
great thing is that up front the first part of the job is a trust issue where I
didn't have that in the other field where now I can show somebody some
examples of my work and let them know hey if you like my work I'm going to make sure you're happy you don't have to
have an idea and tell me how you'd like it to be that's why I'm here I'm totally
following you I had a collector last year in Madison who came into our booth
and they've been buying from us for years and they had just bought a house in Florida and a second home and they
had a 30-foot wall by a 17-foot wall and she's trying to draw out for me what she
wants us to do for her right and I say this is great but I want you to know something that I'd be happy to consider
you know what what you're doing here and there's something about our work that that you like why don't you just just
give us an opportunity to present you with something we would do with it and see what exactly what you think about it
you don't have to design it we're not just the we're not just the creator of your vision we're also the creator of a
vision that you may like right and that's part of us on a good a really great starting ground of this
project which we're working on right now to finish so that's that just resonated what you were saying about that that's
why we do what we do trying to to mesh different Visions yeah isn't always the
best method for the best work but it sounds to me like those experiences help
clarify and help solidify how you work with people I mean now you're saying it
almost seems like getting into these projects there is that level of trust and then you kind of know how to how to
channel it down that lane so that ultimately you can get the collector to
the end result of what they're they're wanting without it being like this kind of wrestling match of but I want it in
this and I want it mad and all of the details that they think they need or want right yeah that's I can't I mean uh
you know obviously size of a piece is is an important factor if it doesn't fit
where it's going to go then it's not going to work you know so we I work with people a lot on size and aspect ratio
and all that stuff but once I'm into the meat of it I present my ideas and that's
what we do if they go for them which is it's nice you know uh of course I still
do a lot of work that I'm making the piece for myself and then it's going to
go to a venue of some sort it's going to go to a gallery or I'll take it to a
show or a gallery we'll take it to a show and uh we'll just see what people think you know I think it's always nice
yeah and I think this is a really good conversation to have because there are so many people who don't ever want to
compromise their Vision it's like this is what I do take it or leave it but here's kind of like working out the
nuances of maneuvering your way into a field where where there's a demand for
something and the demand is Created from your work from what you've designed but then you can also expand maybe the
technical aspects of how you create it so that you can get your work to where
these people are showing it on these larger spaces like in this hotel that's amazing
well yeah I think I I think so what I'm
looking for now is time well because yeah so often I I think that like every
human on on Earth has just as many and as good of creative ideas as every other
human on earth the difference is like stopping pulling the car over getting up
out of bed whatever it is and writing it down or or sketching it out or whatever and
then doing it yeah you know I mean that's the difference I my greatest ideas the things that
actually you know maybe could have been something and meant something I mean even on a larger historical or are Way
Gone lost in the cosmos I had them when I was at a stoplight and then never thought of them again like oh that'd be
cool yeah and you know and then there it is it's gone and then you're struggling to like get it back it's like yeah oh I
know I have my breakthrough idea at that gas station and then I can't okay
um but I've gotten better about kind of making notes you know if I see something
beginning to happen in a piece or in a material and I think can I can I expand
upon that can I take that as the the root of a piece you know I'll try to to put it down I'll try to put it down on
something some post it somewhere some napkin with a scribble on it just kind of fill in a bucket with these just
different concepts you know 99 of them are just terrible ideas but in there is
the next thing I'm I'm really kind of relishing some time to explore some of
those those things now that's that's where I'm at I'm I'm also happy that I'm busy right now and may have the means to
be able to explore some of those things um if I get a if I get a slow down here
um I actually got a this was it felt kind of weird because of the first time in my life it's ever happened but I've
been working with with a consultant on a what could have been a pretty large project like four by eight foot
um installation going into a hospital and uh I had done some sketches and back
and forth with them and I hadn't heard in a couple weeks which isn't unusual and I I got an email the other day and I
saw their name in the headline and okay and so open the email and it was them
letting me know that the client had gone a different direction okay and my my first just gut reaction was relief and
like I just lost the job or a job's not going to go through and I'm I'm kind of
pretty good with that I've never felt I was like oh good because when was I gonna do that you
know um that was coming right up it's hard to set those boundaries for ourselves because when the times are busy and good
we want to somehow make it happen because those don't always stick around no man yeah I know and and I can always
remember the the hungry times you know I'm always walking the tire group between being The Stereotype of myself
that I am and just wanting to be that stereotype um but but one you know one
of the stereotypes is the the starving artist you know and and um I mean we're all really good at what
we do and I know I I know a lot of really super successful people in the field but everyone's gone through tough
times with it too you know and and so we've all I think me especially I've got
that in my back pocket that I'm carrying around I don't often say no I mean when
that person call I mean they said yeah we want one of those we went 11 feet and I and the first thing in my brain was well that's impossible so the first
thing I said was absolutely yeah right and and then we'll now we'll figure it
out uh-huh yeah good times bad times I'm almost a shallow dip in business would
be good coming up here you need some some experimental Freedom well when you
talk about um you know the hard times in in the back pocket or or if they're not too far from distant memory you know I know that
we all have troubles and tough times in our lives but you you really suffered a huge loss a number of years ago and I
don't mean to open up a raw wound or anything but would you like to talk a little bit about what you experienced
seven years ago or so sure well I mean this is the independent artist podcast
so I'll tie it into into that yeah what what you're referring to is when I was
in Denver um with with my wife and we had done the Cherry Creek Art system so I had a great
time and and got to see a lot of really deer dear people to us and then as we
did every year after the show we went uh went and experienced some Western stuff
you know and went went hiking up in the mountains and uh storm rolled in quick
lightning came knocked us all out and and my wife didn't make it yeah I mean
even now it's surreal when I tell that story I have to stop and think now wait a minute really did we really get struck
by lightning yeah yeah it's such a bizarre just such a random thing that you it just seems that it's so
unbelievable unbelievable that that even happens anyway I'm sorry continue with your story it's okay I I just know that the
important part and the way that the reason that this is I think uh pertinent
to this discussion is that it's good timing in the discussion too the thing about it was
I was lucky in in a lot of ways because growing up in my 20s it was tough and I
did have a kiln made out of a dog cage and I was doing any show that would have me and that was our only income you know
and I was really lucky that I had people around me that had complete faith in
what I was doing and I mean it was there were some some pretty bottom of the
barrel time yeah you know I mean you know especially starting out a lot of sacrifices a lot of sacrifices early 90s
or you know late 90s were yeah they were lean but it was good life and we made a
family out there we connected with artists all over the country we began to realize that this is this is
real and that this is kind of beautiful and it's a life you know worth living no
matter how bad it got and I'm sure you too know people along the way over the
years that finally one day said you know what can't do it anymore you know family came
to me and they said listen you gotta this is dude this isn't working you know it's not you gotta and and now they're
in logistics or another which is you know that's beautiful because now they're they're doing just fine right sure but but I was lucky in that that no
matter how bad it got I had this support at home of no just keep doing it you're
on the right direction this is right this is the right this is the right thing do this yeah and and so I did
and uh that's what got us there and ultimately it's what's gotten me here so
are you saying that that that um that that unconditional kind of
acceptance and and love and encouragement that you felt from Becky
before the accident is that what kind of kept you going after because you had
that I think I think so I mean I would tell people
and it's been a while since I've I've kind of talked about it but you know I would tell people like I've got to keep going and I've got
to make this something because if I don't all that she sacrifice and all
that she put up with was in vain because it was to get us me to this to
this point to be able to do these things you know and and I've
got to honor that I've got to do those things you know I just I I I have to
that's beautiful and uh it's uh it's always a challenge I mean it's it's
it's up and down yeah you know I mean a lot of a lot of sleepless nights still Yeah well yeah and but it's I I think
she'd be proud of what we're doing definitely I'm just so inspired by that uh determination to keep going
I I don't know how I would would handle it none of us can really know when tragedy strikes how we're actually going
to handle it till it's right in front of us but you know I think about you know like or the van accidents that
some of our friends have had that have left them in bad shape or Studio fires and all these things that that our
friends and you have you just put one foot in front of the other covet has been a a killer for a lot of people and
people are still just getting out there and persevering and I just am so inspired by that and your story inspires
me to keep working harder and to just keep keep doing it so well good yeah
that's all good I'm sorry you had to go through that I mean that's an awful thing to go through but I appreciate
that yeah I do I do I appreciate that I mean it wasn't long after we were Neighbors at uh one of our shows back in
the day and I got to know Becky and you very well and man she was delightful I just enjoyed the whole weekend with with
you guys and uh anyway and and when when I heard about the accident it was and
I'm sure a lot of us have the same reaction and like just could just disbelief well this I'll tell you you
know let's talk about Community some you know I I always knew I had a family of
artists out there but man you don't understand the outpouring of that
community of our community yeah that that I perceived and and have received
you know um in so many ways but I I it it it truly it let me know who my family was
it really did um and and I'm I'm I'm happy and honored
and lucky to know all of you people and anyone that's
listening you know what I'm talking about they're sitting there at the other end of their
phone raising their hand going me yeah that's you I'm talking about you oh thanks oh
um but you know and you mentioned covid and that's you know I mean like do we do
we need to talk about covid like because it's it's like are we are we are we tired are we tired I'm tired of it I
mean but but seriously though I mean like it took a full year for it to catch up
to me psychologically to realize how much of my life it had changed because
what we do is we make artwork solitarily for fun
and then we take it to huge huge groups of people all over the place breathing
on us for money right so Kobe is like oh sweet I just
get to go make stuff for fun and then like two months later you're like well but wait what do you mean I can't come
and sell it I mean it was it was absurd and it like I said I it
I was lucky enough to get get by just on a on on a couple commissions that that
randomly came in that just sort of kept me strung along to get to finally when
people would get vaccinated in large enough numbers to make a difference and
and some shows would open up and uh and man did they open up I did I did a
couple I did a couple events and boy oh boy after you know all you have to do is Skip One apparently and the next one's
super good but did the time off allow you the the time to realize the scale on
which you could make these pieces well I mean still to this day I'm working on
one right now that's uh four by six feet my next one is 13 feet long but to this
day the law the biggest one I've ever done was like a third piece I ever made you know in that style it was maybe even
a little more than third but you know it it's so a lot of it's been building a new studio
yeah and and and and and trying to trying to retool all that um I haven't had a
day off in a long long time what would you do with the day off anyway you'd be
like jotting down ideas at stop lights for crying out loud
man I am such a lazy person and that's
the big struggle right there because there's some of the stereotypes about being an artist that I fully live up to
okay and that is one of them you know this seven day a week eight hour a day ten
hour a day thing is it's interesting it's a The Duality of Man remember that
scene from uh what was it Full Metal Jacket where that uh Kubrick movie where where the guy had on his on his war
helmet he had uh I think he had the word killer and then right next to that word he had a peace symbol pin on it his
sergeant said what how what is that about and he said it was The Duality of Man and that that's that's me I'm I'm a
hopelessly lazy I just I want to lay around and hammock and eat Doritos and
you know watch Star Trek and and instead I'm I'm at it all the time so
that's interesting it's the fear that we're gonna turn into the person who
stays in the hammock and never gets off so we we stay busy to fight off that
that though right that tendency yeah I think I think you're I think you're right
um well Justin I've kept you from your your work long enough I should probably let you go this was had an awesome talk
man I really appreciate you and everything you're doing well you too you too and I will be seeing you out there
uh yes you will somewhere somewhere warm and exotic maybe or
somewhere for sure you know will and I have to have to have realized um every time we go to wrap up one of these
podcast episodes it turns into a full 20-minute discussion of where are we going to see you next
yeah that's the classic artist goodbye when when uh you know after shows have
been canceled for two years basically and then there was that first one it was so funny talking to everyone realizing
everyone kind of you know forgot how to do it and I yeah yeah I said you know that first show back every they're gonna
need a two a two day setup because it's going to take us one day just to greet each other oh my God how are you doing
everybody We're not gonna get anything done we're just gonna be talking and Milling around
and then for sure you know and uh yeah so um but this has been fun I like to talk
thanks very much I appreciate it thanks for listening down the road man okay okay all right
we'll see you soon you're back talk to you later Amanda see ya incredible talk with Incredible artists Justin tillett
thank you so much for talking to him Douglas I'm a little jealous that you got to sit down and talk with the with him I I sure love to bend his ear
whenever I see him at one of our shows how touching it was such a real and honest talk at the end there about
perseverance and just him sharing the tragedy he went through yeah that was a
huge blow to our whole community and just uh I I was lucky enough to be their
next door neighbor at Cherry Creek uh just the the day before he lost Becky and before the community did it just was
um and I didn't know if he was going to want to get into all of that but I'm glad that he shared that he's such a
real real dude I just really appreciate him him sharing his story well if anything what he what he really
instilled in me in that moment was to push through this current struggle that I'm dealing with physically
that you know when he comes back to so for him thinking about the sacrifices
that were made and the relationships that looked to him and said you've got
this keep going you can do this that that helped him continue on and I've got
that support from my partner and wife my love Renee I've got that from friends I've got that from my children so I know
I'll get on the other side of this but sometimes it really can get in your head and it can just really just like you
know what I mean make things tough yeah absolutely I found myself getting kind of emotional just imagining my own uh my
own life kind of breaking down and changing like that and it's a it's a tough talk but it's uh I appreciate him
sharing his experience and and her with us you know yeah I really thank Justin
for that yeah ladies and gentlemen I get to go back and get to work be nice to each other be especially nice to Reiko
if you're mean to her we're gonna be mean to you that's right but we will use
our words we promise all right guys I'll see you down the
road take it see you down the road 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
1:19:36 and my website at be sure to subscribe
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