The eXTra finGer

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Saturday, November 11, 2006

Interview with Ronald J.Llanos

Q)So, can you tell me a little about yourself?Full name, age, some background info, etc?

A)Ronald J.Llanos, 35. I'm a Los Angeles native. I've lived here my whole life. I don't know of any other place..really. I hate and love Los Angeles.I don't have any other choice.

Q)How did you get started making art?

A)I've been drawing since I was little kid. I remember coming home from seeing Star Wars (the movie) and being so excited by it, I immediately did some drawings of the x-wing fighters and the Tie fighters. I remember doing a sketch of my first dog. He was a half coyote/half German Sheppard. I was really close to him growing up,and I did a watercolor drawing of him. My closeness to him led me to want to create a drawing about him. That was one of my first watercolor drawings that I did that I was really proud of. His name was Tiger and I was probably around 9 years old. I guess my need to communicate what was important to me through images was my way of communicating. My parents were both immigrants to America and they spoke Spanish. I learned English in elementary school and drawing was the way I could communicate while I was learning English.

Q)How would you describe your art?

A)Fun,thought-provoking. Snap-shot like...Documentary…Urban realism.

Q)Where do you get the inspiration for your art?

A)Many places: many come from driving around L.A. and observing people on the streets, in restaurants, and looking at other artists from the past. Honore' Daumier, Francisco Goya, Toulouse-Lautrec and many other artists are my heroes. Sometimes I get inspirations from thoughts and ideas that I pull from my journal which I keep on a daily basis.

Q) What are you working on now?

A)I'm doing a series of drawings inspired by anxiety and anger.

Q) How do you approach the creation of a new piece... how does everything come together?

A)Sometimes drawings develop in my journal where I sketch out small thumbnail drawings. And sometimes, they just come in the form ofa "flash" or I'm inspired by looking at other artists.Everything comes together to me, when my idea,concept, story, mood, etc. matches my final by-product. I really do spend a lot of time "internalizing" the idea/mood. I have to own that idea/mood first, then I can begin creation.

Q) What's your favorite medium to work in, and why?

A)Pen and ink and watercolor (by far!) I like working in this medium because its FAST and immediate.I have (literally!) 8 small sketchbooks with writings and small sketches with ideas of projects that I would like to one day work on. I feel responsible to give life to as many of those ideas as possible. I love working in oils, but sometimes it just takes too much time. The idea/mood would have disappered by the time I'm halfway through the project. Pen and ink keeps meas honest and spontaneous as possible. It keeps ME from bullshitting. But don't get me wrong: I do occasionally like to work on more "finished" looking pieces.

Q) Do you collect anything?

A)Sketchbooks.I have about 50 different kinds..and pictures of beautiful women, pulled from magazines. (not THOSE kind of magazines!)

Q) Is your work all hand done? Or do you use any computer tools to help out?

A)All my work is hand done. I rarely use computer to do all of the beginning work. I might touch it up on the computer later. But not much. I like to be physically close to the work and my eyes can't stand looking at a computer screen for too long.

Q) What, in your opinion, are the best and worst places to exhibit artwork?

A)I don't thing there are best or worst places.I'll show out of the trunk of my car, if need be.

Q) What are your artistic influences?

A)Daumier,Goya, Toulouse-Lautrec ..Robert Crumb.

Q) How are the reactions on your work in general?

A)They like my work…However, they want to see more color, more paint,more bigger, different presentation. CRAP! People like it, but they want to art direct me like crazy.!!! I know what I'm doing. Thanks! Thank you though!I appreciate it!

Q) What are you doing when you are not creating art?

A)I teach drawing and painting to adults as well as middle school kids.

Q)What are some of the greatest challenges that you think artists face today? Competition from other artists and not getting lost with SOOOOO many people doing art and illustration! The market is full and very few jobs.How do you keep up???..its tough!

Q) What is freedom to you as an artist?

A)Freedom is to be able to be able to create whatever you want.

Q) Are there any particular works you've donethat stand out as your favorites?

A)Yes: my favorites by far is "Leaving thering", "Cherry Blossom Ninja Girls Enter The Temple of The Bad Robot Dudes", and two pieces I did about the meeting of Snow White and Pinnochio. They fall in love.

Q) What it the coolest thing you have seen recently while wandering the streets?

A)I saw some kids skate boarding and just being kids. That was cool!

Q) Who are your favourite artists & Yourfavourite galleries?

A)I have many favorite artists. I mentioned 4 above. Sandow Birk's work is cool.I really admire Tomer Hanuka, Adrian Tomine, The Hernandez Bros., Lizbeth Zwerger.

Q) Do you get emotionally attached to your work and do you miss your work when it is sold?

A) In the beginning I do get attached..But I'm able to detach myself eventually. Do I miss my work?? Only if something that I spent a lot of time on! If not, no. I think they're like children who are now grown up and must leave me: their creator.I'm totally cool with that!

Q)Your contacts..E-mail.links

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