Artist Interview: Steven Velazquez

Today we’re (virtually) sitting down for an interview with Steven Velazquez about art, life, and culture. Steven’s artwork is at the Xico galería through May 15, as part of the “Fuerte” exhibition.

1.      How does your cultural/family background influence the subjects and style of your art?

I think the biggest influence from family and culture in my art is COLOR. I believe the use of vibrant color is a trademark of all Latin cultures, American and European. Color is life.

2.       The title of this exhibit is “Fuerte.” What did that make you think about?

Fuerte to me means represents the strenght in one’s character, having confidence in who you are, and having great pride in your culture, and in your art.

3.       Can you describe your artistic process? What happens between inspiration and finished piece?

It just starts with a simple idea or a what if? The fun or tormenting part (artwork usually takes on a life of its own) is figuring out how to get from A to Z. Every work is a new experience.

4.       Do you remember when you first identified yourself as “an artist”?

I have been a musical artist since I was 12 years old, but the first time I thought of myself as a visual artist was after my first student painting in art class at Chapman University in 2005. I was very apprehensive to even take the class, but my first piece turned out good and made me happy, so I just thought, “you can do this”.

5.       What’s next for you, as an artist?

Lately I have been obsessed with pulp paper mache and have been learning to do sculpture. I would like to do some life size pieces in this medium. The possibilities are endless.