Artist Proof Interview with Artist: Justin Aerni
Global Location: Portland, Oregon, USA
URL : http://www.justinaerni.com/
Justin Aerni is an artist, film maker and musician working and residing in Portland, Oregon (USA). Using cartoon-like outlines, roughly hewn shapes and uneven washes of bright color, Justin renders emotional realities. These are surreal, dark worlds constructed from raw, emotional response and are internalized spaces made external.Justin Aerni - Specializing mostly in lowbrow / outsider / macabre art.Aerni’s work is sought after internationally with major art collectors and galleries in France , Australia, Germany, Norway, United States, Israel, Iceland, Britain, Mexico and Canada. His work has been published in numerous art magazines around the world. He is also the author and illustrator of such books as “Dead Business Men”, “Nonsense Relevant” and “Fighting For Fiction”. - by Dr. Melissa Westbrook.
AP: How long have you been making art for and what lead you to start?
JA: All my life but professionally just couple of years. I did my art for over five years while having a shitty day job until I got to the point where I could support myself solely on my art which was late 2008. That leap of faith was the best decision I ever made. What lead me to start ? Everything. I always knew what I wanted to do from a very young age.
AP: Where do you currently live and work ? And how does this influence your work?
JA: Just moved from Portland to Dallas Oregon but honestly I could live anywhere and be somewhat happy. It wouldn’t really effect what I do to much. I’m thinking about moving to the east coast because it would be a new adventure for me.
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?
JA: Self Taught. There’s no right or wrong way to do it in this business as I’ve learned from others. I also believe that if someone could take that 40 thousand dollars they would have spent on art school and instead use it to brand themselves that they would go a lot further.
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?
JA: My studio is the upstairs of where I live. I don’t like the idea or having to get dressed and drive somewhere else just to do what I love to do. I think I work more efficiently when everything is so close to where I eat and sleep.
AP: What are some of your favorite design projects/exhibitions you have worked on to date?
JA: The Screaming Sky Gallery Group Show called Micro Brood I did last November was fun because I got to meet some really talented artists that I live by. The curator and gallery owner there are angels.
AP: What is your medium of choice ?
JA: Lately it has been card stock paper. I also like found love letters , bills , money, envelopes and I’ve done lots of work on cardboard too. If I do one of these too often I start to get bored so It changes on a daily basis.
AP: What is the relationship between technique and content in your work?
JA: My technique is experimental . When I start A piece I have a message but I don’t have a clear image of what it’s going to look like. I have my own “artistic language” but the technique varies greatly on the content. Yes. I’m always trying new things because my mind does not handle repetition easily. I think art should be somewhat abstruse and it should raise more questions than it answers otherwise all you have left is a pretty meaningless skateboard design or t-shirt which the art world is already over saturated with.
AP: In what direction would you like to see your work going over the next five years?
JA: I would really like to do some giant / epic size canvases. Some large installations would be great too. I’m in the process of making my own film which has a lot of my own animated art in it. Making my own film so far has been a huge challenge and learning process for me. I can easily see myself doing more.
AP: What forth coming projects and or exhibitions do you have scheduled for 2011?
JA: My next show is at the new FUN HOUSE GALLERY in Detroit scheduled for June which will be a Vinyl Group show and I will be back again in August which another outsider art show at the same gallery. I’m always open for more so just email me.
AP: Take us on a guided tour through a day in your life as an artist.
JA: I wake up pretty early. 7AM .. Coffee . Eat something fast. I don’t like wasting time on preparing food. I sell a lot of my smaller stuff on Ebay so I usually prepare things to ship out. Go to the post office. Come home and just dive into my daily production. I like to work while listening to a Netflix movie or Pandora radio. I need something in the background. I used to have liberal and conservative talk radio stations on blaring at the same time but it got really weird and negative so I had to stop. I do around five paintings a day. About ten hours of work a day. I’m pretty good about managing my time and I’m able to get a lot done in a short amount of time. I usually end the day around 10 pm. Get into bed and watch Super Jail or Family Guy until I pass out.
AP: Thank you so much for taking the time to answer our questions.