Artist Statement

Artist Statement

Starting my first job at the Disneyland Resort as a caricature and portrait artist greatly influenced my style in art from the beginning. I worked hard at maintaining three jobs; an apprenticeship as a tattooer, artist, and character in the resort such as Mickey Mouse. Performing in front of thousands of people not only immersed me in a quirky traumatic world, but I was also able to experience what it would be like as a real cartoon. My art reflected the bold lines and color schemes of a vibrant life I lived. A coworker of mine (national portrait society artist), allowed me to study the traditional way of painting portraits in his private studio at an early age.  I was rigorously trained being trained daily by other coworkers from different university backgrounds about color, anatomy, and staying on top of drawing one hundred mini faces in a day. This eventually burned the image and structure of a portrait in my head, as it became systematic. After leaving the magic kingdom, I was able to study abroad and take in classical Italian artworks and most famous paintings from Europe. After returning home, I told myself to really tame my art as I went back to painting almost Madonnas with elements of nature such as cats, flowers, burning fields, and owls. It was a romantic time in my life after the chaotic noisy world of Disney. I subsequently kept switching from oils in portraits to acrylics in order to experiment with methods. Experimenting lead me to collide these worlds together such as doing classical portraits with dancing skeletons or demon vixens. This came from my tattoo life, I call it a life because of the new culture I had joined after being so conservative and modest. I switched my whole mindset to paint more often for art shows, live art competitions, and commissions. Endless hours on weekly basis strengthened my hands to tolerate such brutality. Getting older allowed me to take more time in putting more details into my art and continuously experimenting with mixed medias. For an example, instead of only doing an oil painting or acrylic painting, I was painting oils on acrylics. I was always taking elements from my surroundings such as painting European toy souvenirs, oddities I collected, the day of the dead culture from my heritage, using my late mentor as a muse, classic Hollywood beauties from my depressed movie nights, to eventually painting myself with landscapes of the most beautiful places I’ve been. My art technique comes from experimenting with my tools, endless hours painting of the mentality to “just do it”, to making it a lifestyle that has become a daily practice of mine.