Artist Proof Interview with Artist: HYDRO74
Global Location: Orlando
AP Shop URL: http://www.zazzle.com/hydro74
The Thought Process: Hydro74 is a Orlando based designer, otherwise known as Joshua M. Smith. The soul purpose of my career is to push the boundaries in doing what I feel is relevant to the market as well as extract various elements and trends to be able to offer them up in my own personal work. But let’s be honest. I do what I love because I love it. Not because I have to do it, nor am forced to do it, but rather passionate about doing what I do. I firmly believe in having set style tones, yet a sense of diversity to make any various project unique to the demands that are set forth.
AP: How long have you been making art for and what lead you to start.
HYDRO74:Think I’ve been making art since early childhood, but becoming a artist was never my intention. I believe it was in the late 90’s that a few opportunities came up that made me even consider doing art / design seriously and changing my current career desire at the time, which was wanting to be a teacher. Never wanted to be artist, nor thought much of the career, but a few freelance projects enticed me to consider otherwise.
AP: Where do you currently live and work ω And how does this influence your work.
HYDRO74:I live in Orlando. The location doesn’t have much influence other than challenging myself to look else where for inspiration. I’m a digital designer by nature so a majority of my time is spent on the internet and research thus creating this illusion that when people meet me, they don’t expect me to be a Florida guy. There really isn’t much in Orlando as far a arts culture, but there is a lot of local talent.
AP: Did you have formal training if so what If your self taught can you tell us what you prefer about being a self taught artist vs having formal training.
HYDRO74:Purely self taught. I took some classes in collage but the professor was on the same learning curve I was in 1995 so after a few years and a some arguments on what I should be learning vs what they thought I should be learning (software vs. hand skills) I dropped out and learned the software on my own. I think the self taught designer learns the hardships of growth and realizes there isn’t a easy solution for anything. You learn to put in the wrench time and take the blows that come with failure. Those things make you stronger where someone with formal education THINKS they know it all and really haven’t experience the growing pains of the career. It’s those things that set us apart and sets our art apart because those techniques we’ve acquired are ours and not a product of a system trying to mold you into what they believe the status quo is. Just my thoughts though.
AP: Can you tell us about where you make your work is it in your house, a studio etc.. and how it effects your work.
HYDRO74:I work from home because I like to limit overhead. Also I enjoy being able to spend time with my family even if I’m working. The feeling of just being there while I work if far more important that creating a faux studio and trying to pretend I’m some bad ass firm. Once my kids get older I do plan on getting a studio, but nothing more than a spot for me to do more hands on projects and not to showcase the ‘look at me’ model.
AP: What are some of you favorite design projects/exhibitions you have worked on to date.
HYDRO74:hard to say. Every year brings new things and each time there is always something rewarding to be had from it. I think my favorite one recently is when Travis Rice (Snowboarder) hit me up directly to do a poster for his new film Art of Flight. Just being able to be part of that epic project means the the world to me.
AP: What is your medium of choice.
HYDRO74:Vector + mouse.
AP: What is the relationship between technique and content in your work.
HYDRO74: Pure technique. Technique is what defines us as designers. Content is just a subjective medium that is trend based to make a buck. Technique is what separates you work from those who try to pretend they are you or want to do the same thing. It’s almost like our personal signature within our work. To have someone see a piece and know it’s yours just by the lines is a pretty amazing thing.
AP: Who are some of the artists that have inspired you and or your work.
HYDRO74:Rick Griffin, Jim Phillips, Greg Irons, Michael Manoogian, Gerard Huerta, David Quay, Giant, Obey, Aaron Horkey, Munk One, 123Klan, Julie West.. So on, so forth
AP: In what direction would you like to see your work going over the next five years.
HYDRO74:Forward. I have no long term plans other than to be and maintain relevance.
AP: What forth coming projects and or exhibitions do you have scheduled for 2011.
HYDRO74:Believe there is a gig in Vegas here shortly where I’ll have to live draw on a couple cars during a massive trade show. It could turn out great or it could turn out like crap, who knows.
AP: Take us on a guided tour through a day in your life as an artist.
HYDRO74:Pretty standard. Wake up, coffee, email, check my list of to-do’s and work. In between more coffee, more emails, twitter, work, etc.. Trust me, nothing exciting by any means.
AP: Thank you so much for taking the time to answer our questions.