Art, whether it’s creating your own or appreciating the work of others, is a great tool to use when looking for some escape. It can be cathartic when you create it and give answers or insight when you see other artists’ work. Art is such a strong connecting force and you can learn a lot about someone by learning about their art story. My good friend Johan is an artist in every sense of the word and I enjoyed connecting with him in the context of his art.
What kind of art do you participate in creating?
Drawing, interior design, photography, painting, and cooking (it’s an art form, too). My favorite is drawing and when I draw, I use pencil, charcoal, pastels, and graphite.
What’s your first memory with art?
When I was a young boy, my mother bought me coloring books and instead of coloring in them, I would place the pictures in the book next to another piece of paper and use it as a reference to re-draw the image. Then I would color my own drawing. I wanted to make it my own and unique to me. When I got a little older, I started taking photos of people to use as reference pieces for more drawings.
What kind of art do you appreciate?
I love the very realistic, victorian, european, old-time paintings where everything looked like a picture. That’s my goal; to make everything look life-like and that’s why my art is very realistic, but I can appreciate all types of art. I really like Van Gogh and Picasso’s work, although my style of art is very different from theirs.
What’s your favorite piece of art that you’ve done?
A lady I drew. She was in a photo I saw and I wanted to capture her rough face and expression when I drew her. I wanted it to look like a real photo from a distance. I love all the detail in her skin.
Your apartment is so beautiful. How did you get into interior design?
My mom was my biggest inspiration in interior design. She was always creating something for her home. I started joining her and I really enjoyed the act of using my hands to make pieces of art and being able to use it as decor.
Where do you get most of your pieces for your home?
About 95% of the art work are originals by me. I always say, “If I can create art, why would I buy someone else’s?” And the other pieces are from antique stores. Most of them are vintage items, over a hundred years old. I love collecting things that have history. I love pieces that speak for themselves.
Tell me about all of your cameras.
I love to collect old cameras and use them as decor. The earliest one is from the 20s and the youngest one is from the 40s. I love them because they all do the same things our cameras today do, but they were made before this technology era. I feel the same about my antique typewriter, sewing machine, and telephone. They all still work, too.
How has art helped you through tough times?
When I was a teenager, I was trying to find myself and be authentic to who I am. I didn’t have many people to talk to about what I was going through, so when I would go home, my only escape from everything was painting and drawing. It kept me from thinking too much.
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