Beachroad catch up with one of our favourite artists Joe Vickers. Joe's mixed media on wood panel paintings are inspired by the ocean and nature.
We chat with Joe at his home studio in Santa Ana, California with a few good tunes on in the background.
NAME? // Joe Vickers
YOUR FIRST JOB? // Working in a paint store.
WHERE WERE YOU BORN? // Tampa, Florida.
WHERE DO YOU LIVE? // Santa Ana, California.
YOUR CURRENT OCCUPATION? // Artist.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO BECOME AN ARTIST ? // I’ve always loved to draw, paint and make things.
HOW DID YOUR STYLE OF ART DEVELOP? // Growing up I loved comic strips, surf graphics, album covers, cartoons, and illustrations. From those influences, I began making a series of waves and eventually started painting them on wood and it continues to develop from there.
WHAT ARE THE MAIN CHALLENGES INVOLVED IN CREATING YOUR WORK? // I’m always trying to figure out new ways to think about a painting. Be it perspective or the materials I use, I love to try new things!
WHICH ONE PIECE OF WORK HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE? // My biggest challenge was a book of surf poems I published a few months ago called, The Salty Sleepy Surfery Rhymes. It took years to complete.
WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF AS AN ARTIST BEING IN 10 YEARS TIME? // I’d love to take my family and travel a bit and do some art shows overseas. My goal is to always be able to be with my family, surf and make the artwork I’m interested in.
WHERE WOULD YOUR DREAM STUDIO BE LOCATED? // In front of a surf spot that breaks all day, every day… of course, then I probably wouldn’t ever get any work done!
IF YOU WERE NOT AN ARTIST WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING? // Sulking.
WHEN DID YOU REALISE THE ART WORLD WAS FOR YOU? // I started showing my work at small art walks around Southern California many years ago and loved everything about it, especially all the awesome people I get to meet! I knew then that I wanted to make a run at being a full-time artist.
YOUR FAVOURITE ARTIST? // Bill Watterson.
YOUR FAVOURITE GALLERY? // I love Arcana Books on the Arts in Culver City. It’s a bookstore, but my favorite place to check out art books.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE A NEW ARTIST STARTING OUT? // I always think showing your work is a good idea. Taking the time to put together some pieces and show them at a gallery, art walk, group show, wherever is a very good practice to be in.
WHAT ART AND DESIGN DO YOU MOST IDENTIFY WITH? // Illustration. I love seeing what illustrators are making all around the world.
ART/DESIGN ASIDE, WHAT INSPIRES YOU? // Being near the ocean. Surfing, fishing, swimming, anything by the ocean is awesome.
IF YOU COULD OWN ANY PIECE OF ARTWORK WHAT WOULD IT BE? // An original Calvin and Hobbes ink drawing.
IF YOU COULD SPEND A DAY WITH ANY ARTIST ALIVE OR DEAD WHO WOULD IT BE? // Rick Griffin.
YOUR GREATEST LOVE? // My beautiful wife and two daughters.
YOUR GREATEST FEAR? // Heights.
WHAT IS YOUR EARLIEST MEMORY? // Running up and down a hill with my mom in Florida by this lake we lived by.
WHAT IS THE LAST GIFT YOU GAVE SOMEONE? // I gave a dude I met in the parking lot a sticker.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE CHILDREN? // Make things all the time.
YOUR WORST TRAIT? // I have the tendency to rush through things. I’ve been working on slowing down!
THE WORST TRAIT IN OTHERS THAT GETS YOU MAD? // Littering!
LAST RECORD / DOWNLOAD YOU BOUGHT? // I bought the Replacements album, ‘Pleased to Meet Me’
LAST BOOK YOU BOUGHT? // I bought this incredible Harry Clarke book which goes into detail about his illustration work as well as the stained glass pieces he made.
THE CLOSEST YOU HAVE COME TO DEATH? // I had an accident when I was managing a propane company a few years ago before I went full time with my artwork. Two tanks caught on fire in the back of a truck and ended up exploding. I ran away in time but it was a little too close. That was the day I decided to make a run at being a full-time artist.
FAVOURITE TRAVEL DESTINATION? // Mal Pais, Costa Rica.
LEAST FAVOURITE TRAVEL DESTINATION? // Big Bear, CA.
WHAT MAKES YOU LAUGH? // My daughters.
WHATS MAKES YOU CRY? // My daughters.
YOUR MESSAGE? // So it goes...