ABQ Live got the opportunity to catch up with local artist, Truett. Join as as we dig into his creative mind and find out what it is to be an artist.
How old are you and where are you from?
Truett: I’m 24 year and was born in ABQ, but I was raised all around NM.
Great teachers are almost always the mark of great artists. Who are a couple of important teachers in your life and what are a couple important lessons they taught you in regards to your art/ life.
Truett: The greatest teachers I’ve ever had are my parents. My dad is the one best artist I’ve known personally and he’s created an insane amount of work throughout his career. So he’s been a big inspiration to me. My mom is the one who kept me level headed and grounded. She reminds me there’s more to life than just art and having fun.
Which artists inspire you and why? Do you have a favorite artist and why?
Truett: I have a billion favorites. I’m always finding new artists that I get into. That’s the beauty of the Internet. Some of my favorite digital artists would be Ryan Johnson and Android Jones. When I first saw him paint live digitally on a huge projected canvas at Sonic Bloom, a music festival in Colorado, it just blew my mind to see someone painting live on such a massive scale. I love graffiti art and ABQ has some of the best I know personally; they also inspire me.
Figures and characters seem to be very prevalent in your body of work. What is it about these characters that inspire you? Do they have a meaning to you?
Truett: I’ve always been into cartoon art, and love odd characters, dark art, comic book art, anime and the music scene. My style and what inspires me has continued to evolve, along with my interests as I grew up.
What sort of advice do you have for young emerging artists coming into the art world?
Truett: Best advice I have for emerging artists is to show your art to as many people as you possibly can. Make a lot of art work and do it around people and for people. The main thing is to never give up.
What’s the biggest lesson/ piece of advice you’ve been given in regards to your artistic career?
Truett: Keep everything as legit as possible and on a good copacetic level with everyone. Do it for the greater good.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve come across and how did you overcome it?
Truett: The determination to keep doing it when it seems like it wasn’t worth doing all the time. When you try and pay all your bills painting, it becomes a little more taxing mentally because it turns into more of a stress factor. When you have to become creative on a more material level to where it has to yield some sort of result that’s been the hardest part. It has become more natural and my work flow has increased and my perseverance to keep going has helped me get to where I am now.
What’s next, professionally, artistically? Where would you like to see your art and yourself in 5 years?
Truett: I have a whole lot of interesting creations that are coming to fruition in this New Year. Tattoo work has been my main ‘bread and butter’ so definitely focusing on that and honing my skills. In my spare time, I’m working on a couple different series of paintings and a couple clothing options that are gonna be going off. Really I just wanna get my work out into the world so more people can see it and I can influence them with my weird little ideas.
At what age did you first discover painting and what was it about the medium that intrigued you?
Truett: I watched my dad paint from a before I knew what I was looking at. So I grew up around it. It’s been apart of me. My dad and sister are both amazing artists. It’s been apart of my entire families life so really that was the seed that initially intrigued me about art in general.
What is it about live painting that you are attracted to?
Truett: Going to some really cool festivals and watching these boss-mode individuals live paint and do it the right way. That was what initially attracted me to it as an artist. I was 18 when I started doing a lot of live painting at shows. Whenever there was a chance I was live painting. I recently got booked to paint at a festival called Lucidity in Santa Inez, California. I’ll definitely never stop doing it, it’s brought me so many clients, friends, contacts and buzz on my artwork.
I’ve heard you say your main focus with your work is to break out of the confines of the reality we are all living in. Explain this. How do you do this with your art? Is this about you breaking a way from the confines of reality or your art? How so?
Truett: I’ve never really thought the reality that was fed to everyone was necessarily the most healthy or right choice for everyone. I’m talking about the conformity of reality that we find ourselves living in on a day to day basis, you know the 9-5 job, and your taxes and whatever political stance you have on the world. I feel like we all got forced into this system and we were just learning to function in something that was created for us; I don’t feel like it’s natural. So it’s more about breaking away from the reality that’s been constructed for me through my art and my life as an artist.
I’ve heard you say that we as people and artists have the power to create the world in the way we would like to see it. Briefly describe how would you like to see it?
Truett: As visual artists, we all have the ability to speak to people without talking to them. So even if your concepts are weird or kind of out there if it takes you out of that specific moment you may be in, and you see this thing that stops you, that little tiny influence can have a big impact. So even if your influence is small it may have large impact that you don’t even realize just yet.
Do you participate in Art shows? If so, what are your experiences with them? Positive or Negative?
Truett: I’ve had a couple good shows, but nothing that’s been super huge. I usually make a piece and end up selling it right after. However lately I’ve been able to build up a larger portfolio of work that I’m looking forward to showing off soon.
What’s the largest piece you’ve done or collaborated on? Tell me about it.
Truett: I’ve worked on a few bigger pieces. Although the biggest piece I’ve done is hanging in a friend’s living room right now. It’s an acrylic painting about 9.5ft tall x 5ft wide. I really would love to do some massive wall paintings but it takes finding a wall and the money for all the paint.
Where can we see your work in town?
Truett: Right now I have some work hanging at Gold and Anchor tattoo and over at Adieux this bar / lounge next to Effex Nightclub.
How does it feel to have community of friends and supporters to be behind you on what you’re doing?
Truett: It’s kind of been my saving grace on this entire thing. Because without any of them nothing would have happened, you know as far as it becoming something bigger than me just drawing in my room. Because of my friends and family, it’s really turned into my life thanks to all of them, it continues to be.
Interview by: Kori Kobayashi