Who (or what) do you consider to be the greatest influence in your work?
I would say Salvador Dali and Rene Magritte, the great surrealist artists of the 20th century. Their paintings are very creative and imaginative— both in terms of content and the ideas they express—yet their work is simultaneously grounded deeply in traditional and classical art techniques. Dali especially, made meticulous use of classical technique, influenced by Renaissance era painters, which contrasts with the fantastical world depicted in his art. I’ve always been inspired by and attracted to the world Dali created through his work. Like Dali, I strive to create provocative and original artwork by using classical watercolor painting and pencil drawing techniques to perfect the texture and lighting in each of my pieces. 

Do you consider yourself to be a spiritual person? If so, how does your spirituality affect your creative work? Yes, I consider myself to be very spiritual person at this point in my life. When I was young, I lived a more religious than spiritual life. I would attend church every Sunday, but as I grew up, I gradually became more spiritual in my beliefs. I’ve always enjoyed imagining what it would be like to live in a world that existed beyond three dimensions and one dimension of time, so the concept of “parallel realities” appeals to me and is expressed richly in both the content and form of my art. You can easily observe combinations of disparate times and spaces or the presence of unusual objects in my work, which at first glance looks strange and creates an alienating effect. This sensation of being challenged in the way we normally see and experience the world is something I love, both in art and literature.  

Please describe your state of mind when you are creating something.
Making art has become my full-time job and it’s how I make my living. Yet, it’s also been my life long hobby and never just my means of making a living. The process of making a new piece is like playing with Legos—figuring out how each piece of the picture I imagine fits together and coming up with ideas as I go along. I rarely create thumbnail idea sketches before starting a new piece. When something happens in my mind, I just start working on it with a basic sketch on paper. I can never guess what the result of a given work will be, but rather continue experimenting with and expanding on new ideas. I build the piece spontaneously, in the same way a kid builds something new when playing with combinations of Lego blocks.

What is your favorite color? Does this color describe your as a person? Please explain.
It’s tough to pick just one solid base color as my favorite as I prefer working with many colors. My favorite is the combination of green and purple or green and pink. These are not complementary colors, but together they create an interesting contrast effect. In the same way I enjoy experimenting with different times and spaces in my work, I enjoy the unexpected results that arise from combining contrasting colors. This is perhaps an expression of my joy in exploring new ways of perceiving the world around me. 

How do you think you differ from other creative people in your genre?
I don’t depict sexual intercourse in a bland or explicit way like a lot of erotic artists do in the online art world. I draw a lot of nude portraits, but I view the human body and its parts as metaphorical objects, symbolizing and expressing the various feelings and emotions that are so much a part of human relationships. I have no interest in depicting the human body just as it is or illustrating sexual acts in a realistic fashion. What makes my art different from other erotic art is the addition of surrealistic and imaginative elements, and this combination of the erotic and fantastical is what brings out my creativity and inspiration.

What do you do in a normal day that contributes to your creative work?
I usually try to find new ideas for future art through reading various books and watching movies. For some reason it’s really hard for me to completely remove myself from my creative process, which I worry will not be good for me in the long run. So, I try to spend as much as time as possible, in between works, just relaxing with my cats and dogs and doing nothing. These are periods where I can briefly disconnect from my work are vital for re-energizing me and sustaining my creative momentum.