How do you represent the boundaries of the known world?
Adam LoRusso seems to have found a way. The Orris interviewed this talented artist, illustrator and tattoo artist who has developed a unique style to explore “both the seen and unseen; from molecules to life force and everything in between.”
When did you realize you were an artist?
I think I realized I was an artist when creating art became more than just something to pass the time doing doodles and sketches in the margins of my school notebooks. My freshman year of college I began using artwork as more of a meditative practice to help myself reflect on some highs and lows associated with truly leaving home for the first time. That being said I think I’ve always been an artist; both parents, especially my father as he is a sculptor, encouraged me to play and explore different artistic mediums. I’ve always loved just playing with pencils, clay, paint and anything I could get my hands on, which is actually pretty similar to my process today.
What inspires you?
Life. Other artists, whether they are painters, designers, chefs, architects, or tattooers all play a huge role in keeping my creative flow going strong. There’s a group of absolutely amazing contemporary, “low-brow” artists in San Francisco right now that I love following. I follow a lot of design blogs and love dissecting the math behind creating a great piece of functional design work. I’ve also been working as a tattooer for over a year now so seeing how others in the field are pushing the boundaries of a once fairly restrictive medium is always amazing to observe.
Plus things like the sun, sky, trees; all the simple things in life that we walk right by on a daily basis truly are amazing.
What is your artistic process like? How do you work best?
As I mentioned before, my process is very intuitive. I choose a surface to lay marks upon, set up some different tools and things to make marks with, breathe, and go for it. Sometimes I’ll choose a subject matter, model, or idea and set out to capture that, but the final piece almost always ends up somewhere else as my mind just wonders and branches out into semi-related ideas (like those word clouds you used to do in English class). I’d say 75-80% of my final paintings have anywhere from 2 to 8 other “final” paintings beneath them.
Sometimes I’ll sit back and look at a piece, decide it’s just not time to let it into the world, and throw a can of white or blue paint I have lying around at it. As the paint splatters against the canvas and smears and stains, I smile. My art is a kind of a practice in impermanence for me as well. When I first started taking my work seriously I would lose sleep over a botched painting and get so mad over not being able to get something “right”. Is that what art is for though? To create a sense of unrest and frustration? Nah. Let it go. In my later college years I would be in an open studio and take a jar of ink and pour it on top of something I had spent weeks working on and other student’s jaws would drop. It always made me laugh! Not only is being too overly attached to your work silly, but each “failure” helps pave the way to the next real masterpiece.
How would you describe your style?
All over the place! A contemporary exploration of both the seen and unseen; from molecules to life force and everything in between. Heavy emphasis on the “mixed” in mixed media, combining mediums into a heavily layered, multidimensional soup with my subconscious thoughts serving as the broth that keeps everything somewhat together.
Amazing! Yeah government funding could always be better, blah blah. There’s some seriously awesome artwork going on in the world, and some of it right in people’s own backyards! Get out, see some galleries and open studios! There’s also some awesome blogs out there right now that focus on some amazing current art movements.
I could kind of care less where I fit in. It would be nice to get my work out there more because I feel there’s some people that would enjoy having it hang on there wall. Having people really LOOK at my work and just smile to themselves feels amazing. I love watching people observe my art and seeing their face when they truly connect with a piece.
What is the value of art?
Art is everything! Things would be pretty boring without it don’t you think?
Check out Adam LoRusso’s complete portfolio on his website and follow his art / illustration / tattooing adventures on LastLightArt. If you like his work, you can now commission original artwork from him at EveryArt.