Artist talk with Julian Smith
Egg carton, plastic lid
Tell us about yourself.
I'm a 28 yr old, American. Currently based in the state of Kansas. Although I am not currently a working artist I hope to be one day. If that comes to pass the "The Art World" is in for a rude awakening. When I'm not making art I'm working on videos for my YouTube channels. Videography and editing is another passion of mine.
Where did your passion for art begin?
I started more traditional arts when I was very young up until about 13, then stopped completely until I got to college. I'm thankful for that phase but am also glad my page isn't full of dragonball Z characters right now. Once there I sort of sporadically started creating again but this time in a completely different style. Stopping drawing or painting altogether. Strangely though it wasn't a conscious choice I just sort of started doing it. Like a compulsion or a trance. Damn, it's sort of creepy looking back but that's what happened haha.
'Sup, my Dolphin brain is bigger than yours', 2020
Acrylic, pastel, pencil, receipt on poster paper.
How would you describe your work to someone?
I would describe my work as sort of an intuitive abstract, ready made, sculpture as my base if I'm not making a completely flat work. It could be interpreted as a very irreverent style and that wouldn't be wrong but I attribute this mostly to the complete lack of filters when it comes to my creative process.
Fundamentally my work arises from my direct environment, down to the actual landscape of the space I'm in at any given moment working with very little. My old instagram account was all work hung with a bungee cord mounted on a white mattress I put against the wall. This inadvertently opened up a whole realm of possibilities
along with the best backdrop in the history of the world.
Everything I make almost feels like a sacrifice in a sense haha. A sacrifice to the universe, a nod to it's infinite and messy nature and by proxy the infinitude of potentials inherent in every one object around us. One object has within it a million things, or versions that can be pulled from or combined with it. I think this sort of unconcious fascination drives a lot of things for me, as art speak as that all sounds.
What are you currently working on?
I'm not currently working on anything in particular.I'm just trying to continue to surprise and laugh at myself.
'HEY, HEY, HEY DAD, LOOK AT WHAT I CAN DO!', 2020
Cardboard, poster board, styrofoam, pastel, spraypaint
'CORN DOGS RULE EVERYTHING AROUND ME!!', 2020
Plastic bag, cloth, Pastel, on cardboard.
When you start a new work or project, do you plan what you’re going to create or do you improvise?
Sometimes I have an exact idea in mind and get exactly what I want or I keep making things I don't like that ultimately lead me to the very thing I didn't know I wanted. This is the process that is most fun to me. I call this the putzing around stage. I basically just start staring at my materials, maybe drool a little bit, kick some stuff around, just sort of play. Not really making anything. Then I just sort of trust my intuition, my mind's eye always knows what a good composition to me looks like so I just go with that.
I have a whole list of specific pieces I want to make but that's for a time when I have a studio and tools. Not a tiny studio apartment, some pastels, tape and a hammer. I like it this way for now although Im starting to grow out of it a little bit.
Can you highlight some of your influences and discuss how your influences have made an impact on you and your practice?
I honestly have never had any real influences per say. I've upped my irreverence and play around with some assemblage of my 2D works thanks to some things I've learned from my friend Taylor White but that's it. Influences are important and for the most part are great but how we're taught to think about art growing up is so fundamentally flawed in my opinion the less influences you have the better.
Art is supposed to be the antithesis of creativity itself and that implies complete originality to me. Art class wasn't going to teach me to somehow think to attach three 5 gallon water jugs to the knobs on my dresser then run a freaking garden hose through them like a freaking maniac omfg haha like I did for one of my works on my page. You got to be yourself and drop your filters.
'This is what creators block looks like, I think', 2020
Plastic lid, spray paint, pastel on poster paper.
What are your plans for the remainder of this year?
No plans for the rest of this year really. Art wise just continually striving to channel my inner dummy as often as possible. Make the universe proud ya know.