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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Interview with Jeff Schaller

q) Introduce yourself first please?

a) Hello I’m Jeff Schaller self proclaimed creative guru. Born in Ellington Connecticut. If you have heard of it you were lost on your way to Massachusetts.

q) Where do you live and work?

a) I currently live in Downingtown, PA. I have a 50 yard commute to work. YES! I built a studio on our property.

q) How did you get started in art? When did you realize you wanted to become an artist?

a) Every since I was a kid I knew I wanted to be an artist. Thankfully, I don’t think I could do anything else. It helped me from getting my ass kicked in high school, I would paint the back of jean jackets for the druggies and make posters for the popular kids running for student council. It was a way for me to fit in.

q) What materials do you use and why?

a) I paint in encaustic, a bees wax based paint with pigment. I also incorporate silk screening with my work. I chose encaustics because it dies so quickly it forces you to work quickly. Because it dries so quickly it captures each brush stroke as it is applied to the board.

q) Who is your biggest influence, both art and non-art related

a)That is such a hard question because everything influences me. Just walking down the street, looking around, television, anything visual makes an imprint. One of the biggest influences that I listen to is my wife.

q) How do you dream up with your wacky ideas? What is your creation process?

a)I wish I dreamed up these ideas. Then every morning I would wake up and have something to paint. But it doesn’t quite work like that. It usually starts out by me finding an image or seeing something that strikes my interest. I work in series so it is different images at different times. Once I find an image I crop it down to fit on a square board. I immerse myself in the painting process. Then I stop and I wait. I look at the piece for awhile which could take an hour or up to a month just trying to figure out what to add. This is the part that I love. You have to think of color, composition and making that little “AHA” statement. It is usually a text element, word or logo. Then I sign it.

q) What haven’t you done yet that you definitely want to try someday?

a)Sky diving. I want to jump out of a perfectly good airplane. Plus I would like to learn how to fly a plane and fencing. I just think fencing is cool. I don’t know if I’d ever use it.

q) Are there any contemporary artists that you love?

a)I love Jasper Johns. If you are reading this Mr. Johns, call me we’ll do lunch.

q) How long does it take for you to finish a piece?
a) It’s hard to say because I work on multiple paintings at a time. Sometimes I can get the majority of the work done in a day. I think these are the freshest paintings. Then I let it sit and see what I should add. I don’t want to sound to whacky but I wait for the painting to “speak to me.”

q) What music, if any, do you like to have on while you're working?

a)I am all over the board with music. In the morning I’ll start out with classical or jazz, sometimes from my itunes or internet radio. By the end of the day it picks up to alternative .music to the Ramones or Hank Williams Jr III.

q) Do you do many art shows?

a)I try to do as many art shows as possible. I love the pressure of a deadline. Nothing like a deadline to make you feel alive, creative and confident.

q) Tell us about a recent dream you had.

a) Actually I just had a dream where I had to get a real job. I was sucked back into corporate America. I think it might have been a nightmare.

q) What are you doing when you are not creating?

a) Hanging out with my family and drinking wine with my wife.

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

a)I get attached to every piece I make. You have to or it wouldn’t be finished. I have to love or like each piece at that moment to sign it and say it is done. There have only been a few pieces that I wish I had kept but I know where they are and the people that bought them. I couldn’t be happier about that. I know I’ll always make something else that I love.

q) What new projects or exhibits are in your future?

a) I have a show in Switzerland that I’m totally looking forward to.

q) What is your favourite art related web site?

a)I’m to busy watching
You Tube videos. I forget there were other things out there.

q) What is the strangest thing you have ever seen?

a)Have you been on the web? Nothing is really surprising anymore.

q) What is the strangest thing you have ever done?

a)I can’t say, the statute of limitations hasn’t expired yet.

q) Any advice you can pass onto aspiring artists/designers?

a)Do what you love then you will never have to work a day in your life.

q)your contacts….e-mail…links

a)Jeff Schaller


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