Video by Ron Lechler
I make art because I have to. I want you to enjoy my art, but that’s not why I make it. I want my creations to mean something significant, but that is not why I create them. I enjoy that art leading to a personal and professional success, but that is not what drives me. At the end of the day, I make art because I have an unrelenting impulse to create that, at an early age, I decided to submit to.
I was raised in a family of hard-working, blue-collar types who were not what are classically considered artists. I am not well-educated about particular painters and sculptors or movements of the last six or seven centuries. I know more about the Ninja Turtles than I do about the artists for whom they are named. I care about art, not artists. I am fortunate enough to have seen the value of art in a more pragmatic form in the life of ordinary people. Things like Peanuts and Dr. Seuss were examples of art that mattered and stood to reaffirm to my folks and people like us that our value system mattered; that there was a reason to be who we are and where we are. I came to understand that art mattered to regular everyday people in this form. Illustration can fill the intellectual gaps in a set of information and level the playing field across vast disparities in the general public's vocabulary, education, and reading level. The art of illustration is a democratic form of information that does not discriminate between viewers, but rather empowers all of its viewers.
I work in recognizable mediums such as pen & ink and watercolor as a way to draw on the viewers assumed familiarity and everyday experience with traditional mainstream illustrative techniques that are all around us all the time in every walk of life. I make my work to remind you that you are important, you have something to offer, and that you are never alone in whatever you are feeling. When you see my art, I want you to know that all art is for everyone. My art is for everyone. My art is for you.
I am not important, but my art is.