Interview with pop surreal artist Aaron Jasinski

Aaron Jasinski's paintings have shown across the US, and internationally. He also illustrates children's books, album covers, and creates electronic music. Aaron grew up in in a family of musicians and the love of music is a major influence in his visual art. His paintings often features musical, pop-culture, and nostalgic references peppered with social commentary and whimsical creatures (think morose hipsters mingling with monkeys in space suits), utilizing a Technicolor palette. Aaron resides near Seattle Washington with his wife and 4 children.
 
 
Please, tell us how did you find the artist inside you? How long have you been doing art? Is art something that you always wanted to do?

The desire to create art has been with me as long as I can remember. It’s integral to my happiness and wellbeing. I guess it’s a bonus that I’ve been fortunate to find some success in doing it professionally.
 
What was / is your major influences? Other artists, books, movies, music or any other media....What inspires you to create your artworks?
 
I’ve drawn, sculpted, and worked with paper since I was kid. As a teenager I read Chaim Potak’s My Name is Asher Lev and really identified with the protagonist. I think that was when I first thought I might actually want to be an artist when I grew up. I loved the Expressionists and Surrealists.  Later I found illustration and got my degree in it but came back around to showing in galleries. It happened really organically.
 
 
How does "a normal day of artist" in your life look like?
 
Between a full time job as a UI designer and a family of 4 kids my “normal day of an artist” looks a lot like a “late night of an artist”. I listen to a lot of audio books as I paint in to the wee hours of the morning.
 
What’s your background? Are you self-taught artist or did you study art? Do you think an art education is important or imperative for anybody wishing to be an artist? What are some of the advantages and disadvantages that you have encountered throughout your career with/without the formal training of the Art Academy?
 
I don’t think I’d say a formal art education is imperative but  it can definitely focus and direct your creative journey. I think whether it’s formal or not an artist is going to need some education. A school will provide a pathway and discipline that a lot of us just aren’t going to manage on our own.
 
 
What fascinates you the most about surrealism / pop surrealism / contemporary art / lowbrow art? How would you describe your style? What themes do you pursue, what surrealism mean to you and what do you hope the viewer will take away from your art?
 
I think pop surrealism is a visual language the speaks to the culture of our time. I very much want to connect with people who look at my work. If I make something that delights me I hope it will have a similar affect on others. That’s really my goal. Surrealism provides a great vehicle to combine narrative devices surprising and provoking ways. That’s what I like about it. I like to find ways to use pop culture imagery to say something about life.

What do you love most about creating and being an artist? What does “being creative” mean to you?
 
Creativity to me means combining ideas like elements to create new ideas. What I love about that is the moment when things click in to place in my head and that new idea just feels right.
 
 
Can you describe your typical workflow when you’re working on your art? What are your tools of trade? What medium do you most often use and why?
 
I most comfortable if I can sketch and think on a concept for a couple of weeks before starting in on the painting. That gives me enough to to throw away the crappy ideas and refine my concepts.  I work in acrylics and start with an monochromatic underpainting in grey or warm tones based on sketches. Then I block in colors and finish with detail work.
 
Which creative medium would you love to pursue but haven’t yet?

Pastels. I love the vibrant colors people get with them.
 
 
Tell us more about your workspace. What was the most funny or weird thing that happened to you in your studio? What is / was the most strange thing hidding in your studio?

Ha ha. Right now I paint in the garage. I suppose the strangest thing lurking in my studio would be a Recluse Spider or two.  Sometimes one of my kids comes out to paint with me. I have a second easel that I set up for them and we paint side by side. That’s pretty cool.
 
What toughest challenges have you faced as an artist during your art career? What is the biggest lesson you have learned so far?
 
The toughest challenge I face is keeping it fresh. It’s something people don’t really talk about with young or up and coming artists so may be it’s just me but it’s easy to get tired of deadlines and long hours spent working alone. You definitely need to be aware of balancing your work and your life. Burn-out is definitely something to watch out for.
 
 
What’s the best and worst advice you ever received in your art career?
 
Best advice: If you can imagine yourself doing something else professionally, do it.
 
What do you dislike about the art world? What is the hardest thing on being an artist? Is the artistic life lonely? What do you do to counteract it?
 
I think this one is very subjective. For me the hardest part of the art world is that you need to be constantly engaged. Networking, promoting, posting to the internet, it’s really a business. To succeed you need a game plan and you need to stick to it.
 
Where do you see yourself in the future? Professionally, what’s your goal?
 
I’ve illustrated a few children’s books. As I get older I could see myself focusing on that aspect of the art/illustration world.
 

Do you have any tips or inspiring words for others? Maybe advice for beginning artists out there?
 
If you can’t see yourself doing anything else, set a road map of where you want to go with your art. Where do you want to be in 5, 10, 15 years. What do you need to do to get there? Then revisit it every year. Don’t be afraid to adjust your goals if your priorities change. Prepare yourself to deal with success. When you reach your goals, what’s next?
 
Your favorite art or life quote is ...

Happiness is not a destination it’s enjoying the journey.
 
 
What are you doing when you’re not creating? What (other) hobbies do you have?

I create music. I like reading fantasy, sci-fi, and history. A few years ago I started exercising.  I bowl a pretty decent game. I like watching movies, anime, and UFC.
 
Do you have an online portfolio, blog or social medias where we can view your work?
 
 
Is there anything else you’d like to say? Is there any project you are working on right now or any ongoing event or exhibition you would like to share with our readers?

I’m doing a few commissions and projects that I can’t really talk about :D
 
Thank you dear Aaron, it was a honor to interview you, I wish you only the best for you and your art and already looking forward to see your new art works :)
By contributor Linda. 2015. Find Oh, So Surreal on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Google + or RSS.