Sam Clayman and Andy Harris have collaborated on at show that opens Saturday, Dec. 19th at Zeke’s in Virginia Beach. They got to know each other a little better for us.
Andy Harris: Name some things that have given you inspiration over the last month.
Sam Clayman: For me, inspiration for my art comes from everywhere. Over the past month, I’ve been listening to a ton of 80’s punk rock, watching a good amount of COPS Reloaded, and doing a fair amount of people watching during this holiday…. I mean, shopping season.
Andy: Give us a quick rundown of your art making process.
Sam: Imagine a fat, sweaty, 10 year old kid that just got done from his first little league game. His dad promised him a Slurpee after the game, and they just pulled into the 7-11 parking lot. Out of sheer excitement, he trips on his way inside and all the quarters that his dad gave him from the car ashtray dance across the store’s floor. He makes his way to the Slurpee machine and puts 20 ounces of cherry flavored ice into a 16 ounce cup. When he walks up to the counter he hands the cashier the already sticky coins and short changes her 25 cents.
His process of preparing, creating, and showcasing his Slurpee is just like my process of art making.
Andy: Number one artist you would suggest following right now on Instagram.
Sam: There are so many talented people on there, but I’d say my top three would be:
Andy: What drives you to make your work?
Sam: I’ve always been obsessed with the process of drawing. It’s something that I’ve just always done. I’m not good–fair at best, but I love putting ink to paper and creating. It’s relaxing for me. That said, everything around me in some way, shape, or form serves as a role in me making art.
I also paint because I love to create a reaction. Whether one likes my art or not isn’t what’s ultimately important for me. Does my art cause a reaction?!–that’s what’s important. The affect is what I love to see. I enjoy watching someone laugh at one of my paintings, but I also find enjoyment in witnessing someone be completely disgusted. I don’t paint for anyone but myself. Because I love it.
Sam: What is your creative process like?
Andy: I believe in making art, and I am constantly working on something. Whether I am doodling in my sketchbook, throwing coffee mugs on a pottery wheel, screen printing t-shirts, destroying magazines with scissors, playing and recording music with my band, or painting on anything I can get my hands on- I like to work. The best cure for a creative block is to switch up your medium.
Sam: Describe your style and explain how has your style has changed over the years?
Andy: In the spring of 2014, a switch went off and I decided to really explore textures and materials for art making on two dimensional surfaces. Although I have stayed with stretching my own canvas and leaving it raw and unprimed, I am always pushing my content and process. I paint and draw on large sheets of paper, primitively and compulsively, and use these sheets to achieve dimension and depth within my subject matter. Lately I have been drawing refined textures in my Hand-Tool series, and I am really satisfied with the results.
Sam: What do you believe is a key element in creating a good composition?
Andy: Some people have a natural ability to start making marks on a surface and ending up with a rad piece. I on the other hand have started too many art works that seem to lose their visual power as I work on them due to a weak foundation. I started collecting art books in the last few years and have opened the door the endless possibilities of creating solid compositions. One book I scored and really enjoyed is from 1947 titled “Creative Illustration” by Andrew Loomis. It’s old, it stinks, but has an exciting section of creating compositions that has inspired me with my own work. But beware: I can’t watch a film these days without judging the directors choice of composition.
Sam: So your Instagram name is @4ndy8ch. What three artists on Instagram do you suggest?
Sam: What’s next for you?
Andy: I have a piece in MOCA’s New Waves show, opening night is Friday, January 29th, and I’m always looking for opportunities to show my work. Reach out!
For more of Zeke’s, here is their Facebook page.